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Prosecution decisions in cases of domestic violence involving children

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Increasing attention is being paid to the problem of children as the secondary victims of domestic violence. It is now well documented that children suffer as a result of domestic violence. However, it has yet to be shown how, if at all, the presence of children as direct or indirect victims influences the decision-making of the police and prosecutors in those cases of domestic violence which enter the criminal justice process. The findings of an empirical study of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that shed light on this issue are discussed in this article. The research, which combined an analysis of case files with observations and discussions with prosecutors, suggests important differences between the approach of the police and CPS lawyers.
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Keywords: DISCRETION; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; POLICE; PROSECUTION DECISION-MAKING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Law, University of Manchester

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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