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Prosecuting Domestic ViolenceA Philosophical Analysis$
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Michelle Madden Dempsey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562169.001.1

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Victims and Prosecutions

Victims and Prosecutions

Chapter:
(p.185) 9 Victims and Prosecutions
Source:
Prosecuting Domestic Violence
Author(s):

Michelle Madden Dempsey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562169.003.0009

This chapter considers the rights and duties of domestic-violence victims with respect to participating in the prosecution of domestic-violence cases. First, it revisits and expands upon the distinction briefly sketched in Chapter 5 between ‘reasons to do it yourself’ and ‘reasons to help someone else do it’ in order to identify the kinds of reasons which might ground a better understanding of the rights and duties of victims in the context of criminal prosecutions. Second, it considers the nature and scope of victims' rights to participate in domestic-violence prosecutions. Third, it considers whether victims ever have a duty to participate in domestic-violence prosecutions. Finally, the chapter argues that prosecutorial enforcement of this duty through legal mechanisms such as subpoena enforcement and contempt of court is unlikely ever to be justified, and even where justified, is self-defeating to the project of feminist prosecution defended in this book.

Keywords:   domestic violence victims, domestic violence prosecutions, victimless prosecutions, victim withdrawal, victims' rights, victims' duties, victim participation

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