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Do Victims of Domestic Violence Have Rights?

General Victims Rights

When an individual is being subjected to domestic violence and abuse, their right to a happy and healthy life is being stolen from them. An individual has the right not to suffer from violence and brutality and to feel secure in their own home. They have the right to maintain control over their body and their actions. Victims rights include the right to live without constant fear and anxiety.

These rights are theoretical and ideological, and even though all individuals should experience these rights, not all individuals have the advantage of living without stress and fear. However, an individual does posses legal victim rights under federal legislation. In is essential for an individual to become aware of and familiar with victims rights. Victim rights help to provide an individual who has suffered from domestic violence and intimate partner abuse with protection and security.

One of the most essential victims rights is the right to protection from a physical threat. If an individual is being subjected to threats, stalking, and harassment, and they have reason to believe that their physical well being is at risk, then they can petition a court to receive a restraining order. Once they have completed the process of filing for a protection order, then the offender will be prohibited from contacting, threatening, and harassing the victim, and the perpetrator will be required to remain a designated distance away from the victim.

Federal victim rights legislation declare that protection orders that are issued in one state are to be observed and enforced in other states throughout the country. The legislation many only be enacted if the offender was given notice of the court order and if they had the opportunity to be heard and to defend themselves. In 1996, the Brady statement was amended and now requires an individual who is obtaining a firearm to provide a statement that they have never been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime. However, it still does not require an individual to divulge whether or not they have been subject to a restraining order.

Victims rights include the right to speak at their abusers bail hearing. Individuals who have been subjected to domestic violence and intimate partner abuse are permitted to attend the offender bail hearing and discuss the threat that the perpetrator poses. Victim rights also permit the victim to be informed about all of the judicial hearings and advances related to their case so that they may attend these hearings if they choose to. Once the court proceedings are complete, victims rights require that the victim be provided with access to information regarding the offender’s conviction and penalty.

If the perpetrator is required to serve jail time, then the victim is to be informed about the amount of time that their abuser will spend in prison, and when the offender is released from prison. Victim rights require the government to provide a victim of domestic violence with protection from their abuser. The victim will also have the right to receive restitution for the damage that their abuser has caused.

This may include medical and dental bills for the physical injury that the offender caused, as well as any damage that the perpetrator has caused to the victim's personal property. It is very important for victims of intimate partner abuse to become familiar with their rights so that they can ensure that they are receiving adequate protection, information, and compensation.

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