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Domestic violence courts (DVCs) are specialized court settings that deal predominantly with cases involving domestic violence. They have emerged in different state, regional, and national contexts, giving rise to different operational styles and models. For example, courts may sit full or part-time and deal with different levels of offense seriousness and all or various aspects of case progression (pretrial review hearings, trials, sentencing and/or monitoring of offenders). Regardless of the operational style, the philosophy guiding these courts is that domestic violence is a crime that poses particular difficulties for both the victim and the criminal justice system; therefore, a specialized method of dealing with these cases is necessary. This entry describes the operation of DVCs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It ...

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