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Domestic violence courts are specialty courts designed to improve the processing of domestic violence cases and empower victims of intimate partner violence by emphasizing their privacy and safety. This entry begins by reviewing the development of these specialty courts. Next, their relation to privacy is discussed. Last, the issues of victim advocacy and the surveillance (monitoring) of offenders are addressed.

Development of Specialty Courts for Domestic Violence

Domestic violence courts were first established in the 1990s. Historically, intimate partner violence cases have not received the same priority in the judicial process as cases involving strangers. Following the battered women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s, some state criminal justice systems determined that these cases needed to be treated more seriously. As a result, many police departments ...

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