Since many of these cases don't have strong criminal justice consequences, the possibility of a financial hit may provide some abusers with an incentive to get help for their problem.
"Domestic violence victims are increasingly using the civil justice system to hold their perpetrators accountable," Dion [director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association in Washington] said. If a batterer is arrested, he said, the victim often loses a key source of financial support and may need medical help, counseling or to move.
And, yes, it's the abuser's problem not the entire family's problem.
When abusers decide to inflict damage, they should be aware that they may have to pay for what they've done. This option won't be a viable choice for some of those abused by loved ones if they feel that pursuing a case in civil court will be hazardous to their health. Unfortunately, many of these people (primarily women and children) are right to fear additional violence.
If the criminal justice system worked as it should, men like this one will never be released from jail, but that isn't a sure thing. When the criminal justice system doesn't provide adequate punishment and restititution, the civil justice system should be an option.
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