Leigh Goodmark, writing for the Baltimore Sun, advocates for “alternative
methods” of dealing with
domestic abuse – after a city prosecutor made the decision (due to budget cuts)
to stop prosecuting misdemeanor domestic abuse cases.
After the prosecutor announced the news, the city council repealed its
misdemeanor domestic violence law, which “decriminalized”
that particular crime, leading Claudine Dombrowski, a prior victim of
domestic violence, to throw a pair of dice across the room.
As Dombrowski’s action illustrates, the prosecutor and city council
were “rolling the dice” with women’s lives with their
decision to decriminalize the offense.
(The prosecutor began prosecuting misdemeanor-level domestic violence crime
again after public outrage.)
But the example leads Goodmark to question whether the legal system does
enough to protect women from domestic abuse in the first place: “holding
men who abuse accountable for their actions,” and writes that rates
of domestic violence have not gone down since the 1994 Violence Against