Hidden Cruelty – Criminal Law Trends in Domestic Violence
Keywords:Domestic violence, hidden cruelty, respect, dignity, abuser, victim, gender equality, demonstration of force, cycle of violence, escalation of tension.
Hidden domestic violence and cruelty is one of the most serious problems in the modern world, which is deeply rooted in society and carries the stereotypical attitude of reprimand from others and / or an irresistible fear of the abuser towards the victim. Hidden cruelty in the family belongs to the circle of issues that mostly oppress the society and an appropriate research level of which and relevant measures’ implementation should be considered in urgent matters.
The relevance of the issue is also conditioned by the fact that according to the research of the Georgian case law, in almost every third-fourth court cases of domestic violence, which is of a hidden nature, a verdict of acquittal is rendered not on the grounds that the accused is not guilty, but on the grounds that the victim, who once dared and reported to law enforcement because of an extremely intolerable situation, no longer (or could no longer!) testified against the abuser at court because of established stereotypical beliefs and public influence, and again became the object of his oppression due to the continuing nature of the violence.
The goal of the presented research is to study the modern criminal law aspects of domestic violence and hidden cruelty in above mentioned regard. This paper will review the history of this issue, types of violence, theories of hidden cruelty, and a generalization of case law on hidden domestic violence. The paper aims to answer what the legislation should be like, not only materially, but also procedurally, so that the hidden or subsequently concealed cruelty committed by any abuser in the family will not go unanswered.
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