AuthorJOHNSON, MADISON ANNA
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe current policy response to domestic violence in the United States is built upon a violent-incident model, focusing on isolated, physical instances of abuse. This model fails to address the gravity of emotional abuse, which occurs in long-term episodes of coercive control and infringement upon personal freedom. Domestic violence in familial relationships frequently occurs in the form of emotional abuse, producing long-standing consequences upon the victim’s mental wellbeing and sense of autonomy. European nations, including France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, have initiated global awareness of emotional abuse through furnishing criminal provisions and sizable punishments against perpetrators. The violent-incident model of abuse in the United States must be reformed to include a universal definition of emotional abuse, which acknowledges that such abuse transpires in recurring, long-term incidents of coercive control. In addition, the United States must address the state-by-state variation in domestic violence law, which produces an inconsistency in legal protections against all forms of domestic violence. This variability of protections across state borders is clearly exhibited in an analysis of domestic violence policy in South Carolina and California, which is illustrated in this paper. It is essential that the United States implements a similar approach to that of European nations by criminalizing emotional abuse as a crime against personal liberty, which affects an individual’s autonomy, decision-making abilities, and mental wellbeing for a prolonged period.