n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The uncooperative victim and the admissibility of evidence : some pointers from the USA

Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Domestic violence crimes are normally met with a attitude by the prosecution. Because the victim is usually reluctant to cooperate, it is said that prosecution would be a waste of time. This attitude is reinforced by the view that domestic violence is often seen as a private issue that is inappropriate for state intervention. This approach needs to be reconsidered, since not only does it enable perpetrators of domestic violence to exert an enormous amount of control over the criminal justice process, but it also ignores those situations where prosecution would be the only acceptable way to proceed. In such situations, a more aggressive prosecution attitude and strategy, one that pursues a conviction by all possible means, must be adopted. Hearsay statements about the violence are a useful starting point.

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