an individual is being subjected to domestic violence and abuse, their right to
a happy and healthy life is being stolen from them. An individual has the right
not to suffer from violence and brutality and to feel secure in their own home.
They have the right to maintain control over their body and their actions. Victims
rights include the right to live without constant fear and anxiety.
rights are theoretical and ideological, and even though all individuals should
experience these rights, not all individuals have the advantage of living
without stress and fear. However, an individual does posses legal victim rights
under federal legislation. In is essential for an individual to become aware of
and familiar with victims rights. Victim rights help to provide an individual
who has suffered from domestic violence and intimate partner abuse with
protection and security.
One of the most essential victims rights is the right to protection from a
physical threat. If an individual is being subjected to threats, stalking, and
harassment, and they have reason to believe that their physical well being is
at risk, then they can petition a court to receive a restraining order. Once
they have completed the process of filing for a protection order, then the
offender will be prohibited from contacting, threatening, and harassing the
victim, and the perpetrator will be required to remain a designated distance
away from the victim.
Federal victim rights legislation declare that protection
orders that are issued in one state are to be observed and enforced in other
states throughout the country. The legislation many only be enacted if the
offender was given notice of the court order and if they had the opportunity to
be heard and to defend themselves. In 1996, the Brady statement was amended and
now requires an individual who is obtaining a firearm to provide a statement
that they have never been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.
However, it still does not require an individual to divulge whether or not they
have been subject to a restraining order.
Victims rights include the right to speak at their abusers bail hearing.
Individuals who have been subjected to domestic violence and intimate partner
abuse are permitted to attend the offender bail hearing and discuss the threat
that the perpetrator poses. Victim rights also permit the victim to be informed
about all of the judicial hearings and advances related to their case so that
they may attend these hearings if they choose to. Once the court proceedings
are complete, victims rights require that the victim be provided with access to
information regarding the offender’s conviction and penalty.
If the perpetrator
is required to serve jail time, then the victim is to be informed about the
amount of time that their abuser will spend in prison, and when the offender is
released from prison. Victim rights require the government to provide a victim
of domestic violence with protection from their abuser. The victim will also
have the right to receive restitution for the damage that their abuser has
This may include medical and dental bills for the physical injury that
the offender caused, as well as any damage that the perpetrator has caused to
the victim’s personal property. It is very important for victims of intimate
partner abuse to become familiar with their rights so that they can ensure that
they are receiving adequate protection, information, and compensation.