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Better reporting at heart of Wisconsin domestic abuse bill

Domestic violence is a serious problem that has far-reaching effects on society. Violence against spouses and children may create fear and mistrust in the hearts of people who grow up to repeat the cycle of abuse. Domestic violence advocates in Wisconsin fear that the problem is growing, and that many feel they can't report violent incidents because of fear of future retribution. A new bill being considered by state lawmakers may help to change that.

In one county alone, reports of domestic violence grew by 200 cases in one year.  This and many other statistics may have prompted lawmakers to draft a bill that they hope will help victims of domestic violence. If passed and made into law, the bill would allow for more evidence in court regarding the reported incident, and also require law enforcement officials to file a report regarding all calls of domestic violence.

Some officials feel that more information allows law enforcement to be more prepared to do their jobs as they approached domestic violence incidents, although others fear that allowing too much information allows for a judgment to be made on an incident that was never proven in the past.

Overall, advocates believe that the increase in domestic violence reporting is a positive thing, and that those involved in these incidents feel they are better protected. If the bill passes, it may help both sides of the argument by providing a more detailed account of what happened in the relationship, and give law enforcement a better idea of which party is responsible for the violent incident. More accurate record keeping may also help attorneys to more successfully defend their clients in court by providing the whole story.

Source: WAOW.com, "Advocates hope new legislation will curb domestic violence," Dan Griffin, June 2, 2013

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