By Christina Iannozzi, Western Law School
Broad policy changes to the criminal justice system at all levels have positively impacted the number of domestic violence cases in which the system can intervene. Entry into the system is victim-initiated, and it has historically been under-used. To address these problems, one of the many changes to policy and practice over the past two decades has been the introduction of specialized criminal courts. There were three main goals in the creation of domestic violence courts (“DVCs”): (i) accelerate the court process; (ii) increase victim co-operation; and (iii) deliver appropriate sentences that are in the best interests of the victims.