Of all of the violent crimes in the world, domestic violence seems to be the one that is the least serious when it comes to punishment. Domestic violence victims are often hiding and not reporting crimes that are happening for fear of their lives and their own well being, or seem to be perfectly content to give up their lives to become homeless as a means of escaping this situation. Why are the offenders of this crime going free, when they should be serving mandatory prison sentences because of the heinous nature of the crime?
Women around the world are suffering because of this popular and under-punished crime. Children and young adults are raised in a society where this is simply an acceptable form of torture for many, because no one will take them very seriously in this matter. By not taking offenders more seriously, the public justice system has basically shown the world that it's okay to beat women, and that if you are a battered woman, you need to leave and start over somewhere else. Someone commits animal abuse and it lands them in jail for at least 6 to 12 months or more. If a man beats his wife, he's generally off the hook or at least out on probation in no time at all.
Prisons are overcrowded and room needs to be saved for the serious offenders. It is what people are told all the time. How serious does a situation have to be when a person is harming another human being to the point of severe injury and mental intimidation on a daily basis? Law enforcement will show up and do the same thing that they always do: give the offender a night in jail or two so that the victim can pack up her things and leave.
Why does the victim have to be the one leaving? She didn't do anything wrong. Now, giving a woman this ultimatum further proves to them that it's okay for this to happen in the eyes of the law, but she's got to leave if she wants it to stop. No one should ever have to live like this and especially not someone who is being abused physically and mentally to the point where their life is turned upside down. Victims leave their homes to stay with friends and relatives, or end up on the streets, becoming another statistic in the sad world of domestic violence crimes. Many never receive the help that they need, which allows them to go on with their lives being battered from one relationship to the next because they simply expect it to be that way.
Many of these women who have otherwise wonderful lives are forced into a situation that offers them only two choices: stay and take it, or leave and give up everything that you've worked so hard for to become homeless. When children are involved, it becomes even more serious of a situation, because the children inherently become homeless, as well. It should not be families that are forced to give up their lives to run away and hide. It should be offenders that think that beating their victim is okay that are locked up in jail for a serious crime and equally serious punishment, and not released until they have been rehabilitated.
Put them into a special prison with other domestic violence offenders. If there isn't room in the current system, build them their own facility. Let them live with a bunch of other offenders and let them become victims, even if only for a minute. Support them with anger management and other classes that can help bolster their own self esteem so that they don't take out their issues on their spouses and/or children. It seems fair enough to at least hold them accountable for something.
Either way, victims need to get out of the situation that they are in. They deserve more justice and better support in their situation than just being separated from their batterer long enough to pack up their lives and leave. If the offense was taken seriously, and offenders were jailed for a REAL crime and a real sentence, victims might feel a little less like they just have to deal with it and do what it takes to make the best of it. When society and the current justice system teaches our young women and children that this is an acceptable situation and the only resolution is for them to leave, what are they really being taught? Without a change in the system, that's the message that's being sent, whether anyone will admit it or not. Do you really want the children of the world growing up to see the system failing battered victims and becoming victims themselves? The current system is teaching victims and offenders alike the same thing: if you've got a problem with violence and don't want to wind up facing serious jail time, beat your spouse, not your pets. If they don't like it, they'll leave.