Advocate: Don’t Pursue Battered Women Who Won’t Testify


In many domestic violence cases, women who complain end up being arrested and led to court handcuffed, only to see their abuser sitting free, wearing street clothes and a smirk, says the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Such scenes are part of what Kathleen Brooks of a shelter called Safe Nest calls the “Injustice System”: a policy of targeting victims of domestic violence who refuse to testify against their abusers. Victims often are too terrified or ambivalent to testify, Brooks said.

Clark County District Attorney David Roger defended the practice of issuing warrants for certain victims who don’t respond to subpoenas. It’s often extremely difficult to prosecute a batterer without a victim’s testimony, he said. “If we believe there are extenuating circumstances where this person is going to really hurt the victim next time, we choose to retain the option of forcing women into court,” he said, adding, “Victims’ rights groups are not in favor of that.” Nevada consistently ranks among the highest of U.S. states for its number of domestic violence related homicides, Brooks said.


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