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Legal sanctions for male violence

Susan Robinson[srobinson

February 2000

"Placing 'severe' legal sanctions on all forms of male violence against women and children", as Bronwyn Winter suggests as an answer to violence against women, seems so obvious.  Yet in New York State, where there has been progress in recent years to hold men more accountable for violent and threatening behavior, it is still a more serious offense to steal a pack of chewing gum or cigarettes than it is to push, shove, slap, or threaten your girlfriend/wife.  You can get up to a year in jail for petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, but you can only get 15 days in jail for pushing/shoving/slapping another person, a violation level offense.  With laws like these it is almost impossible to transform men's behavior towards women -- if the state doesn't consider it a crime, why should men?

Susan Robinson
Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator

125 East Court Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 274-5455
fax (607) 274-5558


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