A woman is beaten by the person sworn to love her forever. She has no income of her own and the community in which she lives doesn’t have a safe house for her and her children. If she is brave enough to tell anyone, there simply isn’t much the police can do. In very severe cases, a passionate prosecutor might push for charges but it won’t likely be for hitting her. It will be for animal cruelty or interfering with emergency communications because those are felonies. Punching her isn’t. She and the prosecutor know one thing for sure … she is in more danger than ever. He will make bail. He will come home and he will be pissed. She will drop the charges so she can stay alive.
That was before President Bill Clinton signed the Violence Against Women Act (1994), sponsored by then Senator Joe Biden. Of course, the Act didn’t stop the cycle of domestic violence in America, however, it did give communities the tools they need to keep women, children, and first responders safe.
Today, even with no income, women and children have access to a safe place to live. Police have the training and equipment they need to answer one of the most dangerous and unpredictable calls: a domestic violence call. Prosecutors don’t have to be "creative" in their charges because hitting your spouse is as illegal as kicking your dog. Women are no longer responsible for pressing charges; we the people do it for them.