Spokane prosecutors urging domestic violence victims to speak out

SPOKANE, Wash. – On Monday, we took a closer look at how domestic violence cases are prosecuted in Spokane.

The cases can be challenging – especially when victims decide not to press charges.

Spokane deputy prosecutor John Love said domestic violence cases are different than most court cases.

"Incarceration and conviction is not necessarily the prosecutor's goal," Love said. "Might sound odd to most people in the community, but from the prosecutor's perspective, with domestic violence we want the abuse to stop. That's our main goal."

Love said the cases are not your typical crimes. He said they can involve a family member, a loved one, or somebody from their family.

"There's lot of reasons why somebody might not want to see someone be prosecuted and it's not necessarily because it didn't happen," Love said.

KREM 2 News' Lindsay Nadrich covers court proceedings for this station. She said she sees numerous people in court daily arrested for domestic violence. It turns out many of them do not go to trial because the victim chooses to not move forward with the charges.

"That's almost what we expect with every case," Love said. "It's not a matter of if, it's actually more a matter of when and there's plenty of reasons for that."

Whether it be for social, financial, family, or survival reasons, prosecutors said most victims decide not to cooperate.

Love said most victims are focused on how to survive rather than the criminal justice system.

"I believe the current statistic is three women a day in the United States are killed every day by their significant other," Love said.

Many people wonder why abuse victims do not just leave. Love said it is not that easy. Many times, it is simply the stigma that is attached to this kind of situation that keeps abuse victims in the relationship.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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