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What's the history of domestic violence enforcement?

Law enforcement officers, lawmakers and fellow citizens in Nevada are attempting to eradicate domestic violence from existence, making headway one step at a time. Nevertheless, there was a day when the courts and police didn't take domestic violence as seriously as they do today.

In the past, women were treated more like property, the notion of "until death do us part" was the law of the land, and husbands were permitted to do as they pleased. This meant that women often got the short end of the stick when it came to fair treatment and human rights. It also meant that many women were trapped in physically and sexually abusive relationships, and they had no way of escaping.

This started to change, especially after a landmark case in 1972, where a woman died because police did not try to stop her husband from killing her. Family members of the woman sued the city where she lived for wrongful death. The court dismissed the case, but it brought the issue of domestic violence to the center of the public stage, and it instigated widespread public outrage.

In 1985, another woman won a $2.3 million lawsuit over the failure of a police department in Connecticut to intervene when her husband was abusing her. In 2000, another case brought domestic violence to the forefront after a woman's estranged husband killed her because police refused to enforce an order of protection.

Since the 1980s, police have been enforcing domestic violence laws more stringently, and many individuals have been saved from abuse and death as a result. If you're currently in the throes of an abusive marriage or any other kind of abusive relationship in Nevada, you should know that the law is on your side. You can file a request for an order of protection or restraining order to get police protection from the person who is abusing you -- no matter who it is -- and put the abuse to a stop.

Source: FindLaw, "Domestic Violence Background," accessed May 20, 2017

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