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While there is an evident trend towards increasing legal responses to wife assault in North America, any change that has occurred has met with controversy, and the challenge remains to improve the circumstances of battered women. This book offers in-depth coverage of four major themes that address this issue: the historical framework of legal responses to wife assault; police attitudes and action; prosecution, mediation and treatment within the court system; and victims as defendants and participants in the legal system. Each chapter examines past and present policies of a specific branch of the legal system, and discusses their merits and demerits.