This Hornbook is a comprehensive, well-researched overview of all aspects of state and federal law on domestic violence, including the pending VAWA Reauthorization bill before Congress. Hallmark features of the book include in-depth exploration of the following topics:

  • the nature and extent of domestic violence;
  • the role of influential factors (age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, social class);
  • special contexts (military, police, professional athletics);
  • the full range of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse (strangulation, stalking, sexual assault, separation abuse, teen dating violence, elder abuse, financial abuse, pet abuse, murder suicide, reproductive control, domestic violence by proxy, instrumental use of children; litigation abuse);
  • cutting-edge laws on revenge porn and coercive control;
  • law enforcement response (mandatory arrest, dual arrest, primary aggressor laws, no drop policies);
  • Violence Against Women Act and its previous reauthorizations;
  • criminal law defenses (self-defense, duress, cultural defense, provocation);
  • evidentiary issues (Battered Woman Syndrome, marital rape, prior act testimony, out-of-court statements, exceptions to the hearsay rule, forfeiture by wrongdoing, batterers’ profile evidence, spousal testimonial privilege, victim recantation);
  • orders of protection both civil and criminal;
  • tort remedies;
  • firearm regulations;
  • tribal law issues;
  • family law issues (role of domestic violence in divorce, property division, spousal support, parenting, and child abduction);
  • child welfare overlap with domestic violence;
  • immigration law issues;
  • discrimination against victims in housing and employment; and
  • international laws (international human rights, asylum, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, fiancée visas, U-visas, and the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act).
  • Up-to-date issues cover the pending Violence Against Women bill before Congress, the recent U.S. Attorney General’s decision reversing longstanding asylum protection for survivors, and the recent guideline of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommending that all health care clinicians screen for domestic violence.


Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: Hornbooks
Publication Date: 12/13/2018

D. Kelly Weisberg, University of CA-Hastings College of Law

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DV Law, The Latest Must-Read DV Text
Domestic Violence Law by D. Kelly Weisberg, part of West Academic Publishing Hornbook Series, is a glorious 500-plus page treatise on DV Law, and so much more. Here is what it is not. It is not a criminal law text dryly presenting the elements of a crime and a litany of court appellate interpretations.

It is a comprehensive review that begins with the social and legal history of DV, its characteristics, an analysis of high lethality crimes of strangulation, stalking, and sexual assault, in addition to other types of abuse, including reproductive control, as well as financial and psychological abuse. It then moves on to discuss the law enforcement response from nonintervention to mandatory arrest and enactment of VAWA. It includes a section on state laws, criminal defenses, evidentiary issues, federal criminal law, civil protective orders and tort remedies. It concludes with DV in dating, marriage and divorce, parenting and DV, and discrimination against victims.

The chapter on parenting and DV, for example, illustrates the breath of this work. This chapter begins with child custody. It discusses forms of custody, best interests of the child, presumptions in custody law, abusers as parents, and the role of DV in custody decision making. It moves on to an analysis of friendly parent doctrine (how a laudable idea was weaponized against mothers trying to protect their children and themselves), parental alienation syndrome, visitation and Lizzie’s Law (so children would not be required to visit their fathers imprisoned for murdering their mothers), custody evaluators, mediation, and parental abduction, and it ends with DV and the child protective system.

Although Weisberg is a lawyer, the book is informed by her deep understanding of DV in the real world. She took over from Joan Zora as editor of the bi-monthly DV Report that continues to flourish under her watch. She has integrated legal and social science perspective in this book, infused with empathy for DV victims and their lived experience. A valuable reference at $125 that every state coalition and DV agency should have in its collection. It is, of course, a must for all attorneys seeking to assist survivors and victims, as well as for students in the field.”
— Andrew R. Klein, Ph.D., National Bulletin on Domestic Violence Prevention, March 2019, Volume 25, Issue 3


Professor Kelly Weisberg Publishes New Treatise on Domestic Violence Law
“Weisberg’s new book on domestic violence makes a unique contribution to both the legal and social science literature on intimate partner violence. It serves as a valuable reference tool for a broad audience of legal professionals, social service personnel, teachers, students, researchers, and advocates. This comprehensive up-to-date survey of domestic violence covers laws on both the federal and state level.”
Read full review at UCHastingsLaw