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Hawaii Domestic Violence Laws


How has the law changed?

Domestic violence law in the United States has evolved over time. Further, in understanding domestic violence laws, it is important to recognize that laws at times differ to some degree from state to state as well.


The Hawaii domestic violence law firm of Harrison & Matsuoka presents information explaining domestic abuse laws in the US over time, as well as Hawaii domestic violence law changes.

Understanding the Development of Domestic Violence Laws

 Over the course of time, US law has come to increasingly recognize that domestic violence and abuse is a significant problem, deserving of a range of protections and related laws.

Some significant laws in this regard were passed. For example, in 1976 Rape Shield laws were passed, in which it is deemed illegal to use the sexual history of a rape victim as a means to undermine their credibility. In 1978, the National Coalition against Domestic Violence was formed, and proceeded to introduce the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act in Congress. This was passed in 1984, mandating funding for protection services and education. A 1980 law involved a landmark decision preventing sexual harassment of employees.


Additional significant laws continued to be passed over time. In 1993, every state in the US passed a law prohibiting marital rape. In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act significantly increased federal penalties for sex offenses, and provided additional training and funding for abuse awareness, prevention and treatment.


Legislation continues to expand in favor of protection of individuals in domestic abuse situations, and strengthening legislation against offenders. For example, in 2004, Congress passed strongly heightened legislation aimed at preventing and dealing with domestic abuse.


Understanding Hawaii Domestic Violence Law Changes

As per the larger trend of increased awareness and stronger legislation regarding domestic violence, Hawaii domestic violence law has developed similarly over time. For example, Hawaii is one of the only states in the US that explicitly mentions same sex couples as having the same rights and obligations concerning domestic abuse as heterosexual couples. Recent laws continue this trend. For example, recent Hawaii legislation to that effect includes the legislation of special funding for treatment, prevention and research of domestic violence (Section 321-1.3). Additionally, Section 580-41.5 indicates that couples divorcing due to domestic violence do not have to undergo attempts at mediation as do other couples.

However, Hawaii law also recognizes the that defendants in domestic abuse cases have rights. For example, recent legislation (505.5) indicates that the constitutional right to cross examination cannot be taken from defendants in abuse cases.


Hawaii Domestic Violence Law Firm

Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States, and the courts recognize this more and more. Considering the strength of penalties for domestic and other forms of abuse, it is essential for those accused to secure the best possible legal representation.


The Hawaii domestic violence law firm of Harrison & Matsuoka has been providing top tier legal representation for over 25 years. We are recognized as leaders among Hawaii domestic violence law firms, spousal abuse lawyers, child abuse attorneys, child neglect lawyers and in similar realms of legal representation. We provide complete customer service for our clients, and take pride in our thoroughness and effectiveness.


For a consultation with the law firm of Harrison & Matsuoka, contact us today via our web based form, or call us at 808-523-7041.

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