The purpose of this chapter is to recognize the importance of domestic violence as a serious crime against society and to assure the victim of domestic violence the maximum protection from abuse which the law and those who enforce the law can provide. The legislature finds that the existing criminal statutes are adequate to provide protection for victims of domestic violence. However, previous societal attitudes have been reflected in policies and practices of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors which have resulted in differing treatment of crimes occurring between cohabitants and of the same crimes occurring between strangers. Only recently has public perception of the serious consequences of domestic violence to society and to the victims led to the recognition of the necessity for early intervention by law enforcement agencies. It is the intent of the legislature that the official response to cases of domestic violence shall stress the enforcement of the laws to protect the victim and shall communicate the attitude that violent behavior is not excused or tolerated. Furthermore, it is the intent of the legislature that criminal laws be enforced without regard to whether the persons involved are or were married, cohabiting, or involved in a relationship.