Police Response To Domestic Violence Calls And How It Effects Victims

2469 words - 10 pages

Throughout the years, how police officers and police departments view domestic violence has changed drastically. Before the 1960s, police were not properly trained on how to handle any domestic violence cases. The police did not even want to know about it because they felt like it was none of their business. It is something that they believed happened in the home and needed to be dealt with both partners. They needed to work out their issues and not involve the police. “In 1967, the International Association of Chiefs of Police stated in its manual that arrest should only be employed as a last resort,” was stated by White et al. (2005). Departments did not even know how to tell their ...view middle of the document...

They had no hope. They had no help. This time where victims did not have the law on their side because police officers felt uncomfortable, is not what the criminal justice system should be known for. Police were not receiving the proper training and skills to help victims. They were not aware of how to be an advocate to victims when they arrived on scene. Little was done to end domestic violence through the law. How police treated victims, effected the lives of many. Proper care and legal matters were not put into place for victims at this time.
Throughout the years, the police departments’ views on domestic violence have changed drastically. Today, many states have enforced mandatory arrest laws. Mandatory arrest laws require officers to make an arrest with any probable cause that domestic violence took place or the victim is in fear of inanimate danger of their life. Police officers have little discretion in domestic violence cases with the mandatory arrest laws. They have little discretion in not arresting the abuser. No matter how much a victim begs and pleads not to arrest the abuser, the officer must obey orders and make an arrest if there is probable cause. For example, a victim in Newport who went to the court house wanted a Temporary Restraining Order lifted because her husband was arrested for domestic violence. The husband had thrown a pot filled with water and potatoes. When police arrived and saw this, they arrested him for probable cause of a physical encounter between the two of them. This mandatory arrest laws was put in place to ensure that victims of domestic violence a time of safety. The arrest is used as a hope to deter domestic violence from happening in that household again. This is where the victim can follow through on a safety plan and head somewhere safe to live or temporarily stay. This period where the person is being arrested is an opportunity for the victim to get help and support. The arrest also reassures that the criminal justice system is doing its job properly. If an arrest was not to happen, there would be no more trust in the system. The arrest shows the abuser that not only is the behavior unacceptable but it is now in records. This will help the victim in any future cases with the abuser if continues to do this. The victim will have legal papers showing how the abuser is an unfit parent or why they need a restraining order against them (Çelik 2013). Mandatory arresting has helped, but it also has its flaws. “Police still yield discretion even regarding mandatory reporting policies. Some have noted the victim, more knowledgeable about the situation, might have a greater awareness of the potential negative effects of the arrest. If victims’ voices are ignored, the very system designed to protect them may be the catalyst for causing more harm,” (Horwitz et al. 2011). During this time where the abuser sits in jail, this could create more tension between them and the victim. ...

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