Domestic Disturbance and Policing

Francisco Jaime May 12, 2012 JUS-350 Hanson, Timothy Domestic Disturbance and Policing Relationships where a partner will try to control the other partner’s actions are known as domestic violence or domestic abuse - Domestic Disturbance and Policing introduction. The violence exhibited within these types of relationships can include physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc. ), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Other behaviors such as emotional, psychological and financial abuse can be included in this category, although they are not criminal behaviors, they are known as forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence (Divorce Online. 009). Partners can be married, boyfriend and girlfriend, heterosexual, gay or lesbian, married, separated or involved in a relationship where they are simply living together. The arrangement makes no difference when it comes to incidents of domestic violence. It can happen at any time or place, frequently or once in a while. Domestic abuse has no barriers either; victims can be of any race, age, sex or culture.

National statistics on domestic abuse estimate that between 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend to 3 million women who are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year (Domestic violence statistics. 2012). These facts have prompted law enforcement agencies in various cities across the United States to initiate mandatory arrests for anyone charged with domestic violence. This meant that anyone who was charged with domestic violence be arrested with or without the consent of the victim.

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The courts would than proceed with criminal charges against the offender. In cases such as this, the accuser would most likely reoffend leading to a higher number of cases that involved some form of domestic abuse (Goodman, Lisa A. Epstein, Deborah Koss, Mary P. White, Jacquelyn W. Kazdin, Alan E. 2011). This has led many to wonder if mandatory arrests actually helped in the number of cases seen within the judicial system. Recent research has shown that because mandatory arrests are utilized in some states that an increase in intimate partner violence had occurred because of this.

The two main reasons for this were decreased reporting by victims and increased reprisal by abusers. The offenders felt some form of betrayal by their significant other causing many to seek vengeance causing a repeated cycle of abuse and recidivism by known offenders. The study done therefore showed that mandatory arrests did more damage than actually helping those that it was intended to protect (Iyengar, Radha. 2008) Mandatory arrests for cases of domestic violence were now seen as major issue within the United States.

Since many law enforcement agencies had little or no policies regarding arrests for cases that involved a domestic dispute along with the lack of community involvement, this resulted in a push to implement pro- and mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence. What many failed to realize is the effect this would have on victims and abusers alike. These policies did not only affect the abusers themselves, but the victims also. Victims of domestic violence had begun to receive the same punishment because many had decided to retaliate against their attackers leading to an increase in the number of victim arrests.

A shift that many advocates for harsher punishments for domestic violence did not foresee (Hovmand, P. S. , Ford, D. N. , Flom, I. and Kyriakakis, S. 2009)! This led the justice system to focus more on ways to help prevent domestic violence by viewing it as a serious crime and not just as a private, family issue. Activists were than able to persuade state legislatures to implement orders of protection specifically tailored to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence. The reforms that were utilized did help in increasing a victim’s access to the justice system but did little in areas of support afterwards.

Victims were still exposed to increased violence from their partners. Because the justice system failed to effectively support those affected by domestic violence, victim safety became a huge concern for advocates against Intimate Partner Violence. Causing those who advocated for victims rights to question whether mandatory arrests helped reduce the amount of domestic violence cases seen each day within our judicial system (Goodman, Lisa A. Epstein, Deborah Koss, Mary P. White, Jacquelyn W. Kazdin, Alan E. 2011). With the increase in arrests made involving domestic disputes, it would be easy to say that mandatory arrests do more harm than elp those involved. With any type of policy that is initiated within a law enforcement agency, there are always going to be pros and cons to utilizing a new form of policing. The key is to try and take what can be effectively helpful and try to reform what worked. References Domestic violence statistics. 2012. As retrieved on 5/13/12 from http://www. dvrc-or. org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/#mal Divorce Online. 2009. As retrieved on 5/13/12 from http://www. domesticviolence. org/definition/ (Goodman, Lisa A. Epstein, Deborah Koss, Mary P. White, Jacquelyn W.

Kazdin, Alan E. 2011). As retrieved on 5/13/12 from http://psycnet. apa. org/books/12308/011 Hovmand, P. S. , Ford, D. N. , Flom, I. and Kyriakakis, S. (2009), Victims arrested for domestic violence: unintended consequences of arrest policies. . As retrieved on 5/13/12 from http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1002/sdr. 418/abstract Iyengar, Radha. 2008. Does the certainty of arrest reduce domesticviolence? Evidence from mandatory and recommended arrest laws. As retrieved on 5/13/12 from http://www. sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S0047272708001345

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