Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Police Families and DV

Police Family Violence Fact Sheet Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence,in contrast to 10% of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24%, indicating that domestic violence is 2-4 times more common among police families than American families in general. A police department that has domestic violence offenders among its ranks will not effectively serve and protect victims in the community. Moreover, when officers know of domestic violence committed by their colleagues and seek to protect them by covering it up, they expose the department to civil liability. Domestic violence is always a terrible crime, but victims of a police officer are particularly vulnerable because the officer who is abusing them: has a gun, knows the location of battered women's shelters, and knows how to manipulate the system to avoid penalty and/or shift blame to the victim. Victims often fear calling the police, because they know the case will be handled by officers who are colleagues and/or friends of their abuser. Victims of police family violence typically fear that the responding officers will side with their abuser and fail to properly investigate or document the crime. This fact sheet is from the National Center for Women & Policing.For more info their website is: http://www.womenandpolicing.org/violenceFS.asp I feel it is important for these families to get help. There needs to be more counseling available for law enforcement families and perhaps more vigorous training to the officer who abuses. Although there is no excuse for domestic violence, but perhaps we can encourage officers to get adequate help for their issues and also more support for the families affected without fear of repercussion or loss of income. This will serve the public as well, as it may reduce the possibility of police brutality.

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