Domestic violence often occurs as an acute incident at first, however, time and situational factors can increase the number of incidents as well as the level of violence. Data have shown that certain racial groups and socioeconomic groups are more susceptible to experiencing domestic violence. It's important for authorities to understand how IPV is influenced by situational and cultural factors so they can help identify individuals who are most susceptible to abuse and provide them with assistance and resources immediately.
Victims of domestic violence often rely on non-profit and government-funded agencies to help them get out of violent relationships. When those services are not available, victims are likely to remain in their abusive situations and may not seek assistance again. What does an annual survey of domestic violence providers say about the level of service available to victims?
Victim assistance programs (VAPs) are a critical component of any law enforcement agency. These services protect and promote the interests of victims, witnesses, families, and the community and provide support during and after an incident. Learn how agencies can institute robust victim services by working closely with community organizations and local volunteers.
Every officer has been there: The dispatcher calls out for someone to take a domestic violence call, only to meet with silence over the radio as officers hope someone else will volunteer. A few officers coincidentally log themselves out on extra patrols, special assignments, or meal breaks. Others scramble to find something else to do that they could argue takes precedence.
Apart from a rape or decomposing body, domestic violence calls are often one of the least favorite calls for officers to handle. Domestic violence investigations are much different than any other type of police investigation. The intrinsic difficulties of domestic situations, especially recurring ones, can be stressful on officers who enjoy more clear-cut calls for service. Here are ways officers can be better prepared for these calls for service.
The terms “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence” are today used as synonymous terms to describe some form of abusive behavior by one individual upon another person in a relationship. While these two terms are used interchangeably to describe the same criminal offense, they have different origins. AMU's Dr. Ron Wallace writes about how the term “intimate partner violence” moved us away from the old view that abusive violence only occurs in marital relationships where the husband was the abuser and the wife was the victim. The concept of intimate partner violence acknowledges that abuse can exist in any type of personal intimate relationship, regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, or gender.
By Dr. Gary Minor
Beginning in the mid-1980s, states nationwide began changing domestic violence laws and the criminal justice community began treating domestic violence on the same level as violence involving strangers. To accommodate these legislative changes, police agencies have had to refine how they investigate domestic violence cases. AMU criminal justice professor Gary Minor highlights two sets of questions that officers should ask victims to help build a case against an abuser.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that every minute, 20 people in the United States are victim of some form of physical abuse by an intimate partner. Victims of this crime can be of any gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, and/or economic in nature. AMU's Dr. Ron Wallace gives an overview of what you can do to learn more to help end domestic violence.