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Helping Domestic Violence Victims

Proven techniques for securing justice.
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Dolan Research Briefs
Helping Domestic Violence Victims
richard-johnson Dr. Richard Johnson

Domestic violence (DV) calls pose a number of physical safety and legal liability risks for law enforcement officers. These calls involve crimes between people with complex relationship issues that can make investigating these crimes very difficult for officers. In fact, one study that surveyed patrol officers from 13 different municipal police departments in the Chicago metro area revealed that, despite the physical dangers associated with DV calls, officers’ greatest frustrations with handling these calls were associated with DV victims. Approximately 38% of surveyed officers indicated that dealing with victim behaviors was their greatest frustration about handling DV calls. Specifically, officers expressed frustration over victim behaviors such as refusing to cooperate with their investigation, recanting statements, refusing to testify, or refusing to end the relationship with the batterer. These are valid frustrations for officers , as DV victims are more likely to display these behaviors than are victims of other crimes.

There has been extensive research about why DV victims tend to stay in their abusive relationships and often fail to cooperate with the investigation and prosecution of their batterer. No matter whether the DV victim is black, white, or Hispanic, male or female, straight or gay, the reasons for these behaviors tend to be similar–and there are many.

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'Helping Domestic Abuse Victims'—New Research Brief from Dolan Consulting
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