Does Arrest Reduce Domestic Violence

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Do you have someone that you love very much? Do you think they would ever hurt you in a way that could harm you? Some people say they can see it coming from miles away and some people say they would have never expected it. Often times when people are told that their partner has been abusive in the past, they just ignore it and go on and think that their partner wouldn’t do that to them because they love them. Partner abuse isn’t just physical its also sexual and emotional as well. The common physical abuses are biting, hitting, shoving, kicking or smacking. The more common emotional abuse actions that are seen are yelling, controlling the partner or threatening the partner.

Sexual abuse is just that, when someone is forcing you to do something sexual that you do not want to participate in. Don’t you think that if someone could come up with a cure to people abusing others then the world would be better, but no one can seem to come up with something like that.

A 2012 report on nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2010 was made by Shannan M. Catalano. She studied intimate partner violence including rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States declined by 64 percent, from 9.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 3.6 per 1,000. Intimate partner violence declined by more than 60 percent for both males and females from 1994 to 2010.

From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female. Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence. Compared to every other age group, a smaller percentage of female victims ages 12 to 17 were previously victimized by the same offender. The rate of intimate partner violence for Hispanic females declined 78 percent, from 18.8 victimizations per 1,000 in 1994 to 4.1 per 1,000 in 2010.

Females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children and 6 times higher than households with one female only. One surprising result of some of these studies is the indication that intimate partner abuse may have declined in recent years.

There are several explanations for this apparent decline. One is the existence of shelters for women who are abused. This escape valve allows them an option to escape an abusive relationship. Another is the widespread publicity that has occurred in recent years about intimate partner abuse. A third possible explanation is more effective punishment and better treatment for the assaultive partner. Although the incidence of intimate partner abuse may be declining, many scholars believe that its severity is increasing. Even with a decline in the number of reported cases in recent years, this form of family violence is still prevalent and requires any professional to be familiar with the nature and dynamics of intimate partner abuse.

Many people tend to ask the person being abused, why do you stay with them? Why don’t you just leave? And to some people it’s just not that easy. Some people are afraid that more could happen to them. If their partner pushes them down and breaks their leg, then they could be thinking if I try to get away what would they do then. In the tension building phase the spouse gets mad for whatever reason but the other spouse tries to calm them down and at that point they are doing whatever is wanted by them.The next phase would be the explosion or acute battery stage. This is where someone explodes and bad things happen. But the things that are happening isnt realized until the incident is over.

For example a husband and a wife could be yelling at each other and they start punching each other and the husband keeps going well after the wife has stopped. Then when its all said and done the wife looks at herself with a black eye and broken bones. But she doesn’t go to the hospital or the doctors because she thinks it’s all her fault. She is in denial mode and doesn’t want to believe what has actually happened.

The next phase is the calm, loving respite phase. This is the phase that the person doing wrong has realized and tries to make up for it. They will say that they didn’t mean to and they will buy things to try to say sorry.

Duluth, a small community in northern Minnesota, started in the early 1980s to look at innovative methods of preventing domestic violence. The goals were to hold batterers accountable and keep victims safe. The 'Duluth Model' is an evolving way of thinking about how a community works together to end domestic violence. The Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Collation has developed a Power and Control Wheel to help identify common tactics used and spot abuse as it happens. And help victims and offenders get the help they need before it is too late.

Their way of thinking and acting includes: Taking the blame off the victim and placing the accountability for abuse on the offender. Shared policies and procedures for holding offenders accountable and keeping victims safe across all agencies in the criminal and civil justice systems from 911 to the courts. Prioritizing the voices and experiences of women who experience battering in the creation of those policies and procedures. Accepting the concept that battering is a pattern of actions used to intentionally control or dominate an intimate partner and actively working to change societal conditions that support men’s use of tactics of power and control over women. Offering change opportunities for offenders through court-ordered educational groups for batterers. Having ongoing discussions between criminal and civil justice agencies, community members and victims to close gaps and improve the community’s response to battering.

According to Walker, the battered woman syndrome theorizes that victims of intimate partner abuse gradually become immobilized by fear and believe that they have no other options. As a result, these women stay in the abusive relationships, coping the best they can. The battered woman syndrome involves one who has been, on at least two occasions, the victim of physical, sexual, or serious psychological abuse by a man with whom she has an intimate relationship. It is a pattern of psychological symptoms that develop after someone has lived in a battering relationship. These are the women that are scared to leave the relationship because they are in fear of what could happen to them if the person finds that they escaped and they know where.

Very similar in dynamics to the battered woman syndrome is a condition referred to as the Stockholm syndrome, which is a phenomenon that occurs when persons who are held as hostages, captives, or prisoners of war begin to identify with the captors. These victims are isolated, mistreated, and in fear for their lives. They become helpless, confined to the area in which they are ordered to stay, and dependent on their captors to supply everything they need to survive. They begin to develop positive feelings for their captors.

The syndrome was named after an incident in Stockholm, Sweden, where four bank employees were held hostage in the bank’s vault for 131 hours by two perpetrators. When the victims were finally freed, they expressed gratitude toward the offenders for sparing their lives. There was an instance of this recently in the United States. So yes this kind of stuff still happens to this day. Recently in January 2018 there was a family of fifteen living in a house. Living in this house was the mother, father and thirteen children. The ages of the children ranged from 25 to 2. The parents had complete control over the kids. The parents would take turns chaining the kids to the beds or the rails so they couldn’t go anywhere.

They didn’t let them go play with people in the neighborhoods, they didn’t let them bath but once a year and they only let them eat the bare minimum of food requirements. The 25 year old only weighed in at 83 pounds. This is a problem with some people that they think they need to be in control of anything and everything and that’s just what these parents wanted. Now some of their children will be mentally handicapped for the rest of their lives because of the abuse that they were given. This case was found because two of the kids escaped from the house but one got scared so she ran back to the house before the parents found out. That is the question, why do people not leave, or why do they come back?

Things that may lead to violence: Power, dependency, or even alcohol. People that want to be in control of everything get mad when they can’t control something. They have to be able to change anything at any given moment. So when these type of people get into relationships they are often found to be the ones to try to control what their partner does and what they see. Which often, more than none, ends in violence. Dependency isn’t as big now as it used to be in the 1900’s. Back then dependency was the biggest reason for violence. Women were made to stay at home which the man of the house went out and worked for the money. So the wife stayed home and did all the housework, cooking, cleaning, watching the kids and taking care of herself. So back then women didn’t have jobs outside of the home so they were dependent on their husband.

The wife couldn’t do anything or run away because she didn’t have any money. So she had to take whatever violence was given to her. Alcohol is a bigger factor now than back in the 1900’s. People now go out all the time or they sit on the couch and get wasted. Then once they are wasted they don’t know what they are doing or even saying. Some of the people that are violent are violent without alcohol and some are only violent if they have alcohol. And some are just violent all the way around. Women under the age of twenty five are at the highest risk for domestic violence incidents. So being that those are the common years of women being pregnant, that doesn’t change what a man will do to a women or vice versa. There is an old saying out there “The marriage license as a hitting license”. Back in the 1900’s getting married was a time for the man to take control of the women and to do what he wants with her.  Now in 2018 it is the opposite. It is more common for violence to be in couples that are cohabitating rather than the ones that are married.

Now that we have talked about different types of abuse lets switch to what needs to be done legally when something happens. The term spousal assault is used to distinguish this form of family violence from intimate partner abuse. From a legal perspective, the term spousal assault is inaccurate. As will be discussed later in this chapter, in a majority of states an assault does not involve any physical injury to the victim. However, to be consistent with other professionals and writers in the field of family violence, spousal assault is used and defined as the act of intentionally inflicting physical injury on the spouse or other person who is cohabitating with the abuser. It is distinct and yet a part of intimate partner abuse in that all the dynamics that cause intimate partner abuse may be present in spousal assault. However, this form of assault may occur without the existence of the other forms of abuse, such as emotional or psychological injury, that typically accompany intimate partner abuse. Officers and investigating agencies look into spousal abuse different than they do robberies and things of that nature.

Starting in October 1982 and continuing until June 1983, Tracey Thurman repeatedly contacted the Torrington Police Department in Connecticut, begging for protection from her estranged husband, Buck. Tracey signed several sworn complaints against Buck; however, the police department considered the incidents a family matter and did not respond to them in the same manner as they did to “stranger assaults.” On the day of the final beating, Buck stabbed Tracey repeatedly. A police officer arrived and asked Buck for the knife but did not arrest or restrain him in any manner. Buck gave the officer the knife and then proceeded to stomp on Tracey’s head in front of the officer. He then went inside the house and returned with their son and cursed and kicked Tracey in the head. This series of blows left her partially paralyzed.

Other officers arrived, and they did not arrest Buck until he tried to assault Tracey as she lay on the ambulance stretcher. Tracey filed suit in federal court against the City of Torrington, its police department, and all twenty-four officers that she had contacted over the years about Buck’s assaultive acts. She alleged that the police department and its officers had been negligent in responding to her and, further, that they had violated her constitutional rights to equal protection under the law by treating her differently than they would do to other persons who were assaulted by strangers. The jury awarded Tracey $2.3 million in damages. Although the city’s insurance company paid the judgment, it indicated that it might not pay any future awards of any police department that refused or failed to educate their officers about domestic violence. (Conn. 1984).  This is a great example of how officers react differently to spouse abuse calls. If this was a random stranger that was doing this to Tracey she would have had cops there within minutes and had been saved and not paralyzed. But instead it was spouse abuse so the cops thought they should be able to solve issues on their own.

Cops shouldn’t get to make calls like that. If someone makes a report that they are being abused then the cops should have to investigate the situation.Police officers were and are reluctant to arrest the abuser in the mistaken belief that an arrest would pose a financial hardship on the family. An arrest is the taking of a person into custody in the manner prescribed by law. In addition, many law enforcement officers believe that arrest is a futile act in view of the lack of prosecution and lenient sentences imposed (if at all) by the courts. Many officers would arrest only if, in their opinion, the injury to the victim was severe. Until recently, another factor affecting the decision to arrest was the statutory limits on arrests for certain types of crimes. Traditionally, criminal violations are divided into two major classifications: felonies and misdemeanors. In the United States, this distinction is spelled out by statute or by state constitution.

A felony is considered the most serious type of crime and is usually punished by imprisonment in state prison. Many statutes provide that all other crimes are misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is considered less serious and is punished by incarceration in local jails not to exceed one year. Normally, police may arrest persons who have committed felonies based on reasonable grounds or probable cause. Probable cause is that set of facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed by the suspect. This felony arrest may occur even if the officers did not personally witness the offense. Misdemeanor arrests, on the other hand, require the officers to witness the crime. If they did not see the offense committed, they could request the victim to make a citizen’s arrest, and then on behalf of the citizen they would take the perpetrator into custody.This distinction in the nature and classification of crimes had a direct impact on the ability of police officers to make arrests for domestic violence assaults. Many domestic violence disputes involve a battery. Most statutes define a battery as the unlawful application of force on a person by another.

Battery is the unlawful touching of another, whereas assault is the act of placing another in fear and does not require any physical touching of the other person.

Absent serious injury, many state laws define battery as a misdemeanor. The victim’s preference not to file charges also affects the police officer’s decision not to arrest the offender. Several studies have indicated that many times victims of spousal assault did not want the police to make an arrest.

This resulted in the officers admonishing the offender and leaving the scene of the crime. Many police officers perceive family disputes as potentially dangerous situations in which both parties, the abuser and the victim, may turn on the officer. Although there are conflicting studies as to whether family disputes are in fact more dangerous to police officers, the fact that many officers believe this to be the case can result in a delay in responding to these types of calls for service.

This perception may cause officers to delay in responding to spousal assault calls until they have a backup unit. In the last several years, many states have passed mandatory arrest statutes that require the officer to arrest the suspect. These laws allow police to make arrests for misdemeanors that are not committed in their presence. The passage of these laws and their effectiveness is a subject of debate within the field of criminal justice. The following section discusses the factors that resulted in the passage of these statutes.Although intimate partner abuse has been intensely researched in the past years, it is still one of the most commonly misunderstood issues within family violence.

Our society has placed women in inferior and subordinate positions throughout history, and even today some segments of our society continue to treat them as property rather than partners. Are there many ways to say why people abuse others and why it is most common for a man to abuse a woman. People still have ideas as to why people stay in abusive situations and not try to leave. So the big question is, if you were having spousal abuse do you think you could leave?

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Does Arrest Reduce Domestic Violence. (2022, Feb 05). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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