In May, The Free Thought Project reported that calling the cops in domestic disputes can be hazardous to the victim’s health. “Mandatory arrest” laws can intimidate victims from calling, can result in the victim being arrested, and have even been linked to early death in victims and greater numbers of intimate partner homicides.
A new survey conducted by the National Domestic Violence Hotline has provided more evidence that, in many cases, the police provide no help to victims of domestic violence and actually worsen the situation.
They interviewed 637 women with experiences of partner abuse. About half had previously interacted with police, and the other half had not yet interacted with police.
The results reflect poorly on those whose mission is supposedly to protect and serve.
“Both the women who had called the police and the women who hadn’t called the police shared a strong reluctance to turning to law enforcement for help.
1 in 4 reported that they would not call the police in future
More than half said calling the police would make things worse
Two-thirds or more said they were afraid the police would not believe them or do nothing”
According to the report, this information is already common knowledge to those who work in the field of domestic violence.
“Many survivors report that law enforcement fails to investigate domestic violence cases appropriately. In some cases, the victim is threatened with arrest rather than the offender. Studies show that officers who tend to arrest survivors believe that domestic violence is justified in some situations and that women stay in abusive relationships for psychological reasons.”
Obviously, the general attitude of law enforcement is not compatible with the empathy needed to deal with domestic violence situations. Far too often, cops are conditioned for arrogance and brutality.
There are exceptions, however. Some police officers have been very helpful to victims, providing useful information, safety suggestions and referrals. Some cops provided transportation to safety or the simple but valuable response that what happened to the victim was indeed a crime.
Unfortunately, these noble officers were a small minority.
Domestic violence is a very real problem, and victims should have an outlet for help if family or friends cannot provide it. If the state wants to provide that outlet, it should not rely on their foot soldiers in blue.
Following are some quotes from some of the women interviewed during the survey. They were not only victimized by their partner, but victimized by a system of law enforcement infested with immorality.
“They sympathized with him and said he [just] needed to stay away from me. Then they pointed me in the direction of [City] and said to call someone when I got there and they left me by the side of the road alone in my car with my daughter and afraid.”
“I felt the police were buddy-buddy with my partner and ignored what I had to say and the reality of the situation. I was scared and they ignored me.”
“I am the victim and the third time neighbors called female officers came, one of them was blaming me because I went back to my abuser; I had no money, no place to go and no transportation. She also told my abuser I was crazy.”
“They believed him every time because he didn’t leave marks, but this time he did and they accused me of hitting myself in the face. Before they would tell me I need[ed] to leave, and since I had nowhere else to go, I should sleep in my car. He had cuts on his knuckles from hitting me and they said I could be charged with assault.”
“The cops acted as if they did not care. There have been two cases here that women were killed by their husbands because they did not do their jobs. They sat in the drive while my ex poured gas all over my decks to my home and took what he wanted. Even though I had an OP and told them he could not enter the home.”