Policing Domestic Violence
Policing Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can be considered to be an act of violence which has been observed to occur in every socio-economic class as well as within all cultures. Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive control that one individual intermittently exerts over another by means of spiritual, emotional, sexual, physical or economic abuse (http://www. dvvap. org/i). This form of exploitation has victimized mostly the women and children and men in much fewer cases and it continues to be perpetrated all over the world. In some regions or nations of the world, domestic violence has become a daily occurrence.
Domestic violence leads to very drastic effects on the family, especially if perpetrated on both women and children. When this form of violence is done through physical harm, it results to injury, disability or even death in victims. Mental problems that may also occur usually make the victims feel unloved, lonely and have low self-esteem. Depression occurs in many victims of psychological abuse, which in turn may cause severe isolation of the victims from family and friends. Sexual violence and incest are other forms of domestic violence.
In some regions of the world, domestic violence causes continue to rise due to patriarchal, cultural and religious traditions, (Human Rights Watch, 2005. , pp 12). All over the world, different governments handle domestic violence in many ways due to differing views on violence Different proposals have been presented to encourage the governments to have certain views on this form of violence. According to Lisa, domestic violence should be treated as a political and public problem. It should also be viewed as a breach of the human rights.
It is a violation of human rights which every individual is entitled to. Those who perpetrate actions of violence against the others should be stopped, (Lisa, H. 78-79). Policing domestic violence refers to a scientifically developed application that aims at solving the domestic violence problem. In the past, it has involved testing of hypothesis in relation to the classification, prediction and the domestic violence prevention. Policing domestic violence policing as a tool of solving domestic violence also experiences several challenges as a crime prevention strategy (Hoctor, M. 53).
In order to identify more effective policing strategies for domestic violence prevention and control, a culture of science is very necessary where the strategy integrates trial and error as a norm in crime prevention. The domestic violence policing programs aim at offering support to victims of domestic violence while at the same time preventing domestic violence. However, the public has raised concern about the domestic violence public policy. Lawrence et al states that in the past, the public has been concerned about the domestic violence policy. This is because it is sometimes based on ideology and it lacks evidence based on science.
The public advocates for an effective domestic violence policing which should be practical and also be implemented appropriately. This would be a very good measure in preventing domestic violence (Lawrence S. et al, 24). In the last decade, police response to domestic violence has been criticized with a claim that the police did not take violence incidents seriously. However, effective measures to curb domestic violence are being developed and implemented through better policing. In this paper, the domestic violence policing issue will be discussed.
The ethical stance of domestic violence in policing will be looked at, as well as the police departments’ responsibility of policing. The past system and current issues arising due to violence will be evaluated. Discussion For effective policing in domestic violence, a cultural evolution in policing needs to be developed in order to support the scientific revolution in order to solve the domestic violence problem. The cultural evolution rapid movement requires a growing partnership between the police and criminologists, public health community officers and professional scientists.
Coherence of approach by the different police units to domestic violence is promoted by policy statements or documents where the Police officers introduce the policy documents with varying extent and content. With the increasing reports of domestic violence to the police, the police service has been required to utilize their limited resources to improve domestic violence service delivery to the people. Domestic violence is a great concern for the community where the police intervene in many cases.
Whenever the police receive an initial call for assistance, it is their responsibility to provide immediate protection to the victim due to the fact that the police have certain powers which allow them to respond to domestic violence incidents. Whether the victims feel confident in contacting the police departments later in future will depend on how the police perform their tasks when the victim makes the initial contact (Lawrence, S. 126). The police have a major role in arresting criminals or offenders with the perpetrators of domestic violence considered as criminals because they undermine the human rights of the victims.
The suspects are usually arrested and charged if there is enough evidence of violence against the victim. However, law enforcement officers should ensure that the suspect’s rights are not violated until the truth is established much later as one of the requirement in the police departmental policy. The police forces have domestic violence policy documents which contain written aims and priorities that are expected to assist them either solve, prevent or reduce domestic violence incidents.
The policy documents normally contain the domestic violence definition, its implications, as well as guidance about the various police response components. The responsibility to implement domestic violence policies is something that is shared across a range of the police roles. The policies are very vital in protecting domestic violence victims against actions of exploitation such as domestic violence involving withholding of economic resources from a victim. Some children are even denied education through this form of abuse, as well partners who do not work.
This denies the victims their basic needs, which is considered unethical and unacceptable. Domestic violence policing prevents this form of exploitation and instead promotes ethical practices in the society. Through policing, public safety problems are defined, analyzed and effective solutions to the problems addressed. Though the society is responsible for propagating ethics, it sometimes undermines the ethics if it allows domestic violence to occur without taking any action.
For instance, in patriarchal societies, men are sometimes allowed to completely dominate over women. This had led to lack of knowledge and empowerment in women to speak out against violence, whereby the victims lack the ability to express their views and opinions with those who do not adhere to this being severely punished through domestic violence. Domestic violence policies have been developed to address such cultural practices with the police ensuring that law enforcement in relation to such policies is carried out.
The police department should have the responsibility of policing domestic violence in the community because they are law enforcers who are responsible for ensuring law and order is maintained in the society and the human rights are well protected. Preventing and reducing domestic violence is one of the ways in which the human rights of everyone in the community are protected. For instance in Australia, police powers and procedures are well set out in the Crimes Act 1990(Policing Domestic Violence in New South Wales NSW, 1999).
In addition, the police powers can be found in the police guidelines, referred to as Domestic Violence Standard Operating Procedures. Another example can be seen in the US, where the police department has adopted mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases. For spousal violence cases, arrest based on probable cause could be done where the Police officers were allowed to arrest suspects without a warrant as long as the officers had probable cause whether he/she had witnessed the incident or not.
This was happening in 23 states of the United States of America by the year 2005 (Hoctor, M. 007) Another reason why the police should participate in domestic violence policing is that, the legislation that protects people from domestic violence in most cases directs the police to intervene in protecting the victims of domestic violence. The police have the power to exercise arrest of criminals or offenders when need be. In policing domestic violence, domestic violence incidents should be stopped as soon as possible making the arrest of offenders by the police an effective means of stopping domestic abuse.
This therefore makes it their vital responsibility in policing domestic violence with the responsibility aiming at stopping the conflict, as well as protecting and ensuring the immediate safety for the victims. As law enforcers, the police have a responsibility to ensure criminals are charged in court which mitigates future abuse. The police department receives reports on domestic violence from the community members and then investigates the cases to establish the cause of the abuse, the effects and the victim or offender. After establishing the facts about a case, offenders are charged in court.
For instance policies allow police officers to apply for an apprehended violence order (AVO), which guides the judicial process (Lawrence, S. 101). Good police service initiatives in the police departments that enhance awareness in people about violence and service delivery show that they should have a good responsibility in domestic violence policing. The police departments in many nations have instituted the initiatives as a result of their recognition that a high percentage of people in our community are now aware that domestic violence is a crime.
These initiatives include, public awareness through advertising campaigns, placement of domestic violence liaison officers (DVLO), specialized training for officers, working with the Attorney General and the development of COPS (Computerized Operational Policing system) to produce statistics relevant to the development of effective domestic violence prevention measures. The initiatives are a good indication of how effective the police department can be in domestic violence policing. The domestic violence issue has attracted widespread public concern, in the past and also in the current world.
However, the past system differs with the current system in relation to how policing in domestic violence was/is handled. In the past, the number of domestic violence cases that were reported was fewer than the current number of the cases reported to the police. The continued increase of the reported cases in turn has necessitated the development of measures that will curb the violence effectively. This has led to the development of new measures/policies to address this problem. However, in the past, this problem was not handled with much seriousness as it is now which made the past system less effective in domestic violence policing.
Cultural beliefs and practices in the past contributed to continued domestic abuse, because the victims were sometimes convinced that they deserved to be abused. Different societies have changed their beliefs towards domestic violence over time with people become more aware of domestic violence as a crime currently, which has greatly assisted in effective domestic violence policing. People are more willing to speak out about this issue in the modern world as compared to the past years. Modern police service initiatives have enhanced better domestic violence policing as compared to the past system of policing.
For instance placement of domestic violence liaison officers (DVLO) in the local areas as a modern initiative has made it easy for people to report violence cases. In addition, offenders are easily apprehended and charged for their offences. In the past, lack of awareness in some victims and the community as a whole in policing encouraged continued abuse because the offender had no action taken against them. Current systems have developed specialized training for officers, which involves training of officers in response to domestic violence and other issues that surround domestic violence.
On the other hand, the past systems did not have such training programs. The standard operating procedures (SOP) launching together with the development of computerized operational policing system (COPS) have been very instrumental in adoption of effective domestic violence policing measures in the modern systems (Policing Domestic Violence in New South Wales NSW,1999). The domestic violence policing have also experienced several problems. The policing may lack inadequate support which may in turn undermine how effective the policing can be in solving domestic violence.
The police officers who handle domestic violence cases have been accused of not providing the involved parties with enough information and sometimes they have an inappropriate attitude towards the victims. In addition, they have shown unsympathetic, rude and indifferent behavior towards the victims. Nevertheless, solutions to these problems have been integrated in domestic violence policing programs to ensure domestic violence is prevented. Though domestic violence prevention measures were present in the past, current measures have been developed to improve on the past strategies
Subject: Domestic violence,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 November 2016
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