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Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors Should Feel Safe Seeking Police Help, Not Shame, Hostility, or Indifference


Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors Should Feel Safe Seeking Police Help, Not Shame, Hostility, or Indifference

Sandra Park

Imagine that you were just assaulted and needed emergency assistance from the police. But instead of responding with care and concern, the police reacted with hostility, shamed you for seeking help, and expressed disinterest in your safety or in investigating your case. This is too often the reality for the too many victims of sexual assault and domestic violence every year in the United States.


I read somewhere that rape kits have a several YEARS backlog in some places before they are processed by the lab. That is ridiculous.


I'm afraid that the only way to a change in the cop culture here in the United States is through a different kind of a society,


You might be right MaPol, but that law enforcement officer have a much large rate of domestic violence isn't new news. Old states, but still valid. One factor has change in that if they are charged and convicted they can no longer own or take home their gun.

"Unique Vulnerability

Domestic violence is always a terrible crime, but victims of a police officer are particularly vulnerable because the officer who is abusing them:

has a gun,
knows the location of battered women's shelters, and
knows how to manipulate the system to avoid penalty and/or shift blame to the victim.

Victims often fear calling the police, because they know the case will be handled by officers who are colleagues and/or friends of their abuser. Victims of police family violence typically fear that the responding officers will side with their abuser and fail to properly investigate or document the crime.

The complete article on the link.




You do have a point about there being a high incidence of domestic violence/abuse among cops, sanne80, but domestic violence is something that knows absolutely no boundaries, and not only occurs in every socioeconomic, religious, racial and ethnic group in our society, but throughout the world, as well.


You're correct MaPol that domestic violence knows no boundaries, unfortunately the point of the post I made as well as the article posted by CD is that the profession one should be able to go to for protection among it's members has the highest numbers participating in domestic violence. The second number of those who also commit more domestic violence is the military. Perhaps those occupations and/or professions (take your pick) who are those who deal with and act in violent circumstances take it home?

Another factor is related to fundamentalist religion where the written
basis Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, when the sects take the words literally,
allow for beating women, children as well as rape and incest. Suggest you take some time to read the article on the link I posted with my reply.


I don't believe it's impossible. I would start with providing police with an adequate income, including a full range of benefits; and then making sure any violator of the terms of that agreement would be fired, and retroactively lose any administrative leave benefits, and all retirement. Holding the police to high standards would be the first step to improving policing. But it's not just that (though I could go on for hours). There needs to be a concerted effort in every shelter in the state to be included in the training of new police officers, so they both understand what they should do and are given a way to do it. Where shelter staff are integrated into police training, the violations are less common.


Blaming, shaming and maiming the victim


Requiring police departments in every city, town and village here in the United States to create a Civilian Review board, or to at least have a Civilian Overseer or two in their department(s), in order to hold police accountable, would also be a huge step in the proper direction, if one gets the drift.


Where have you been for the last several years? Don't you know that if you reach out to the police for hep someone will die?


Be sure not to mention patriarchy and women's 2nd class status in most nations.

The above goes out to most posters in this thread.


A review board NOT composed of white males in majority status.


There's nothing wrong with having civilian review boards in police departments in cities, towns and villages throughout the United States. In fact that might be the only way to go, at this rate.