Domestic violence or
intimate partner violence refers to a pattern of violence and coercive behavior
used to gain control in an intimate relationship; it can include physical abuse,
sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and psychological abuse (Gosselin).
 Domestic violence against women by their
partners is one of the health problems facing women in America as noted by
former Surgeon General Everett Koop (Schmalleger). Domestic violence can be
perpetrated by a current or former relationship, same or opposite sex partner,
boyfriend and or girlfriend and is often a repeated offense (Gosselin). Anyone can
be a victim of domestic violence regardless of race, gender, religion, age, or
sexual preference. Not only are victims affected but family members, friends,
coworkers, and the community also (Gosselin).  Domestic violence can be a chaotic situation when
law enforcement becomes involved because they have to figure out who’s at
fault. Domestic violence calls are one of the most frequent calls that law
enforcement encounters. A lack of agreement in standardized policy and practice
makes it difficult for police officers to respond appropriately. Police
officers are required by law to make an arrest in cases of domestic violence
(Gosselin).  Making an arrest is
dependent on the police officers comprehension of the law and his or her point
of view on domestic violence. Police training in the use of domestic violence
law and policy is important to ensure the safety of the victim and conviction
of the perp. Some police departments have developed specialized domestic
violence units which specialize in victim contact, and evidence gathering to
increase the chances of prosecution, conviction and sentencing.   Domestic
violence calls are not always limited to law enforcement they can also fall
under the care of health and social service agencies. When law enforcement
becomes evolved in the domestic call they are sometimes required to take on the
role of social services and mediate between both parties.  Pros of mandatory arrest are empowerment of
the victim and decreased future violence. The victim and the perp are separated
and given time to cool off. This gives time for the police officer to
individually question the victim and the perp in relation to evidence
gathering. With sufficient evidence the perp is convicted and sentenced. A con
to that strategy of arresting both parties is increased trauma to the actual
victim. There is also the possibility of violation of rights. An example of
this is evident in marriage. A married couple is arrested for domestic
violence, the husband is convicted and sentenced. The wife did not wish to
press charges but the prosecutor pressed forward regardless. The sentencing dissolved
their marriage for all intent and purposes. I do not feel that arresting both
the victim and the perp is an effective strategy in relation to domestic
violence. For one it puts unwanted stress on the victim. It also complicates
the situation by possibly violating rights. Both the public and law enforcement
need to be better educated on domestic violence; its appearance, affects and
treatment options.







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Gosselin, D. K. (2014). Heavy
hands: an introduction to the crimes of intimate and family violence.
Boston: Pearson.

Schmalleger, F. (2015). Criminal
justice today: an introductory text for the twenty-first century. Boston:



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