POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE College research Founder of S.A.A.W. Leadership Award, May 2005 Graduate School term paper
OBJECTIVES 1. Define what constitutes a domestic relationship according to Village of Chester rules and regulations. 2. State two influences in which the acceptance of domestic violence is approved and learned. 3. State two reasons that police historically failed to intervene in cases of domestic violence.
OBJECTIVES 4. State three factors of information that police should ascertain from central prior to arrival on scene of a domestic violence call. 5. State two signs that a victim was strangled. 6. State the three most common locations of intimate partner injuries.
OBJECTIVES 7. State provisions under the New York State mandatory arrest law in which you can arrest a domestic violence offender. 8. State a domestic violence social service group you may contact in Orange County.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A Domestic Relationship can be defined in several ways. The mandatory arrest policy in NYS defines “family relationships” as current or former spouses, persons who have a child-in-common. However, most police departments in NYS expand the definition of domestic relationship to include intimate partners (without a child-in-common), partners who live together or who have lived together in the past, or persons in current or former dating or intimate relationships.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A Domestic Incident can include any disturbance, dispute, violence, threatened or actual report of an offense between individuals within a domestic relationship where police intervention occurs. A domestic incident is not necessarily a violation of law.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior involving coercion exerted by one family member or intimate partner over another with the goal of establishing, demonstrating or maintaining power and control. Domestic violence is when one person does a variety of things to control another person in an intimate relationship. The shift in power can happen very slowly or quickly.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE New York State law mandates that the Domestic Incident Report (DIR) (NYS DCJS 3221-6/2005 be used in the reporting, recording and investigation of all alleged domestic incidents, regardless of whether an arrest is made, and regardless of whether a crime has been committed.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The DIR is structured to promote victim safety, officer safety and offender accountability. It is designed to help identify and document the nature of incidents that confront officers and guide their investigation of those incidents.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE “Officers shall respond to and document all domestic incidents reported to the police. In the course of their investigation, officers must determine whether or not domestic violence is occurring”.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Naturally, it is an officer’s training and intuition that will ultimately guide any investigation and documentation of an incident. Nevertheless, knowing that victims of domestic violence (unlike victims of other types of crimes) are often re-victimized by their offenders, it is critical that victim safety be paramount in the investigation of any domestic incident.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Village of Chester Domestic Violence Policy 2-70 of Rules and Regulations
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Family Offenses Aggravated Harassment 2 nd Criminal Mischief Harassment 1 st or 2 nd Assault 2 nd or 3 rd Disorderly Conduct Attempted Assault Reckless Endangerment Menacing 2 nd or 3 rd Stalking 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd, 4 th
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Family Offenses Commences with filing of petition alleging AC-HAD- ARMS 1. Police may originate 2. Concurrent jurisdiction Family Court and Criminal Court. Case can proceed in BOTH courts at the same time.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Some Facts about Domestic Violence: 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Almost 1/3 of all female homicide victims in the U.S. were killed by their intimate partner. Approximately 450,000 domestic incidents are reported annually to police departments in NYS.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The social learning of domestic violence a) Family b) Media c) Peers d) Government
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Family: Social learning theorists commonly acknowledge that the family is one of the most important contexts in reasons for which domestic violence learned to be acceptable. Not only taught but witnessed.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Media: Plays an important role in teaching conformity to society. Women are seen and portrayed many times in the media as objects. Advertisements, billboards, commercials, and television in general uses sex to sell. Many cases the media devaluates women.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Peers: Males want to feel part of the inner circle of masculinity. Any male who steps outside the lines is considered “gay”, “feminine”, or any other stereotypical term. Male peer groups reinforce young males to many of the values they have already learned from families.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Government: Historically run by males. Historic police failures. Lack of federal and state laws.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Effects of Domestic Violence a) Physical abuse b) Emotional abuse c) Sexual abuse
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Physical abuse is considered the infliction of physical harm (pushing, grabbing, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking) According to the NYS Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence, “a women is in nine times more danger in her home than on the streets”.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Psychological or emotional abuse can be considered the use of verbal abuse to criticize, degrade, or humiliate.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Sexual violence can be considered verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Can range from unwanted comments to forcible rape. Many times not reported to police.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE History of Domestic Violence in the United States Hidden social problem Domestic Violence has historically been considered a personal family problem Allow family members to resolve their own issues and not considered criminal
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE History of Domestic Violence in the United States Historically the failure to properly intervene in domestic violence situations reinforced law enforcements approval of this issue Several reasons for this police failure: a. Lack of training b. Organizational implements c. Police attitudes d. Fear of injury.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Lack of Police Training Prior to 1966, no United States police departments provided training on domestic disturbances, and only a handful had written policies or procedures on the subject This resulted in officers having the inability to properly intervene in domestic violence calls for service Officers lacked knowledge of psychological issues, legal issues and liability
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Organizational implements Lack of federal and state laws Lack of department policy or lack of clear department policy Limited officers’ probable cause to arrest When police departments do not have an agency policy or a clear agency policy a sense of confusion may arise when officers come across the complicated issue of domestic violence
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Police attitudes May be a result of the social attitudes of the time period Resulted in victims not contacting the police Resulted in abusers being entitled
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Fear of injury Since 1855, when New Haven, Connecticut Night Watchman Thomas Cummins became the first officer ever to be killed on a domestic disturbance call, 550 other officers in the United States have suffered the same tragic fate Unknown weapons Drug, alcohol use High level of emotion
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Progression in the police response to domestic violence In the late 1970’s, advocates began to lobby for change States began to create domestic violence legislation Mandatory arrest laws Change in social attitudes Departments liability for failing to act
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Dispatch responsibilities See handout
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Initial Law Enforcement Officer Response a) Approach the scene of a domestic dispute with high degree of caution b) Obtain all available information from the dispatcher and notify the dispatcher upon arrival c) Be alert for persons leaving the scene and for the deployment of weapons from doors, windows, or nearby vehicles
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Upon arrival on scene: Avoid parking police vehicle in front of the residence Identify themselves as Police Officers, explain their presence, and request entry in the event the incident is at a private residence, as necessary, and when exigent circumstances do not exist.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Upon arrival on scene: Make contact with all residents of the house, potential witnesses, victims, and perpetrators. A forced entry is permissible if there is probable cause to believe that the safety of a victim may be in jeopardy.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Upon gaining entry: Identify and secure potential weapons in the surroundings Separate parties Restrain or remove the suspect, if necessary Assess for injuries, administer first aid and request medical services
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Upon gaining entry: Identify all witnesses Separate occupants and witnesses from the victim and the accused, keeping them out of sight and hearing range of one another Obtain comprehensive account of the events from all parties
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: Ask parties about injuries, including those that may be concealed by clothing or otherwise not readily apparent. Same sex officer as the victim may be needed to investigate further or take photographs of certain areas.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: After speaking with victim make proactive assessment of the victim’s physical condition. Contact EMS if necessary.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: If the suspect has been arrested prior to interview, give Miranda warnings prior to questioning. If suspect has fled the scene, solicit information about his or her possible description and whereabouts.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: Address the victim’s safety and privacy by interviewing the victim in an area apart from the suspect and witnesses. Obtain information about previous incidents.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: Ask the victim about the existence of a protection order and, if one is said to exist, ask whether the victim possesses a copy. Check for the existence of a protection order through dispatch or by whatever means possible.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: Collect, preserve, and document all physical evidence to support prosecution, including evidence substantiating the victim’s injuries. Weapons, torn clothing, phone cords, ect. Ensure that color photographs are taken of visible injuries on the victim as well as visible injuries on the suspect.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: Interview all witnesses fully and as soon as circumstances allow. If witnesses provide information regarding prior incidents then document to establish a pattern.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Can be defined as the exchange of physical forces that result in injury, whether the force of a fist, a bottle, or a bullet. The most common mechanism of injury among intimate partner violence is being struck with a hand.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Use of weapons as opposed to household objects appears to be rare but with higher risk of mortality. Strangulation is under-assessed by health care providers but is experienced by over half of intimate partner victims.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Only one third of sexual assault victims experience injury to the genitalia. Most intimate partner victims suffer multiple mechanisms of injury and many have multiple injury locations
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: The head, neck, and face are the most common locations of intimate partner related injury, with high levels of sensitivity and moderate levels of specificity associated with those locations. H.N.F. most common reported sites of injury, specifically the middle third of the face has been found at most risk.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Interpretation of studies examining types of injuries is difficult due to the misuse of terms and combining of types of injuries into categories to aid statistical analysis. Soft tissue injury is the most common type of injury suffered by intimate partner victims.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Being struck with a hand is by far the most common mechanism of injury among intimate partner victims, whether it be a punch (closed fist) or a slap (open hand). Important to understand the difference due to different amounts of force that is generated
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Being slapped may not require medical attention and usually results in transient redness and welts to the body. However, being slapped to the side of the face over one’s ear could result in a ruptured tympanic membrane. Very painful and can be very specific.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Being punched can result in severe bruising, lacerations, fractures, and/ or internal injuries. Kicking is less common but can be more injurious to the victim due to amount of force generated.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Mechanism of injury: Biting can occur on almost all locations of the body resulting in several types of injury such as avulsions, bruising, lacerations, abrasions and teeth impressions. Hair pulling is painful and can result in minor traumatic hair loss. Severe hair pulling can also cause trauma to the cervical spine.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Blunt Force Injury: Blunt force impact trauma is caused by crushing impact and/or by a strike from a blunt object and can result in the following four distinct injury categories: 1. Abrasions 2. Contusions 3. Lacerations 4. Fractures
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Injuries from Strangulation: “Choking” is a common mechanism of injury in victims of intimate partner violence and is often. Can cause various types of injuries such as bruising, abrasions. Symptoms: shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, headaches, sore throat, voice change, loss of consciousness, involuntary loss of bladder and bowels, memory loss. Defensive wounds on perpetrator.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Types of injuries: Lacerations: Caused by significant blunt or shearing forces. These forces to the skin, usually over a bony surface, or other internal organs splits and/ or tears the tissue. Cuts: Caused by a sharp object that slices through the skin. Usually cover the area that was actually touched with a sharp object.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Types of injuries: Bruise: Defined as discoloration under the skin from blunt or compression forces that result in bleeding from vessels. Swelling: Refers to a raised, usually reddened area that may be very transient in nature or resolve fairly quickly leaving no bruise-like discolorations.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Types of injuries: Fractures and joint dislocations: Facial fractures with nasal fractures being the most common are frequently described in research as intimate partner violence. Follow up with medical paperwork.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE On scene investigation: Offer to contact local advocate to provide support to the victim as available and provide current contact information for local domestic violence organizations. Orange County Safehomes www.opdv.state.ny.us/
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VOILENCE Supervisor involvement: Responsible for monitoring any domestic violence call dispatched to the officers under their direct supervision. Respond to scene: Provide additional safety Monitor Available for advice
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Incidents involving a police officer as the suspect: Notify supervisor immediately regardless of officer’s jurisdiction. Be aware of firearms, other weapons, physical combat training. Suspect may attempt to make emotional appeals to fellow officers.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Ideally: A proactive, hard-line stance against domestic violence is reflected by the implementation of pro- arrest policies, the discouragement of dual arrests, and the promotion of predominant aggressor determination arrest. Determining the predominant aggressor, or the individual in the relationship posing the most ongoing threat is not an easy task.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision In order to intervene effectively in domestic violence cases, it is important that officer’s understand the complex issues of violence in intimate relationships. 1. The intent of the offender 2. The meaning of the act towards the victim 3. The effect of the violence on the victim
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision In cases such as the use of violence in self defense, the context is relevant to the issue of criminal culpability. Given the facts and circumstances presented, the officer is challenged to establish whether the individual in question believes he or she or another household member was in imminent danger when he or she acted in self defense.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision When determining who is the predominant aggressor and who used self defense. 1. That he or she or another party was in imminent danger. 2. That he or she had to use reasonable amount of force against another to protect himself of herself or someone else. 3. That he or she had reasonable grounds to believe that death or serious bodily harm was imminent. 4. That the amount force was reasonable based on the facts provided.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Dual arrests should be rare Dual arrests should be made in cases only where the investigation reveals that both parties used violence If probable cause is determined to arrest both parties, the officer shall file a separate arrest report and separate D.I.R. for both parties.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision The officer shall never put the victim in a position of stating whether or not they want their abusive partner arrested. Police officers should make victim safety and protection a priority.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Under what conditions will Police make an Arrest? New York State has “mandatory arrest” laws, which means that under certain conditions, the police must make an arrest.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision For mandatory arrest to apply: 1. married 2. formally married 3. have child in common 4. related by blood 5. intimate relationship 6. previously in an intimate relationship
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Mandatory Arrest: A felony has been committed by one “member of the same family or household” against another. There has been a violation of a stay-away provision of an order of protection. A “family offense” has been committed in violation of an order of protection.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Mandatory Arrest: A misdemeanor family offense has been committed. The Police do not have to make an arrest in this situation if the victim states that they do not want an arrest made, but Police are not suppose to ask. Police may go against victims wishes anyway.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Mandatory Arrest: Exception to the mandatory arrest law. If both people have committed misdemeanor-level crimes, the police must determine who the “primary aggressor” was. Arrest primary aggressor in misdemeanor cases.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision Arrest for violations: Police can arrest someone if they witness violation. Even if the police did not witness the violation, the victim may still make a complaint.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision The arresting officer should take the accused into custody as soon as it is determined that a warrantless arrest is appropriate. If an arrest cannot be made due to the suspect fleeing the scene: 1. Description over central (attempt to locate and apprehend) 2. If cannot be located, initiate procedures to obtain an arrest warrant.
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Arrest Decision If an arrest cannot be made due to lack of probable cause: 1. Explain to the victim why an arrest is not made. 2. Advise the victim of his or her rights and explain the procedures for filing a criminal complaint. 3. Encourage the victim to contact local domestic violence service provider for information regarding counseling and other services (Safe Homes)
POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER OF PROTECTION An order of protection is a document issued by a court that may help protect the victim from harassment or abuse. In an order of protection, a judge can set limits on suspects behavior.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER OF PROTECTION Judges in all courts (Criminal, Family and Supreme courts can: order the suspect to leave and stay away from victims home, workplace, family (stay-away) order the suspect to stop abusing victim, victims children, pets order suspect to have no contact with victim- including phone calls, letters, e-mails, messages through other people.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Order of Protection Once an order of protection is issued, only a judge can change it. If the order includes a stay away provision and the suspect comes to the victims house, the suspect is violating the order and should be arrested. Orders of protection are valid in any state or territory in the country, no matter where they were issued.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Orders of Protection After congress granted the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, federal law mandates that police officers give full faith and recognition to valid orders of protection, even by other jurisdictions.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Orders of Protection This means that victims of domestic violence who are granted court orders of protection may contact the police to protect them from their abusers nationwide.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Orders of Protection When the police arrive on scene of a domestic involving an order of protection, it is essential that the police to read the order of protection in its entirety to determine validity and determine if there is probable cause to arrest the suspect.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Leading reason why Police Officer’s lose their jobs. If involved in an incident, immediately contact supervisor. Firearms (don’t be a victim of your own firearm) Is your relationship based on equality? Power and Control Wheel.
THE POLICE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OBJECTIVE REVIEW