Domestic Violence and the Police

The thought of a person victimized by a domestic abuser is stressful enough. However, to see the aftermath of women, children and sometimes men abused everyday while at work is alarming. However, merely to see the pictures or feel the pain, fear and anger of those involved is not the only stress involved with this issue. It hurts even more to see that victim go back to her or his abuser. It further stings to observe those defenseless children forced to return to an environment filled with the horrors of repeated domestic violence.

As myself, and co-workers deal with similar sets of facts almost every time we take a domestic assault report. There is no profiling involved, just a walk in repetition. We often deal with the same victims and abusers merely at different addresses and times. What becomes somewhat different in this set of facts is when those in my career finally observe the true legacy of the domestic assault cycle. My first acquaintance with this segment of domestic violence was clearly an eye opener. A child who had observed his mother viciously and repeatedly beaten by her boyfriend had now grown to display the same pattern of violence against women. It was clear that the abused had now claimed his legacy and become the abuser. Unfortunately this type of behavior is far too common even as members of my profession and community risk their lives to stop and eliminate this vicious pattern.

Yet my job of protecting victims and holding accusers accountable has often stereotyped me as the “Uncle Tom.” I have went to people’s homes and observed adults tell their children not to talk to me. Many others have made it clear that my presence is not welcomed yet their own actions often force me to interact with them. Often at court I have been told that I lied on their abusive mate. What a slap in the face, when you put so much energy into helping a victim, only to realize that now the victim has joined with the abuser to question your credibility. However as a result of experience and training I have learned not to take this part of the job personal. I understand that domestic violence is based on power and control whereby the victim is often mentally and physically over-powered by the abuser. Therefore, I have forgiven many victims, as they often do not have the strength to resist the intense pressures of their circumstances and abusers.

I have often asked what has given me the power to continue as a pawn in the system of domestic violence. The answer is that I remain hopeful that more victims and abusers will find the vision to break free from this cycle. My career has been promising in that I have been involved in the freeing of a few victims and abusers reference the cycle of domestic violence. However, my work is far from done and the fight to stop domestic violence continues with myself and the rest of the police officers committed to protecting our community from this vicious cycle of violence.

Author’s Note: The following article is based on over 10 years of police experience while working patrol, investigations, and detention. Daryl Green is a police Sergeant at the Lansing Police Department and has been involved in hundreds of domestic assault arrests.

Note from the Publisher: This article was written in response to an article that was written in the October 29, 2006 – November 11, 2006 edition. We printed a list of individuals who died from domestic violence.