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Should I Call The Police For Domestic Violence

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Indigenous And Lgtbq Perspectives

VIDEO: Troopers response to domestic violence call being used as an example of good de-escalation

Immigrant victims of domestic violence can face other hurdles. Some avoid calling the police out of fear that they or their family members will be deported, says Dulce Vargas, who coordinates a domestic violence intervention and prevention program for the Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project in Oxnard, which serves Ventura Countys large Indigenous immigrant population. Survivors and their children may also be reliant financially on their abusers and have no family in the country that they can turn to for support. If an abusive partner is arrested or deported, survivors worry theyll be left destitute, Vargas explained. Also, police officers usually dont speak Indigenous languages or understand the cultural dynamics of the community, which further deters these survivors from calling.

Mistrust of law enforcement is also pervasive within the LGBTQ community, says Terra Russell-Slavin, deputy director of the policy and community building department at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which offers help to those dealing with domestic violence. Thats partly because the legal system historically criminalized gay and transgender people, and even condoned police violence against them. LGBTQ survivors are still subject to higher rates of wrongful arrest, Russell-Slavin says.

If The Police Discover Any Violent Action Even Property Damage They Will Make An Arrest Despite Any Protestations By The Parties

They show up and they separate the parties. They interview the parties, and they try to determine if there was any pushing or shoving or any physical contact whatsoever. They look for even a temper tantrum or breaking a dish against the wall some sort of damage to the property. They will make an arrest whether the parties want it or not. They will make an arrest even if the parties state they have forgiven each other. A domestic violence attorney should be consulted as soon as possible by the arrested party. That domestic violence attorney can help to negotiate your bail and the conditions of your release.

What Is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as physical violence, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, stalking and harassment between family members or persons in a relationship or related by virtue of children, marriage, or adoption. It can happen in heterosexual and same-sex relationships, and both men and women can be victims.

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What Is A Temporary Restraining Order

A victim of domestic violence has the right to seek a Temporary Restraining Order , along with a criminal complaint.

A TRO is an order that is issued by a judge who is satisfied that demanding circumstances exist enough to excuse the failure of the victim to appear personally and that sufficient grounds for granting the temporary restraining order have been shown. To protect the victim from the defendant, the judge may grant within the temporary restraining order that the:

  • The abuser is forbidden from returning to the scene of the Domestic Violence as well as other locations to be determined.
  • The abuser is prohibited from future acts of Domestic Violence.
  • The abuser is forbidden from possessing a firearm or weapons.
  • The abuser is forbidden from having any communication or contact with the victim or the victims relatives in person, via the telephone, or in writing. This includes making or causing anyone else to do so, on the abusers behalf.
  • The abuser is required to pay temporary child support to victim.
  • The abuser is required to reimburse the victim for any medical expenses incurred due to injury caused by defendant.
  • The victim is given exclusive possession of the residence.
  • The victim is given temporary custody of the children.

The Domestic Violence Cycle

if you witness domestic violence call the police rather
Is This Happening in Your Relationship?

Domestic violence is when one person tries to control another. It is a cycle which repeats itself.

Once a violent act takes place in a relationship, the violence almost always reoccurs. In fact, it tends to get more severe. In the event of physical abuse:

  • Get medical attention for any injuries.
  • Save anything that proves your side of the story.
  • Have someone take photographs of your injuries and any damage.
  • Give your child’s teachers a copy of the Order of Protection.

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Reporting Family Violence To Police

If you are:

  • concerned friends or family or
  • neighbours or services

If English is not your first language, call Triple Zero and tell them your language. They will connect an interpreter.

If you have a hearing impairment or have difficulty being understood verbally, the National Relay Service web site explains how they can assist with an emergency call.

What Happens When Police First Respond To Domestic Violence Calls

When a dispute with your partner takes a turn for the worse, someone may call the police.

While law enforcement may not know exactly what to expect, they are still prepared to make an arrest.

When police arrive, they:

  • Take in all the details of the circumstances leading to the phone call to the police, including possible alleged assault and
  • Write up an incident report.

In turn, you should plan to:

  • Ask for a copy of the report and the report number and
  • Ask for all the names and badge numbers of the officers involved.

If the police determine that the incident was large enough and that physical harm occurred especially to children then they may make an arrest.

Frankly, domestic situations can get pretty tricky for cops, and they tend to err on the side of caution. They really cant risk just leaving for a victim to be injured or even killed after their departure even if the involved parties think thats a dramatic and unlikely possibility.

In many situations, the safest thing law enforcement can do is make certain the involved parties are separated, if only until cooler heads prevail. And, sometimes the only way to absolutely ensure separation is to make an arrest.

Pursuing Domestic Assault Charges After House Calls

Typically, domestic violence or abuse charges are not automatically pressed against the person arrested, but only after one of the involved parties requests for charges to be filed.

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The Criminal Prosecution Process

Once an abuser has been arrested and charged, the file may be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service . The police and the CPS have agreed charging standards for certain types of offence, including assaults. These guidelines aim to ensure that consistent decisions are made in relation to charging.

Police custody officers should liaise with the CPS at an early stage to seek advice on the sufficiency of the evidence, type of evidence required and the most appropriate charge. Custody officers should ensure that all advice given by the CPS is recorded on the prosecution file.

A pre-charge advice scheme is being developed so that crown prosecutors will be available to provide advice to the police, prior to charging.

When this scheme is fully in use, it will mean that between locally agreed hours , no defendant should be charged with an offence without reference to the duty prosecutor.

Outside these agreed hours, officers should consult the out of hours telephone advice service, CPS Direct.

What does the CPS do?

The CPS will take into account the safety of the victim, and any others who are involved.

They also take the views of the victim into consideration when deciding whether to proceed with a prosecution but this is not the sole determining factor.

They also have a policy for prosecuting cases of rape and sexual assault. See the CPS website for these documents.

Withdrawing your support for a prosecution

If the CPS decides to proceed

If the CPS decide not to prosecute

When Should You Not Call The Police

First responders on the front lines of domestic violence

Some people do call the police on their partners for domestic violence for reasons other than an emergency. Contrary to some beliefs, police officers cannot cool down a nonviolent domestic argument. A person cannot choose to drop charges after he or she calls the police for a domestic violence incident. The police will take over the situation and make an arrest based on their judgment.

A person should refrain from calling the police under the following circumstances:

  • He or she wants to end a nonviolent argument and believes that calling the police will diffuse the situation.
  • His or her partner has reacted violently, but not towards the person. For example, a person throwing a lamp at the wall may be shocking, but he or she likely performed the action out of frustration rather than violence.
  • He or she wants to teach the partner a lesson or scare the partner by involving the police.

Some of these situations can fit into a domestic violence situation. An abusive partner can throw objects, intending to hit the other person. If a person experiences physical violence, he or she should call law enforcement. However, if violence or the threat of violence is not present, do not call the police.

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Why Didnt She Call Police

One of the questions that is often posed in regard to a woman experiencing domestic violence is why didnt she contact law enforcement when she was experiencing the abuse? The assumption is it must have not been so bad if it was not worth contacting law enforcement, but the truth is there are many reasons that a woman who is experiencing abuse may not contact law enforcement. This article will shed some light as to why a woman may be hesitant to contact law enforcement for help and will provide some suggestions as to how law enforcement can better respond to victims of domestic violence.

One of the main reasons a woman may not want to contact law enforcement is the fear that contacting law enforcement may actually make her situation more dangerous. For many who know what it is like to see their abusive partner escalating, survival mode kicks in and de-escalating becomes the primary instinct. So rather than call 911 for assistance, the woman experiencing the abuse may try to placate the abusive partner or calm the abusive partner by whatever means necessary. Also, typically, if law enforcement is contacted and an arrest is made, it is likely that the abusive partner will receive a slap on the wrist and when released, may become more escalated, potentially putting the woman in more danger.

assistant director of advocacy & education at Genesis Womens Shelter & Support

Domestic Violence Protection Notices And Orders

If you’ve experienced or been threatened with domestic abuse, the police can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice. This will protect you from abuse for 48 hours. If the police think youre still in danger, they can apply to the magistrates’ court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order.

A Domestic Violence Protection Order can protect you from further abuse, and if you live with the perpetrator, ban them from returning to the home and contacting you. If the perpetrator does not keep to the Order, they can be arrested and brought before the court.

A Domestic Violence Protection Order lasts for up to 28 days and gives you time to explore your options and get further support.

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What The Law Says

The law defines family violence as behaviour by a family member that creates fear and control over:

  • their partner
  • physical assault
  • sexual violence
  • economic abuse
  • psychological and/or verbal abuse
  • causing a child to hear, see or be aware of violent acts

Children are negatively affected by family violence and can be legally protected.

Reporting Sexual Offences Perpetrated By A Victoria Police Employee


If anyone is in danger, a crime is currently occurring, or you need immediate attendance, please call .

If you are a victim survivor of family violence perpetrated by a Victoria Police employee, and there is no immediate danger:

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Rule : Remain Silent During Domestic Violence Call

It does not matter what police say to you, they do not care about your side of the story. If you have been accused of domestic violence then the only reason police are asking you questions is to better build a case against you. It may be a shot to your ego, but you are not smart enough to talk your way out of a domestic violence charge.

Police will separate you from the alleged victim. Usually, one officer will talk to you and another officer will talk to the alleged victim. The Victim Officer is likely pressuring the person to fill out a family violence packet and solidify the case against you. The Victim Officer is also asking several questions about assault by choking. This is because choking or strangulation changes a domestic violence charge from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Third Degree Felony. Politely say the following, and then keep your mouth shut.

Officer, I dont mean to be a pest, but I want an attorney with me when I talk to you.

Rule 2 does not just apply to police officers. Remain silent means you do not talk to anyone: not the alleged victim not your friend not on your phone and not in the cop-car. You remain silent until you talk to a lawyer for your domestic violence charge.

Police Say What To Expect When You Call 999 For Domestic Abuse

File pic: a shadow of a man with a clenched fist as a woman cowers in the corner.

IF YOU call 999 and cant speak, secretly dial 55 this is one of the ways you can urgently get in touch with police if youre stuck inside with an abuser.

Silent Solution was set up to let call handlers know that there is a genuine emergency without having to make any sound at all.

Detective Rebecca Mears, the Thames Valley Police head of public protection, has also explained other methods the police are using to crackdown on an expected rise of domestic violence which has not yet surfaced.

Strict lockdown rules mean that people can only leave their homes under a list of very restricted purposes like going shopping or getting to work.

Superintendent Mears said this can increase tension and leave victims with no escape.

She explained: The four walls of the home should be safe, but this is not the case for victims.

Domestic abuse can be all sorts of things from physiological abuse, coercive control which is belittling people, financial control so they have no assets and no money, social control and then the more recognised sexual and physical violence.

She said that Oxfordshire was no different from any of the neighbouring counties in Thames Valley when it comes to domestic violence with a similar volume of calls being recorded in the area, and no increase since the lockdown began.


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When Friends Or Family Members Are Abusers:

  • Tell them there are no excuses for abuse and they may lose their families, friends, homes and jobs if it doesnt stop.
  • Hold them accountable for their behavior.
  • Support their efforts to locate and obtain appropriate treatment.
  • If you see abuse and suspect someone is in immediate danger of being harmed, call the police.

Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers

Daughter calls 911 to ‘order pizza’ as code to alert police to domestic violence situation involving

The Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer has responsibility for providing advice and support to police in management of Aboriginal issues.

ACLO’s can be found in the following police stations: Albury, Armidale, Batemans Bay, Bathurst, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Campbelltown, Coffs Harbour, Condobolin, Dareton, Denilliquin, Dubbo, Glebe, Gilgandra, Grafton, Griffith, Inverell, Kempsey, Lake Illawarra, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Macquarie Fields, Maroubra, Marrickville, Moree, Mt Druitt, Nambucca Heads, Nowra, Orange, Redfern, Raymond Terrace, Tamworth, Taree, Tweed Heads, Walgett, Wagga Wagga, Wellington, Wilcannia.

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What Protection Is Offered By An Abuse Prevention Order

You may ask the court to order:

  • There be no further abuse
  • The abuser not have any contact with you directly or indirectly
  • The abuser leave and remain away from your residence and/or workplace
  • Temporary custody of children be awarded to you
  • The abuser not have any contact with said children
  • Your address be impounded to prevent its disclosure to the abuser
  • You may request all or only some of these provisions depending on your specific needs for protection.

    If the abuser violates the Abuse Prevention Order, . Explain to the police how the order was violated. The abuser may be subject to arrest.

    What To Expect From Law Enforcement

    When reporting domestic abuse to a law enforcement officer, the officer on the scene is responsible for

    • making sure you and the people around you are not injured, and

    • connecting you with local agencies and resources that help victims of domestic violence.

    In addition to these responsibilities, the law enforcement officer should also provide the “Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims” document. This notice should include the following:

    Resources available from the local domestic violence shelter and the Department of Children and Families.

    A paper that says: “IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence which may include, but need not be limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse direct the abuser to leave your household prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment award you custody of your minor child or children and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so” .

    This statement explains the following:

    A description of physical injuries observed, if any.

    If a law enforcement officer decides not to make an arrest or decides to arrest two or more people, the officer shall/will include the reason that the arrests were or were not made.

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