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Police Domestic Violence: A Handbook for Victims

NCJ Number
Diane Wetendorf
Date Published
34 pages
This document provides information to victims of police domestic abuse.
Victims of police domestic abuse have very different situations than that of other victims. The victim may be afraid to call the police because the abuser is a police officer; go to a shelter because the officer knows where the shelters are located; and have the officer arrested because responding officers may invoke the code of silence. The techniques that enable a police officer to establish authority and get control on the street are the same techniques that, when used in an intimate relationship, make him/her extremely intimidating and dangerous. These techniques include lying, isolation, interrogation, sexual and physical abuse, surveillance, weapons, death threats, and denials. The victim of a police officer is entitled to the same response as any other victim despite the fact that the batterer is a police officer. The victim must involve the police at some point by calling 911or initiating an official investigation. The victim must remember that what he/she tells the investigator is not necessarily confidential. The abuser has the legal right to know the specific allegations against him/her. If the victim chooses to go to a shelter, he/she must choose a city with several shelters or, if living in a small town, must travel to a shelter outside the area. Victims in the State of Illinois have the option of obtaining an Order of Protection in criminal or civil court. The ability of getting an order of protection in criminal court is linked to the prosecution of the crime the abuser has committed. It is important for the victim to go to all court dates. If the police officer is convicted of domestic battery, he/she will lose the service weapon and probably be ordered to get counseling. Sometimes when the police officer loses direct access to the victim, he/she tries to maintain control through the children. Once the police officer knows the victim believes he/she can make it without him/her, the power over the victim is lost.