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Law Enforcement, Justice System and Domestic Violence

Leading facts and statistics on law enforcement, the justice system and domestic violence.

  • January 07, 2015
  • By domesticshelters.org
Law Enforcement, Justice System and Domestic Violence

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Law Enforcement, Justice System and Domestic Violence
Law Enforcement, Justice System and Domestic Violence

Law enforcement and the courts play an important role in helping victims escape violence and in bringing abusers to justice, including investigating domestic violence cases, promoting deterrence, assisting victims, and interrupting the continuation of violence. The statistics below demonstrate the challenges faced by these public servants and domestic violence victims in bringing perpetrators to justice.

Domestic violence related police calls have been found to constitute the single largest category of calls received by police, accounting for 15 to more than 50 percent of all calls. Source: Friday, P., V. Lord, M. Exum, and J. Hartman. “Evaluating the Impact of a Specialized Domestic Violence Police Unit.” National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, May 2006.

Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes. Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Criminal Victimization,” 2003.

Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police. Source: National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).

Intimate partner assault is not reported to police most often for the following reasons: “police couldn’t do anything”, “police didn’t believe me”, “wanted to protect attacker, relationship or children” and “didn’t want police or court involvement.” Source: National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).

From 1996-2009, 14% of law enforcement officer deaths resulted while responding to domestic intimate partner violence service call. Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Database, 2010.

Police response to intimate partner rape, assault or stalking took the following forms in the following percentage of cases: a) took report in cases of rape (77.6%), assault (72.3%), or stalking (67.0%), b) arrested or detained perpetrator in cases of rape (47.4%), assault (28.7%) and stalking (28.7%), c) referred victims to services in cases of rape (10.5%), assault (30.4%) and stalking (28.1%), d) did nothing in cases of assault (13.7%) and stalking (18.5%). Source: National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).

Approximately 20% of the 1.5 million people who experience intimate partner violence annually obtain civil protection orders. Source: National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).

Approximately one-half of the restraining orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated. Source: National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).

More than two-thirds of the restraining orders against intimate partners who raped or stalked the victim were violated. Source: National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).

There is a 21% chance of an escalation in violent behavior after a protection order is issued. Source: Spitzberg, Brian H. “The Tactical Topography of Stalking Victimization and Management.” Trauma, Violence and Abuse, Vol. 3, No. 4, October, 2002.