Domestic Violence

Institutional Affiliation
Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is behavior that entails abuse of one
spouse/individual by another (Shipway, 2004). In most cases, this kind
of behavior takes place in an intimate relationship including dating,
cohabitation, marriage, or amongst the family members. Some of the forms
that make up domestic violence encompass assault or physical aggression,
emotional abuse, threats, sexual abuse, pestering, kidnapping,
endangerment, officious or controlling, as well as economic deprivation
among others (Shipway, 2004). This implies that domestic violence takes
a variety of forms and not limited to noticeable physical violence.
Domestic violence is perceived differently by nations, and how it is
defined, documented, and its awareness also varies. This means that
domestic violence laws differ by nation (McCue, 2008).
In Los Angeles, California, domestic violence is perceived as a crime
rather than merely a family issue. The Los Angeles Police Department
(LAPD) is acquainted with the fact that domestic violence is a key
predicament in the state as well as all over the United States. Every
year, over one million youngsters are subjects of physical abuse whilst
over two million females suffer from domestic violence. According to
California’s laws, it is an offense for any individual to assault
sexually, beat, harm or threaten another individual or spouse in spite
of them being married. Even though battering is not entirely an offense
against women, they are however the ones who are greatly affected.
Domestic violence is very prevalent in the United States as victims or
children of such families tend to repeat the behavior once they grow up.
This is based on the fact that the behavior repeats itself in
individual’s lives. With the increased rates of domestic violence
contemporarily, it is hard to tolerate the behavior. A lot of youngsters
are subjected to abuse numerous women are abused physically, whilst
most homes have turned into battlegrounds.
All those who suffer from domestic violence are called on to protect
themselves rather than submitting and leading a life of apprehension
between tranquility and storm. Looking for support is very important as
it implies that victims are critically taking into account their
situation. This prevents a continuous cycle of domestic violence that
aggravates in the fullness of time. Assistance can be sought from the
police, or initially contacting a neighbor or friend. The Los Angeles
Police Department (LAPD) aims at protecting and serving all persons. It
protects individuals’ rights within its authority and ensures that
they are safe in their property, protects them from criminal assault and
makes certain that they live a peaceful life. LAPD serves Los Angeles
citizens by carrying out the regulation enforcement responsibility in a
specialized way.
Peace Over Violence
Peace Over Violence (POV), (previously LACAAW), with its headquarters in
Los Angeles was instituted in the year 1971 by leading feminist
campaigners (Peace Over Violence, 2013). It is a center that aims at
preventing domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, stalking, as
well as youth violence. The center is devoted at building good
societies, families and relations that lack interpersonal, domestic or
sexual violence. Since its establishment, Peace Over Violence is
dedicated to social change, service and justice. “The agency, being
one of its kinds in the state, has broad innovative programs which
encompass Intervention, Emergency, and Education, Prevention, as well as
Advocacy services” says Patti Giggans, the Executive Director. These
services are modifying and improving individuals lives on a daily basis.
“The agency is in police stations, hospitals and courtrooms and its
employees go together with victims of domestic violence to identify
suspects, obtain treatment and look for justice” avers Giggans.
The emergency services provide information, emotional assistance,
accompaniment, referral, as well as advocacy services to those who
suffer from domestic violence and sexual assault. “The services are
offered twenty four hours every day and throughout the week” avers
Giggans. The non-profit agency is committed to serve the lowly served in
the community. These include the elderly, the disabled, the young, the
abnormal, and the undocumented, individuals who are viewed as less
capable of preventing or reporting any kind of abuse as compared to
their counterpart average adults. Peace Over Violence calls upon all
persons to report any kind of abuse by calling their emergency numbers.
The agency’s intervention services offers group and personal
counseling to persons who survive domestic violence. Besides, it
resolves short-range emergencies and aids in the healing procedure
ensuring long lasting empowerment.
The prevention services provide programs that teach individuals
techniques of dealing with violence. These encompass self-defense
courses that focus on mental and physical skills, which assist in
protecting oneself against violence. Others include curriculum founded
programs including “In Touch With Teens” that centers on violence
amongst the teenagers and helps them make affirmative decisions
regarding their lives (Peace Over Violence, 2013). The agency’s
education services offer information to the citizens on how to prevent
violence. “In Touch With Teens provide educational programs to the
teenagers aimed at furnishing them with the required skills and
information with the intention of recognizing and preventing violence in
their relationships” affirms Giggans. Peace Over Violence has trained
volunteers and employees who take part in presentations, media
interviews as well as panel discussions. All these are intended to teach
the community members concerning the actuality of domestic violence.
The advocacy services guide those who survive from domestic violence via
the subsisting legal system with the aim of helping them obtain
protection, justice and their rights. In order to achieve this, the
agency sways and affects the legislative branch both at the state and
local level. POV tracks and analyzes the particular legislation in its
policy domain of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Previously, the perception of Peace over Violence towards the Los
Angeles Police Department was so low. For instance, between the years
2001 to 2003, in spite of increase in domestic violence calls, the
number of reports for arrests and arrests of the same reduced. Besides,
officers did not offer similar level of service to victims of domestic
violence in the neighborhoods, which have high rates of crimes. “The
Los Angeles Police Department receives approximately 48,000 calls on
domestic violence every year” says Giggans. Out of these, roughly
20,000 are investigated as definite crimes. Nevertheless, currently, key
police reforms have been done and this has ensured efficient management
of cases on domestic violence. As a result of cruelty and perseverance
of the problem, law enforcement agencies saw it was important to put
down policies and strategies of making certain that the same is managed
efficiently. Procedures of how the police are supposed to respond to
calls of domestic violence were also laid down. “Police reforms have
been made and this aims at ensuring that the management of the issue is
prioritized” affirms Giggans. Special training is offered to the
police officers whilst special units have been set up to handle domestic
violence case, all of which has resulted to the decrease in domestic
violence cases reported in the United States.
How the Police handle Domestic Violence Calls and the Procedures Taken
The 77th Street Area Police Station has a number of community programs
that is proud to be associated with. They say that the community
programs helps them maintain a healthy relationship with the community
and as such they are able to serve the citizens around there. Evidently,
the 77th Street Area came second in the implementation of a Domestic
Abuse Response Team (DART) car. The aim of this program was to handle
domestic or family violence cases. DART does this by offering
interventions via referrals to shelters, family counseling, aids in the
acquisition of the emergency protection orders (EPO), and any other help
as per the situation at hand. The DART car program was introduced as a
result of the high prevalence of domestic violence calls at the 77th
Street Detective Division. The 77th Street Division in 1996 came into an
agreement with the Project: Peacemakers, Inc. and launched a Coordinated
Community Response to address the domestic violence calls. In March
1997, the initial DART unit was deployed.
The DART unit responds to any domestic violence call that is
broadcasted. For purposes of ensuring safety for the officers, the
deployed chase car first stabilizes the situation. Where the chase car
is missing in action, then the primary is responsible for stabilizing
the situation before the arrival of the DART car. Based on the
deployment and the call load, the DART unit may be responsible of
handling the entire call and booking the culprit. Additionally, it will
offer counseling and identify shelter for the victims as is deemed
right.
From the interview performed, it is apparent that the police force has
established major reforms to aid them in the management of domestic
violence cases. “Two police officers have been obligated to receive
and respond to the domestic violence calls 24 hours every day” says
Charlie Beck, the police chief. Evidently the police are supposed to
follow a certain procedure in handling the domestic violence cases. The
procedure is used across all the law implementing agencies in America.
“The procedure has been of great help in managing the domestic
violence cases” avers Beck. The procedure commences with an initial
contact. This is then followed by an on-scene investigation which aids
in making the arrest decision. The initial contact requires that at
least two police officers pay a visit to the incidence scene and make a
report. This includes having a face-to-face contact with the person who
made the call. Where the police officers are denied entry to the scene,
the officers should not leave the site especially if there are signs
indicating that the violence took place. After getting access to the
point of scene, the police officers should separate the victim from the
assailant and find any weapons that have been used. Afterwards, the
officers should interview both the victim and assailant but separately
to try and find out the cause of the violence.
Studies indicate that it is of paramount to also interview any person
who could have witnessed the occurrence to collect enough information to
help one make an informative decision on how to handle the case. “The
final step of the procedure, which is the most important, is for the
police officers to decide whether they need to arrest the assailant or
not” says Beck. If the police officers find it fit to arrest the
assailant, he is allowed to do so even without a warrant. It is apparent
that the Law implementing agencies within America have established
policies and procedures with regards to handling domestic violence.
Presently, most of these agencies have updated their policies to improve
their management of domestic violence. Additionally, they have
established special investigative and patrol units mandated to address
domestic violence incidences.
Besides, the law implementing agencies also recruit counselors who are
supposed to accompany the police officers at the site of crime to offer
first hand counseling to the victims. Furthermore, the counselors are
expected to make follow ups with the victims to ensure they get the
right advice and that they are settled. The interview revealed that the
Los-Angeles Police Department keeps its team up-to-date so that they can
address the issue of domestic violence effectively. Studies reveal that
irrespective of the policy changes to better service delivery in the
domestic violence issues, a key change was the power given to the police
officers with regards to arrest incase of domestic violence. It is
however argued that arrest financially hurts the victims, bring about
retaliation or worsen the situation.
From the analysis of the interview carried out, it is true to say that
LAPD together with other law enforcement agencies (77th Street Community
Police Station) in this case provide proper training to their employees.
This is aimed at improving their knowledge and skills that in aid them
to manage cases on domestic violence efficiently. Putting policy in
place that assist police officers arrest those suspected of domestic
violence, as well as recording all cases on domestic violence is a great
move that helps reduce such cases. This helps the officers investigate
and follow up such cases if need be. Although financial assistance
contributes greatly to ensure effective management of domestic violence
cases, it is apparent that the United States government has done very
little in providing financial support to the law enforcement agency.
Providing training to the officers and carrying out investigations all
require money that the law enforcement agencies lack. This implies that
to ensure domestic violence is managed effectively in Los Angeles all
the involved parties should contribute towards attaining the same
objective.
Conclusion
Some of the forms that make up domestic violence encompass assault or
physical aggression, emotional abuse, threats, sexual abuse, pestering,
kidnapping, endangerment, officious or controlling, as well as economic
deprivation among others. Apparently, domestic violence is perceived
differently by nations, and how it is defined, documented, and its
awareness also varies. This means that domestic violence laws differ by
nation. In Los Angeles, California, domestic violence is perceived as a
crime rather than merely a family issue. The Los Angeles Police
Department perceives domestic violence as a predicament not only in a
family but to the state and United States in general. The paper has
focused on how the 77th Street Community Police Station in Los Angeles
handles the domestic violence calls. An interview was carried out to get
this information. From the interview, the police force has established
major reforms to aid them in the management of domestic violence cases.
It is expected that the police officers visit the site of scene,
interview the culprits and possible witnesses as well as make a report
while deciding on whether to arrest the assailant or not.
References
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Domestic Violence

Shipway, L. (2004). Domestic Violence: A Handbook for Health
Professionals. New York, NY: Routledge.
McCue, M. L. (2008). Domestic Violence: A Reference Handbook (2nd ed.).
Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Peace Over Violence (2013). Accessed on 25 February,

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