Generational Cycle of Domestic Violence

Victims of domestic violence at some point in their intimate relationship question, "How did I get here?" not realizing that many had the road paved for them decades or even generations before. Law enforcement officers talk about career criminal families. We must recognize that we have career domestic violence families, and identify the strategies to break the cycle.

System Accountability

It is important to look at "the system" and the different parts that are available to assist victims of domestic violence. Who or what are the parts of the system, what is their role, and what happens when the system fails? Are there ways to address a failure? Specific system failures will be examined and what changes to the system have occurred as a result.

Behind the Badge: Police-Involved Domestic Violence

Law enforcement is a very noble profession. But in order to maintain that status, agencies must police themselves. Law enforcement is not exempt from employing those who perpetrate domestic violence in their intimate partner relationships. Background investigators, Academy staff, Internal Affairs personnel, commanders, civilian review boards, police chaplains and advocates must understand the dynamics of police-involved domestic violence in order to protect the victim, as well as the agency.

Civil Liability Issues for Law Enforcement

Several areas have been identified where police are likely to be successfully sued as it relates to calls for service involving domestic violence. Civil lawsuits are no longer just filed against an agency, but are now naming individual officers in their professional and personal capacity. Numerous cases will be examined where a judge or jury awarded the plaintiffs large settlements, and factors will be identified to assist law enforcement from being successfully sued.

Lethality Assessment Program: Saving Lives One Screen at a Time

Nearly one decade has passed since a lethality screen was developed for law enforcement to assist them in identifying those victims of domestic violence who were more likely to be a victim of a homicide. In 2009 an urban Indiana agency piloted the program in their city, a city where nearly half of their homicides were family-violence related. Since that time not one victim of domestic violence where the police used the lethality screen has been murdered. Training, collaboration, communication, and memorandums of understanding will be discussed.

Best Practices for Law Enforcement Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Officers can learn to protect themselves and their career through a thorough practice of investigating all calls involving intimate partner violence. Sound tactics, predominant aggressor and arrest, mutual combat and dual arrest, and effective report writing will be addressed.

Utilizing an Expert Witness in Your Case

A prosecutor may decide an expert witness is necessary to educate the jury or judge about domestic violence during trial. A decision will need to be made who qualifies as an expert, how to use the expert prior to trial, whether they will testify case specific or as a blind witness, as well as whether or not they will be used at the sentencing hearing. Several examples will be given in both civil and criminal trials.

DV101: Understanding the Basics of Intimate Partner Violence

In order to effectively work with victims of domestic violence, it is imperative that you develop an understanding of the Power and Control wheel, counterintuitive behaviors that victims often display, recantation, and all the reasons why victims remain in an abusive relationship.