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Dual Arrest in Domestic Violence
Transcript of Dual Arrest in Domestic Violence
When it comes to arrest in domestic violence cases the states usually takes three approach:
Arrest is mandatory-
means that officers are required by law to make arrests based on probable cause that domestic violence is committed.
States includes: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia
Arrest is preferred-
are less strict and encourage arrest as the preferred action when probable cause exists.
States includes: Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota and Tennessee
Arrest is at the officers discretion-
means that officers “may” arrest under certain circumstances where probable cause is evident
States includes: Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence has a varying amount of definitions but all have commonalities. One definition is "willful intimidation, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as a part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another."(National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Another definition is "domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating"
Forms of Abuse
involving contact intended to cause pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm. It includes hitting, slapping, punching, choking, pushing, throwing objects, burning and other types of contact that result in physical injury to the victim
Arrest Policies (contd.)
Each state has laws that surrounds the circumstances in which an officer can make an arrest. For example, some of the state laws can include:
In case of felonies
Within a certain amount of hours of the incident
If the couple is married, blood related, living together or has a child together
Dual Arrest in Domestic Violence
There are 3 category domestic violence:
Intimate Partner Violence-
this usually refers to abuse with coupling relation (marriage, cohabitation, etc.)
a broader term used to include child and elderly abuse and between other family members
By: Alexia Shand
(also psychological or mental abuse) can include verbal abuse and is defined as any behavior that threatens, intimidates, undermines the victim’s self-worth or self-esteem, or controls the victim’s freedom
a form of emotionally abusive behavior involving the use of language, which can involve threats, name-calling, blaming, ridicule, disrespect, and criticism.
a form of abuse when one intimate partner has control over the other partner's access to economic resources. Economic abuse may involve preventing a spouse from resource acquisition, limiting the amount of resources to use by the victim, or by exploiting economic resources of the victim. The abuser may also put the victim on an allowance, closely monitor how the victim spends money, spend victim's money without his/her consent and creating debt, or completely spend victim's savings to limit available resources
What is Dual-Arrest?
Dual arrest is where police make an arrest when they cannot determine which person in an incident is at fault, or think both people are guilty, they sometimes arrest them both
An officers decision to make an arrest is usually governed by the jurisdiction that they serve in and not by state laws and the jurisdiction may require more of an officers than the state. For example, a state law may say that an arrest is preferred in domestic violence cases, but a jurisdiction may choose to make an arrest mandatory
Using the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) people are able to plug in different variations and combinations in order to see the different results in each domestic violence case. The NIBRS is an incident-based reporting system used by law enforcement agencies in the United States for collecting and reporting data on crimes. These reports are a combination of local, state, and federal automated records' system.
From this website you can see the statistics (from 2012) and the total of domestic violence and the relationship between the victims and the offenders. While this site does offer an insight into the severity of domestic violence only approximately 29 states reportedly uses this system.
Past research into dual-arrest were limited due to small sample sizes and due to the lack of comparison of police response in domestic to non-domestic violence cases or examined the many factors that influence the police's decision to make an arrest
Some theories as to why dual-arrest are so high are:
Laws have expanded so that officers no longer have to witness the crime to make a warrantless arrest.
Officers are more likely to arrest women, either as primary offenders or in dual arrests. The reasons officers may arrest more women are unclear, but studies say this may have to do with the fact that officers want to make fair, unbiased arrests, and choose to arrest all violent parties in a domestic dispute.
Dual arrests occur because officers fail to identify a primary offender
(National Institute of Justice 2008 results)
Arrest rates were higher when cases involved intimate partners (about 50%) and other situations of domestic violence (44.5%)
When it comes to domestic violence approximately 37 percent of all intimidation, simple assault and aggravated assault incidents resulted in arrest
Slightly less than 1% of all cases result in dual-arrest
Dual arrest rates were higher when cases involved intimate partners (about 2%) and other situations of domestic violence (1.5%)
Men and women were equally likely to be arrested in incidents involving intimate partners or strangers as long as the circumstances were similar (equally serious offenses were committed).
Men were more likely to be arrested in domestic violence incidents that did not involve intimate partners and incidents involving acquaintances.
Dual arrest was more common in intimate partner cases that involved simple assault, as opposed to cases that involved aggravated assault or intimidation
Dual arrest was more common in intimate partner cases if the primary offender was female and/or 21 or older.
Dual arrest rates for same-sex couples were 10 times the rate observed in cases with male victims and female offenders and 30 times the rate observed in cases with female victims and male offenders
Dual arrests involving lesbian couples (about 12%) occurred at twice the rate of those involving gay male couples (about 6%). Lesbian couples were most likely to be arrested in incidents that took place outside their homes.
Dual arrests were three times more likely in heterosexual incidents when the primary victim was male
In 2003–12, females (6.2 per 1,000) had a higher rate
of intimate partner violence than males (1.4 per 1,000). The rates of violence committed by immediate family members and other relatives were also higher for females than for males, although males had higher rates of violence by strangers and acquaintances. As with overall violence, rates of domestic violence were highest for persons ages 18 to 24 and lowest for persons age 65 or older.
Problems with Dual-Arrest
"One of the problem with dual arrest is that re-victimizes the victim by labeling them as an offender in the criminal justice system. In most domestic violence situations, it is the victim who calls the police for assistance, only to find them-self being arrested. When the criminal justice system labels the victim as an offender, it creates a level of mistrust and increases the likelihood that the victim will be reluctant to call the police for assistance in the future...Instead, the message that is sent was that the law enforcement and the court system is that she is somehow at fault for the abuse."
-From the Domestic Violence Center
Also, being arrested can make a victim more vulnerable to manipulation by the offender, who may threaten to have them re-arrested (or reported for probation violations). This fear is even higher in victims (more likely women) who have children. Many victims (especially women) often feel shame about having a criminal record and my turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy.
With a criminal conviction many of the victims may lose their jobs and may not have access to restraining orders or victim's assistance.
What can be done?
In order to lower dual-arrest rates states may wish to implement primary aggressor laws and police departments may wish to institute primary aggressor policies. Also, more follow-up investigation and by training officers to recognize abuse especially in same-sex relationship.