RE: Boston, Quincy, San Diego, etc.

marie De Santis (
Fri, 19 Jun 1998 00:24:09 PDT

That may be true in your department, Herb, but four years of Senate
Hearings in the early 1990's found that police departments throughout
the US systematicallyt denied women equal protection of the law in
domestic violence and rape.. That is why in the Federal Violence Against
Women Act, the Feds created a civil rights remedy for women to sue their
attacker under the fourteenth amendment of the constitution.
If law enforcement did their job, most domestic violence homicides would
not occur. The fact has been proven by the dramatic results seen in the
cities named above. In just six years after instituting aggressive law
enforcement response to domestic violence, San Diego reduced its
domestic violence homicide rate by 61%. Quincy, with a similar program
had similar results.
Key features of their success are:
1. Aggressive response at the misdeamor level.
2. No diversion into counseling without entering a guilty plea, a guilty
plea and conviction that does not get wiped off the record at some later
3. Prosecution even if the victim does not participate or testify. (Over
60% of San Diego dv cases are prosecuted without victim participation or
testimony). This means that the responding officer must do an exhaustive
investigation at the crime scene including pulling 911 tapes, full
photos of injuries, full victim statements with history, canvassing of
neighbors for witnesses, statements from the kids, full crime scene
photos, etc. This means sometimes four or five hours of investigation at
the dv crime scene AT THE MISDEMEANOR LEVEL. That way, responsibility
for prosecution does not rest on the victim.
4. Determination of and arrest of primary agressor only. (San Diego
reduced its mutual arrests in dv cases to 3%).
5. Long term (three year probation) accountability of the perp. One
screw up and back to jail.
Social work does not keep domestic violence victims from getting
murdered, because the victim is not the problem, the perpetrator of the
violence is the problem. Only cops and prosecutors have the power to
stop the perp in his tracks.
I've been working as a victim advocate for 7 years, and every dv
homicide I've looked into has had a history of law enforcement
mishandling of multiple prior calls.
I'm convinced that if cops and prosecutors did their job and
systematically treated dv cases seriously, there would be very few
domestic violence homicides.
Get Your Private, Free Email at
Precedence: bulk

new message to this message