Sponsored by the HealthcareTrainingInstitute.org providing Quality Education since 1979
Add to Shopping Cart

Unintended Victims: Diagnosis & Treatment of Children of Domestic Violence
Children of Domestic Violence continuing education social worker CEUs

Section 15
Law Enforcement Resistance to
Family Crisis Intervention

CEU Question 15 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Domestic Violence
Social Worker CEUs, Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, MFT CEUs

Police resistance to a full-service commitment in domestic disputes comes from three main sources: a) job-related beliefs, values, and atti­tudes of police officers; b) bureaucratic-managerial resistances within the  Police Officer Children of Domestic Violence mft CEUforce; c) general societal beliefs, values, and attitudes. In establishing a new training program for police officers in domestic conflict management, special attention must be paid to changing (a) and (b) and at least making officers aware of (c).

General Job-related Resistances
Probably the most difficult officer to “reach” within a conflict management program is the traditional, authoritarian officer who has done his job a certain way for a number of years and whose personal experience has forged a focus on “how to do police work” that is fixed as if it were set in concrete. To this officer, family dispute calls are viewed extremely negatively, as a type of “no-win” situation where any response short of arrest or cooling down the situation and giving a warning is a waste of time and not police work. This officer defines his job through what he is doing rather than through the goal or objective of his work. Hence, sitting in a private home interviewing, mediating, or making a referral to a social agency is considered “social work,” not police work, which is seen as being in the cruiser, on patrol, waiting to respond to a crime call. This is the “on the surface” response of the traditional police officer. Just below the surface are a variety of reasons why such an officer resists changes in his approach to handling family dispute calls:

1) The calls do not fall under the general area of Street policing. The officer is literally on “someone else’s turf” where he feels a little uneasy. Rights of entry can present potential legal problems; even when this is not an issue, being in someone else’s home subtly shifts the power balance from the officer to the homeowner, an uncomfortable shift for the traditional officer who is used to dealing from a position of power

2) Such calls often involve emotionally upset people, which many officers find discomfiting and somewhat embarrassing, especially when personal emotional material is used as a weapon in a verbal dispute between intimates.

3) In many cases, the dispute strikes the officer, either consciously or not, as being similar to a personal dispute he may have had or be having with his own spouse. To the extent that the similarity is not conscious, it can create problems for the officer both in his inability to maintain neutrality in the present dispute and in the aggravation of his own domestic problem.

4) Untrained officers have no feelings of control in family disputes. Their only perceived control in the situation is the use of authority and toughness, but this often backfires, leading to violence that is touched off by the officer’s own behavior (Bard, 1971). In other words, the rules that work for the officer in the street often backfire in a family dispute, and, if untrained, the officer has not yet learned a new set of workable rules or alternative sources of control in a situation.

5) Untrained officers have no feelings of accomplishment in family disputes. Improperly handled disputes lead to high recidivism rates. When police are called back to the same address time after time, a feeling of futility sets in. While some of these families may be locked into a chronic fight pattern, many others can be dealt with more successfully by trained police. In addition, many departments try to change policy on family dispute handling through training alone, without an accompanying change in the departmental reward system, so that correct application by the officer of the proper intervention procedures goes unrecognized and unrewarded. Police department reward criteria continue to support the traditional police role. The end result may be that training effects are lost.

6) Effective family dispute intervention requires some interpersonal sensitivity and verbal skills, both of which traditional police avoid. Yet no one could argue that a police officer’s general performance on the job would not improve through the acquisition of either skill.

7) Police feel that laying of charges in a family assault is futile because the injured party (usually the woman) will not carry through on the charges after the crisis has passed. Yet alternative means of clearing the call are, by some twist of logic, similarly resisted. Police “gripes” about the lack of achievement they feel handling domestic disputes have some basis in departmental policies, rewards, etc.; yet these gripes are often not heard about similarly unrewarding parts of the more traditional police role, leading one to infer that they are in part a resistance to role change per se.

8) Probably no other aspect of police work straddles the tightrope between police law enforcement responses (if an assault is occurring police are expected to act with dispatch, power and authority) and order maintenance (in a delicate emotional crisis police are expected to be wise, good at communicating, and capable of effecting a resolution). To an extent, these two responses are somewhat antagonistic and incompatible. Consequently, a police officer answering a family dispute call is put in a sort of “double bind” situation: He can make a mistake by going too far in either direction (if too tough, he can trigger violence; if too soft, he can fail to contain it). Often police officers enter a family dispute situation without knowing which response will be required of them. This tightrope situation contributes; greatly to the tension the officer feels in such situations. The training procedures described below attempt to remedy this dilemma by teaching police how to maximize their information about a dispute in progress prior to entry (Dutton, 1977).

The net effect of the points above is to create in the untrained officer a feeling of anxiety, lack of control, unease, and futility in handling family dispute calls. Each and every training session must deal openly with all of these resistances, as well as with any others that officers volunteer in an “open forum” type of atmosphere. Failure to do so simply leads to officers’ keeping their negative feelings to themselves but I passively resisting the skills, insights, and perspectives offered in the training workshop.
- Stuart, Richard B., Violent Behavior: Social Learning Approaches to Prediction, Management, and Treatment, Brunner/Mazel Publishers: New York, 1981.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.


Personal Reflection Exercise #1
The preceding section contained information about police resistance with family dispute calls. Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 15
What is a “double-bind” situation a police officer answering a family domestic call faces? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Answer Booklet.

Others who bought this Domestic Violence Course
also bought…

Scroll DownScroll UpCourse Listing Bottom Cap

CEU Answer Booklet for this course | Domestic Violence
Forward to Section 16
Back to Section 14
Table of Contents

The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
Human Trafficking In North Carolina - August 11, 2016
North Carolina is among the top 10 states with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases , according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center . Experts say the number of major interstates that cross through the state, the large agricultural population, and the state’s strategic location along the East Coast contribute to the issue. Host Frank Stasio talks with legal experts, victim services advocates, and a law enforcement officer about human trafficking in the state. Victim-services advocates Karen Arias of Western North Carolina Human Trafficking Rapid Response Team and Mamie Adams , coordinator of Working to End Sex Trafficking in North Carolina, discuss the experiences and challenges faced by trafficking survivors in the state. Major Richard Hoffman of the Raleigh Police Department talks about the role of law enforcement in investigating and stopping human trafficking, and his work on trafficking cases. And Caitlin Ryland from Legal Aid of North Carolina talks
‘The State Of Things’ Producer Picks: A Look Back At 2015 With Anita Rao - December 22, 2015
The year is coming to an end, and “The State of Things” staff is taking a moment to reflect on some of the year’s most memorable conversations. Producer Anita Rao’s favorite segments include a conversation commemorating Yusor Abu-Salha , one of the three Muslim students shot and killed in Chapel Hill in February. Rao also chose a piece that explores body image, fat shaming, and the social history of women’s bodies . She also picked a segment that shares the stories of three Latina women who work as house cleaners in Durham , and one that looks at how domestic violence impacted one couple’s life and relationship . She ends the hour talking about a conversation with Avett Brothers’ Cellist Joe Kwon . Host Frank Stasio talks with Producer Anita Rao about her favorite conversations of the year.
Marine Turned Entrepreneur Uses Technology To Reduce Violence - November 30, 2015
This is a rebroadcast of a program that aired earlier this year . CJ Scarlet is an entrepreneur who believes that technology can curb violence. She founded the company 10 for Humanity that aims to use emerging technology to reduce acts of crime and violence by 10 percent in the next decade, starting with the Tiger Eye Sensor , a wearable personal security device that will record video footage and call the police when a wearer yells “help.” Scarlet’s personal and professional experiences have informed the design and implementation of this sensor. She survived multiple assaults in her adolescence and early adulthood and has worked with victims of crime and assault for two decades, as a victims advocate and as the director of victim’s issues at the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office . She is full of unexpected stories, ranging from her experience as a firefighter to her day-to-day life as a photojournalist for the Marine Corps. Host Frank Stasio talks to CJ Scarlet about her life,
Greensboro Launches Family Justice Center For Victims Of Abuse - June 15, 2015
A Family Justice Center is opening today in downtown Greensboro and will offer a variety of services. The new building will provide several types of support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse. Those services include law enforcement, legal, medical and social assistance. Center Director Catherine Johnson said it is a benefit that the building is a one-stop spot for people dealing with these issues. "The fact that we can offer (these services) makes the citizen much more likely to engage in that process, because they feel like, 'Oh hey, wait — instead of me going to twenty different disciplines, those disciplines are all coming to me, and I just sit in the same office and respond,'" Johnson said. "It just makes that safety planning process much more effective." Guilford County had the state’s highest number of domestic-violence-related deaths in 2013 . North Carolina also has family justice centers in Alamance County and Henderson County .
Life Inside The Courtroom, A More Honest Take - May 28, 2015
Allison Leotta was a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington D.C. for more than a decade. Every day when she came home from work, she would think to herself, “I can’t believe what I saw today…someone should write about this.” She began writing in the mornings before work and at night when she got home. In 2011, Leotta left the Justice Department to write full-time. She has now written four novels about a prosecutor named Anna Curtis, and people often refer to Leotta as “the female John Grisham.” Host Frank Stasio talks to Allison Leotta about her latest novel “A Good Killing” ( Simon&Schuster 2015) and how she turns her real-life courtroom experience into fictional drama. Leotta reads from her book at Barnes & Noble in Cary tonight at 7 p.m. Leotta grew up with the legal system in her blood. Her father worked as a federal prosecutor in Detroit, and she followed in his footsteps after attending Harvard Law School. Her husband was also a federal prosecu t or in Baltimore.

CEU Continuing Education for
Social Work CEUs, Psychology CEUs, Counselor CEUs, MFT CEUs

OnlineCEUcredit.com Login

Forget your Password Reset it!