Mandatory Arrest Laws Aren't Working

Those of you that know my story know that I am a victim of domestic violence. Since my experience, I have tried to shine a light on domestic violence and the actual truth about it. It is a common problem that affects millions of households worldwide. It's sick and depressing.

I was looking up some information tonight about "Mandatory Arrest Laws" and was startled by some of the information I found. I knew that these laws were in place, but after hearing more about how they are designed and how faulty they are I had to do some more digging. What I found may surprise you.

First of all, "mandatory arrest laws" require that police officers arrest someone every time they are called to a CDV case. The officers are to assess which person involved is the perpetrator and the aggressor. If both people are found to be at fault, then they are both to be taken into custody. However, officers are trained to assess the situation by first evaluating physical harm and then by listening to the statements of those involved. The problem here is that the person who is actually the aggressor, is going to lie. In my personal situation, the police arrested me solely on lies and the fact that I kicked his ass while defending myself! This is happening way too frequently. I've met many women who have all said that they too were not only victims of domestic violence but are also victims of a faulty legal system. Simply because we are defending ourselves, and actually leave more physical damage in the process, we are being arrested because the law tells the police to arrest the the person who was more aggressive. Then the smooth talking abusive guy comes in and lies and says that they are indeed the victim... getting punched by a girl.

This often leads to a dual arrest. Dual arrests are tricky and I actually got involved in this scenario as well. What happens is the prosecutor is going to look at the evidence against both parties. Given the leniency of many judges (especially against first time offenders), the case will probably be dropped. Another outcome is that both parties are sentenced to community service or the state equivalent, ending with the charges being dropped upon completion of your sentence.

I Will Survive

Mandatory arrest laws lead to a slew of problems. They cause more problems then they actually solve. "Some experts are saying these laws are not helpful at all. The number of murders by abusers is higher in states with mandatory arrest laws than it is in other states." Murder rates are rising in theses states because women are afraid to call police in fear of an arrest gone wrong. It's a terrible thing to get wrapped up in. Not only are victims fighting their abusers, they are fighting an institution that can't understand the error in their ways. Political leaders aren't listening and people are dying. What else is new.

Someone has to do something about this. Not only the arrest laws, but domestic violence in general. Politicians aren't doing it, because taking care of the "home" isn't part of their intentions. We have to protect ourselves these days. Nobody said it was easy, nobody said we wouldn't make mistakes, but sometimes we really do get the raw end of the deal.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but be careful with statistics: correlation is not causation. "The number of murders by abusers is higher in states with mandatory arrest laws than it is in other states." It may be that states with high domestic violence turn to arrest laws in an attempt to fix it, etc.

November 26, 2011 at 8:19 PM

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