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Discretion In Domestic Violence Essay

“Nearly 25% of women have been victims of domestic violence at some point in their Lives, and more than 40% of these women sustained physical injuries from these assaults”(Grover, Paul & Dodge, 2011, P. 619). Police have the power to use discretion whenever they want. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “discretion is the quality of being discreet”(Merriam Webster Dictionary). In other words, discretion is when a person has the power to make decisions in certain situations. Police officers use the discretion power a lot in their job.

They tend to use discretion in many different situations, for example, domestic violence. Domestic violence is when you harm a person who is emotionally close to you and cause them physical harm(Merriam Webster Dictionary). Domestic violence has been an issue for many years and sadly domestic violence still happens now in the year 2017. Harming your close family members or loved ones is a hard thing to see happen because it is not necessary. It is actually a violation of our human rights. In situations where there is domestic violence occurring, police officers may help you or move on to the next big problem.

Police officers have the authority to use the discretion card in almost everything they do. One situation where officers an use the discretion card is in domestic violence calls. Police officers have so much power in their hands that sometimes they use it in situations where they shouldn’t be. Discretion should only be allowed in certain places and situations. Discretion is used different in every call police officers get, but the way the discretion is used depends on the police officers.

Gover, Paul and Dodge (2011) showed with their surveys that most police officers agree how time consuming domestic violence incidents take. Most of them also agree that it usually is not an emergency because most of the time it is a verbal arguement. But what the results showed were how those who commit domestic violence should be arrested if there is clear evidence of the injury. An officer’s discretion power should be used when it is a domestic violence call, because each call is different. It should be more routine that if there is an injury, the offender gets arrested.

Depending on the situation determines how much discretion to use and it will affect the outcome of the situation. Johnson and Dai (2016) showed their findings of their survey that the use of discretion depend on the person. Some officers let management influence heir attitudes, however other officers control their own use of discretion. Rowe (2007) conducted an observational study where he accompanied random police officers while they worked. He wanted to see how they made their decisions, how they understood their roles and priorities and how discretion came into play in each situation.

Police discretion is a power that many government officials have the authority to use. Government officials like judges, police officers, lawyers, and even higher up government officials, like the mayor have the power to use discretion. Discretion can be used in many situations and it can be used differently. Domestic violence has a mix of discretion being used highly and discretion being used on a lower level. There are many reasons for why discretion is used in different levels when it comes to domestic violence.

One reason why discretion is used on a high level is because of the stress they get when handling a domestic violence call. “Researchers have noted that the law enforcement officers view their work as being stressful and report frustration when responding to domestic violence call”(Gover, Paul, Dodge, 2011, P. 20). Since police officers say that it is a lot of work to handle a domestic violence call, they would rather use their discretion on a high level to avoid dealing with the problem. Women are in even more danger because of the negligence.

It takes a lot of guts for a women to call the police when getting physically harmed at home by a loved one, especially if it has been happening for years. It is wrong for police officers to even use discretion in domestic violence problems because cops know that if it has happened once, it will happen again. Domestic violence is a problem that just eeps on repeating itself. If the offender gets away with it once, then they will keep on committing the crime because they think they will never get caught.

People would even say that whatever happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors” (Gover, Paul, Dodge, 2011, P. 620). Because of this saying, cops did not want to get involved, but that is when they should get involved because a lot can happen behind closed doors when anger and frustration is in the air. The police should especially get involved behind calls that are behind closed doors because that is when the victims are in real danger. Behind closed doors many things can happen because of the privacy. Police discretion is used towards domestic violence.

According to Johnson and Dai, Police officers generally have a great deal of discretion in decisions regarding arrest, especially for minor misdemeanor offenses”(2016, P. 189). Another example of discretion being used on a evel is how domestic violence is a misdemeanor offense, however, this offense should have a greater charge than a misdemeanor. Discretion towards domestic violence also depends on the officer. “Arrest decisions at domestic violence calls are based primarily on the attitudes and references of individual officers”(Johnson and Dai, 2016, P. 186).

The way you react and handle certain situations will always depend on the type of personality you have. A police officer has to think about many factors when going to make a decision and when making the decision to use discretion. They have to think about things like “legal factors such as the seriousness of the offense, number of witnesses, victim injury, weapons involved and a complainant willing to sign a statement”(Johnson and Dai, 2016, P. 189). Police officers have to think about a lot of things efore making their final decision, but even though they make a lot of decisions daily they need to make the right ones.

According to Rowe (2007), her findings came to the conclusion that discretion is used at a lower level as well. There were incidents where police would sympathize of the victims of this abuse, but would still complain about it. “They still regarded such incidents as a distraction from their core duties… would take a long time to complete but offered little return in terms of positive outcome” (P. 283). How is that you can feel empathy for the victim of this type of ffense, but still complain about it taking up time.

It makes no sense, an officer should step back and imagine their loved ones in a position like that and what they would want the officer to do. These domestic violence calls are always someone who is close to the victim, so of course they need professional help to stop the offender. Police officers are their to help, protect and serve. If there is a domestic violence call, then they should not be upset because it is too time consuming or it is a distraction from what is really going on in the world. Domestic abuse is a erious problem that sadly some women go through in life.

Domestic violence is not a distraction from the real world, domestic violence is part of the real world. The outcomes of this type of crime are needing psychological help, serious injuries, and death. If discretion was used less during these situations then more of these offenders would be in jail or learn their lesson instead of still at home beating their partners and family members. Police discretion is used towards domestic violence. Domestic violence is physical injuries that have been acted against you by someone who is a family member or ntimate partner.

Domestic abuse should not even occur at all, but sadly it does. Not only does it happen, but it happens a lot. Police officers can help stop domestic abuse from continuing to happen in the United States or even all around the world, but this thing called discretion stops them. Discretion stops police officers from helping stop domestic abuse because police officers have the authority of what to decide when it comes time to do their job. These police officers not only have the authority to decide what happens in different incidents, but they can even help ake a difference.

Instead of ignoring the situation of domestic violence in some one home, why don’t they help stop these offenders from offending and help get justice. Many victims have to deal with these issues in their own homes. That must be the worst feeling when you can’t even be comfortable in your own home. When it comes to domestic violence, women are the main victims of domestic violence. Many officers say that domestic violence incidents should stay behind closed doors and how they take too much time, but they are denying women their basic human rights.

It violates their basic right to be free from torture and inhuman treatment. Clearly domestic violence is torture from your own personal family. In moments like these police officers are the only professionals waiting for calls like these. Police officers are there for when we need help. Police officers are the only people we can put our trust in when there is a serious situation at hand. Police officers should put themselves in the victim’s shoes so they can try to get a feeling of how the victim must feel when police officers use too much discretion towards their domestic violence call.

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