Domestic violence in society has always been around and will continue to be around even if laws are made against it. When domestic violence started to become a problem and people started rising up against it, the government decided to step in with one measly law: The Rule of Thumb. Nowadays, domestic violence is frowned upon and can sometimes lead to arrests and jail time (depending on how bad the woman has been beaten). Research has clearly shown though that even though jail time could be given to the offender, it does little to deter them from doing it again and provides little protection and help for the victim. If domestic violence cases are going to go down, then enforcement needs to be stepped up; mandatory arrest policies should not be enacted because they do not work.
As a male, criminal justice major, I have been and will always be against domestic violence but not for mandatory arrest policies for batterers. I was grown up with the idea that it was inexcusable to lay a hand on any female no matter what. This idea is still instilled in me and will always be a part of me, especially when I get a law enforcement job in the field. One issue with mandatory arrest policies is that if offenders are arrested for domestic violence, their anger may grow more and more for the woman, and, once he gets out, he may take it out once again on her. This second act of aggression may yield more damage than the first and provide more problems for the woman in the end.
Another issue with mandatory arrest policies is the “intrusion” factor by law enforcement officers. This issue is huge because it hits on the fact that what goes on inside somebody’s home is nobody’s business, especially not law enforcements’. People have a certain right to privacy, and if domestic violence does not occur in the middle of the street, law enforcement can only watch. This threat to privacy can also be damaging to the woman because the batterer can potentially take his anger out on her again if law enforcement officers are too pushy. I believe that any aggression taken towards batterers (from a law enforcement standpoint) will only result in more abuse, more problems, and more aggression for the woman.
I believe that there are several ways to correct the deficiencies in this law. The first being that officers and staff in law enforcement should be better trained to deal with domestic violence issues and to know when not to arrest. I think that with better training officers can be more aware of situations and be more proactive when involved in a domestic violence situation. Another way to correct these policies is to research exactly why domestic violence happens and apply it to real world situations. This would be a proactive solution and would hopefully limit the need for arrests, thus creating fewer problems than there already are.
Overall, domestic violence policies do not work. After an arrest, second acts of aggression from the offender to the victim may yield more damage than the first act did. These policies only cause more damage than they prevent it. Mandatory arrest policies also present a threat to privacy and an “intrusion” to private property. This threat could potentially cause more aggression to the victim, thus cancelling out why law enforcement was there to begin with. Although these seem like big problems, there are solutions. One being that law enforcement officers should be better trained to deal with domestic violence cases. Another solution would be to research exactly why domestic violence happens and apply it to situations in the field. These proactive solutions are two of many that could help correct the deficiencies of mandatory arrest policies and help better domestic violence situations.