Are Mandatory Arrest Laws in Cases of Domestic Violence Helpful or Harmful?

Mandatory arrest policy was a law enforcement measure which was created as a response to the intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic violence cases. The main aim for the development of this law was to protect the victim of domestic violence. This process starts after the victim, neighbors or any other person report of domestic violence taking place in a certain place. The police take the detail of the place and prioritize on the incident by suspending other duties to handle the situation. Upon arrive at the scene; the police tend to ascertain that domestic violence took place by looking at the presence of injuries in the involved parties (Novisky& Peralta, 2015). An arrest of abuser then takes place. This happens even without a warrant, as long as the officer can ascertain there was domestic violence in the house. The arrest is based on the injuries on the victim, and when both have or lack injuries, they are both arrested. Any weapon used in the violence is also seized. The victim is assisted with medical attention, and informed more on her rights. Protective order is also provided to the victim to minimize chances of future attacks, where necessary (Novisky& Peralta, 2015).The police may consider opening trial for the abuser. Based on the situation, the victim and the children may be taken in a shelter where the victims and children psychological needs may be attended to as a way of making them heal from the trauma.

The above procedure is guided by the mandatory arrest police for all domestic violence cases. Since its formation there has been very little review on the effectiveness of this policy on curbing domestic violence or protecting its victims. According to a research results reported by Science Daily (2015), the policy discourages many domestic violence victims from reporting to the relevant authority. This mostly happens among victims who are not in support of the policy. Others fail to report these crimes due to the fear of abuser retaliation, which according to them may be worsen by the compulsory arrest situation. Most women also fear that the police officers might mistakenly arrest them as the aggressor, especially in cases where the abuser also has injuries inflicted by the defender while trying to defend him- or herself.  This denies the victims a chance to get the assistance they need to recover from abuse and to have a more dignified life.

Although most of victims who report benefits from the implementation of the policy, those who fear to report for  the fear inflicted due to how the policy is implemented experience a high level of suffering. According to Novisky and Peralta (2015), the urge to report domestic violence is also influenced by individual social class, race, sexuality, and ethnicity background. Variation in attitudes and experiences toward police offices based on the above facts also determines the victim’s reaction. In addition, victims find the cost of reporting to be considerably high especially due to the involvement of law enforcement. This clearly demonstrates that the policy does not achieve much in what it intended to do. The policy negative outcomes outweigh positive income and hence it can be regarded to be harmful.

Based on the analysis it is evident that something needs to be done to ensure that the policy benefits all domestic violence victims without having a group that shy away. The main appealing thing is being forced to take legal action against the partner. Although most women are victim of domestic violence, most of them would wish of an improved situation rather than a break up (Adams & Campbell, 2012). This means, most would consider settling for a workable agreement for the sake of their future as a couple and for the sake of their children. In this regard, the policy should be modified to provide of mediation, which can include counseling rather than an arrest. To calm the situation, maybe the violent person can be locked in a room alone or the victim can be taken in a shelter until the situation cools down to provide for mediation.

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