Forget The NFL, The Police Community Has A Much Bigger Domestic Violence Problem

The conventional wisdom that is doing the rounds lately suggests that the National Football League should swiftly suspend or ban any player caught assaulting a wife or girlfriend. However, if that’s right, the law enforcement department itself would have a lot of its people facing similar or harsher punishments, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Unfortunately, there is another American profession besides the NFL that has a significantly more alarming problem with domestic abuse. Everyone who believes in zero tolerance for NFL employees caught beating their wives or girlfriends should pay more attention to police officers who assault their partners.

Several studies have revealed that the romantic or live-in partners of police officers suffer domestic abuse at rates that are alarmingly and significantly higher than the general population. And while all partner abuse is unacceptable, it is especially worrisome when domestic abusers are, literally, the people that battered and abused women are supposed to call for help.

Police officers receive training and a license to carry a lethal weapon, and they are trained to follow people without arousing suspicion. Moreover, the common public relies on their judgment and discretion to protect the abused against domestic abusers. But what if they are the ones who are the worst abusers themselves?

As reported by the National Center for Women and Policing, two individual studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10 percent of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24 percent, indicating that domestic violence is two to four times more common among police families than American families in general.

Moreover, what is disturbing is the fact that police officers typically handle cases of police family violence informally, often without an official report, investigation or even check on the victim’s safety. Needless to say, this ‘informal’ method is often in direct contradiction to legislative mandates and departmental policies regarding the appropriate response to domestic violence crimes.

If that’s not all, The New York Times presented a chart that showed just how lax the system was when the perpetrator was the one with the badge.

Domestic Abusers In The Police Force Are Very Likely To Get Away With A Slap-On-The-Wrist Punishment
Domestic Abusers In The Police Force Are Much Likely To Get Away With A Slap-On-The-Wrist Punishment

Domestic violence in any profession, caste or ethnicity has to be dealt with sternly. But unfortunately, the men with the badge seem to be protecting their own, when a case of domestic violence in their fraternity crops up.

[Image Credit | The New York Times, Anton Prado PHOTO/Shutterstock]