Domestic Violence among the Agents of Authority

Here’s a popular recent article from Addictinginfo:

 

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/09/11/you-think-football-players-have-a-domestic-violence-problem-cops-are-three-times-worse/

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->-        <!--[endif]-->And here’s the text:

 

You Think Football Players Have A Domestic Violence Problem? Cops Are Three Times Worse

AUTHOR: WENDY GITTLESON SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 3:40 PM

 

 

One of the biggest problems with police is that simply being a part of the force gives them a PhD level training in how to get away with breaking the law. While the majority of cops are likely honest (I hope), this sort of being above the law can make life very difficult for spouses and domestic partners of police.

 

Over the last year or so, the National Football League (NFL) has been under fire for its domestic violence problem. After Ray Riceand Adrian Peterson, the NFL has vowed to do something about it.

 

 

Still, almost 70 percent of Americans believe that domestic violence in the NFL is a serious problem. Did you know that it’s actually a bigger problem with police, though? It’s three times worse.

 

The problems in the NFL are somewhat overrated. There are actually a lot fewer domestic violence arrests among NFL players than there are in the general public, but that could be because police are often fans, which brings us to police. Of all professions, cops are the worst for domestic violence.

 

In families of police officers, domestic violence is two-to-four times more likely than in the general population — from stalking and harassment to sexual assault and even homicide. As the National Center for Women and Policing notes, two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10% of families in the general population.

 

A 2013 Bowling Green State University study, through news searches, tallied 324 cases of reported officer domestic violence. It is likely that this number is a gross underestimate, because as the National Center for Women and Policing has detailed, officers frequently cover for each other.

 

“Cops ‘typically handle cases of police family violence informally, often without an official report, investigation, or even check of the victim’s safety,'” the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf writes, quoting a study from the National Center for Women and Policing. “‘Even officers who are found guilty of domestic violence are unlikely to be fired, arrested or referred for prosecution.'”

 

Source: MIC.com

Unlike in the NFL, police carry a gun for a living, which can make it particularly frightening for domestic partners. Even worse, they know where the battered women’s shelters are, so there is no escape. Even with cops’ reluctance to do anything about their brothers in blue, 40 percent of families of police report domestic violence, as opposed to just 10 percent of the general population.

Aside from having domestic partners of cops wear body cams, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about the culture of domestic violence and its cover-ups. One woman in Colorado wasn’t wearing a body cam, but she did record the abuse of her daughter and even then, the police department tried covering it up. After the video made state and national news, the county dissolved the police and the sheriff’s office took over.

 

Jeremy Yachik, the abusive officer in Colorado, was convicted of egregious crimes. According to his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter, he regularly tied her up, slammed her head into walls, beat her with ropes, restricted her food, left her tied up in dark rooms, and force fed her a sauce that’s about 10 times hotter than habanero peppers. His punishment was three years of supervised probation, 30 days in a jail work-release program, and 80 hours of community service. We may have another chance at justice, but only because he was arrested last week for separate charges of sexually abusing a minor.

 

Featured image via Wikimedia

 

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          So that’s a little depressing, to be sure, but it’s not a surprise, is it? After all, force and authority are the job, so it’s not a huge stretch to suggest that some police also believe in those things on a personal level and that some certainly employ them in their personal lives. I know I’m not showing causation, as Ms. Gittleson also did not, but this phenomenon does surely underline a strong correlation between the legitimate force of authority and abuse.

 

          Causation and it’s proof are always hard to find in human affairs, so that will be a tough row to hoe, but let’s state the challenge, say it out loud and see what happens: how do we establish causality between the legal, authorized use of force and punishment and the phenomenon of domestic abuse? To say violence begets violence is a truism to my mind, but hardly a proof of anything, and anyhow, folk wisdom like that in regards to authority, punishment and abuse has a tendency to support the authorities’ positions. It’s something I’ve said before, but I would like to reset the precedence: folksy aphorisms will have to line up on the side of the status quo. But perhaps causation is not really the relationship there; maybe it’s more like one is the other rather than one causes or promotes the other. The analogy might be this, that choice does not cause discrimination; rather choice is discrimination, two sides of a coin. Certainly that is my view of it – punishment and abuse are two sides of a coin, two sides of the same coin.

 

          We should never be surprised when a great number of policemen lose their faith in force and violence and begin to see their role as better served through mercy and discretion, but it should be no great surprise when “legitimate” force and punishment are co-resident with abusiveness either. I imagine that the difference is that some folks can keep force and punishment in the ‘necessary evil’ category while some just come to see it as a good thing always, as long as it’s being dished out by the right people.

 

          I’ve made these points elsewhere, so I’ll leave off with my philosophizing for now. But the other thing about this article, the main thing, is frightening. Woe to those whom the agents of authority have singled out for abuse, for they have no-where to hide. Authority has a tendency to become a social club rather than a regulated organ for what is right and what is wrong; it always seems to be about who’s in and who’s out. In the worst cases, its members can apparently do no wrong.

 

Jeff,

 

 

Sept. 19, 2015

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Comments (20)

  1. sugarcookie1975

    Yep, my neighbors sister was married to a cop with this issue and why the womens shelters often find there is a gap when arresting men for domestic violence (yes women can batter too) During one such call I had made to the police in Kansas City, my husband would not let me leave our residence, threw a chair and put a hole in the sheet rock, I hid in a closet and called the police. When they arrived he was very calm but I was terrified so I asked them to take me and the kids to a shelter, the cop said nd I quote “You are probably over reacting and Im sure my mother felt trapped too when she was raising me”. Then he and his partner left after ignoring wooden spoon sized welts all over my 6 yr old sons butt at the time. It is a real problem.

    September 19, 2015
    1. Neighsayer

      OMG, sc, that’s horrible. So typical of cops – and judges too – to have no better idea of domestic affairs and bad parenting than anyone else, and therefore to operate out of the anecdotal evidence (the kindest way I can say it) of their own childhoods. Drives me nuts, but you know, there really isn’t a science that deals with child-rearing as such. I’m trying to start one. Even psychology seems to turn a blind eye to whatever mindless crap passes for acceptable child-rearing at any given time.

      September 19, 2015
      1. sugarcookie1975

        It was horrible and not much has changed nd that son is 15 now. Most of my husbands fights have been because I interfere w discipline. Discipline to me is awful close to disciple. Your kinds are in effect a parents disciples. I personally give them a voice, a say in changes, like mini adults w less experience. I find consequences to life teach better than hitting. The state here, will take the kids out of the home instead of the offending person, the abuser. So dumb.

        September 19, 2015
        1. sugarcookie1975

          Not kinds *kids LOL Stupid auto correct.

          September 19, 2015
        2. Neighsayer

          ah. My dad was a bit soft – Mom won most of those battles and thank goodness. I guess that’s the other side of the Norman Rockwell life I accused you of having, huh?

          .

          - yeah, I’ve gone as far as you can go away from discipline. My girls are 17 and 20 and we never punished them for anything, not so much as a timeout. That’s the point of my blogging, trying to spread that word. As you can probably imagine, the offers never stop coming in. Everyone wants to hear about it.

          September 19, 2015
          1. sugarcookie1975

            I do the “thats fine if you dont want to do what I say but you will probably want a ride here or there later so keep that in mind” LOL Mostly friendly reminders of if you want something from me maybe its a good idea to fulfull my requests … I get eye rolling, siiiiiighs, and oh mom , but it works, fairly non confrontational. They get a choice even if they dont like what that choice is, plus the world kinda works that way. I use reason mostly. Im a softy, my husband is iron fist and then some …. but he is gone alot LOL! I allow them to change my mind.

            September 20, 2015
            1. Neighsayer

              I like your approach. Don’t take this wrong, it’s not about you, but the latest concern I’m having in this child-rearing conversation is that it appears in psychology and in life that negative stimuli have far more power than positive ones. I hope for your kids and all kids in yours’ situation, that your presence so much of the time and his so little of it will make the difference. With equal time, I think the nice parents lose the war of influence, sad to say . . .

              September 20, 2015
  2. sugarcookie1975

    One of the main deciding factors of me putting any kind of career on the back burner while my kids are at home was a story of a NFL player telling his story how his mothers love is what kept him on the straight and nrrow. His dad was an abusive alcoholic, but she some how made up for it. So I love the living day lights out of them LOL Plus the ways our laws are set up here, I could actually get kidnapping charges if I took them across state lines. So, here I am, until I dont need to be 💪👍👌 I understand what you are saying.

    September 20, 2015
    1. Neighsayer

      yeah, there’s a situation with a good friend of mine and his step-kids that really brought the point home for me recently, pretty heartbreaking. I hope to write the story soon, but I’ll have to ask my friend’s permission first.

      September 20, 2015
      1. sugarcookie1975

        Awww that makes me sad … I hope it gets better

        September 20, 2015
  3. bechtol

    That does happen sometimes. If 911 is called on a cop for domestic violence, chances are when they arrive the offending cop will flash his badge and that’ll be that. Worse case if you’ve hit him in self defense they might take you in instead of him. Don’t bother calling the cops on a cop.

    October 01, 2015
    1. Neighsayer

      sistersleepers!

      November 04, 2015
      1. This comment has been deleted
        1. Neighsayer

          that’s what it means, like motherf@#$%rs. You hear it in Indian movies or books, “sisterf@#$%r.” Yes, I’m calling cops who do that sisterf@#$%rs.

          November 04, 2015
        2. Neighsayer

          but then, I have a bad attitude . . .

          November 04, 2015
      2. Neighsayer

        bechtol
        I don’t know what this means, but when I googled it, it brought up a lot of incest porn.
        November 04, 2015

        November 06, 2015
  4. Neighsayer

    wow, I hadn’t heard that one. Let’s keep an ear the the ground about that, eesh. Gives bullet-headed another meaning.

    October 01, 2015
    1. Neighsayer

      wow. Loving guns is a permanently debilitating addiction . . .

      November 04, 2015