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Female Officers as Domestic Violence Victims  

Author:  Jan  Russell, J.D..

Source: Volume 04, Number 04, Spring 2012 , pp.377-384(8)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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A female victim of domestic violence who is a police officer faces a unique set of circumstances that make leaving her batterer much harder than it is for the average woman. This is especially the case for one who is partnered with another police officer. When her partner begins to abuse her, she is faced with the no-win proposition of reporting his abuse to superiors—thus incurring the wrath of the “thin blue line” protecting her partner— or not reporting, which violates her mandate to report. There are other complications as well: not only her colleagues but the officer herself may come to doubt the victim’s fitness for her job. After all, she chose a batterer as a partner, and anyway, why isn’t she tough enough to protect herself against him? The author shines a compassionate light on these and other dilemmas facing victims who work in the context of a sexist police force in a sexist society, where blind loyalty takes precedence over justice and accountability.

Keywords: order of protection, LGBT officers, On-Duty Risk, Domestic Violence Risk, policy considerations, Outreach Programs

Affiliations:  1: Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

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