To Serve and Protect…
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 8, 2006
“It’s fine to put an abuse victim into a new house, but short of a legal name change, abusers can and do still find their victims, with tragic results. And let’s face it, if abusers are having difficulty locating their victims, there are private eyes who can do it for them.[…]No, IMHO the only solution is to treat abusers like criminals (toughen penalties and enforcement procedures). Then as soon as an abuser is charged, issue an automatic restraining order with a copy to the local police department. Then if the order is not enforced, charge the police officers with aiding and abetting a known criminal.” From Shari’s Blog.
I believe that this is a problem EVERYWHERE. I agree with Shari, failing to protect an alleged abuse victim should be punishable by law. If you cannot trust the police, then who can you trust?
One reason so many people, regardless of gender, ‘fail’ to report domestic violence and abuse, is because they ‘know’ that it will change nothing. At best it will award them a ridiculing or disbelieving laugh at worst they will be even more traumatized by the attending law enforcement officers and social workers. Restraining orders have a life of their own – they are issued when there is no need whatsoever, at the mere word of someone, f.i in a custody battle, but they are not issued when there really is a need for them, i.e when the abuse victim is right there in front of the police, bruises and all.
And as Shari points out – enforcing them, in the cases where they are issued, seems to be almost impossible. So, yes, some sort of ‘immediate restraint’ should be available until the allegations has been thoroughly investigated and either confirmed, in which case the culprit should be taken into custody by the judicial system, or cleared, at which the fraudulent abuse victim should be taken into custody. – My suggestion is that the alleged abuser should be fitted with an electronic shackle, alternately put in house arrest for the duration of the investigation – yes, this will mean that some innocent people would have to endure restrictions in their life for a limited time, but with appropriate compensation – i.e the incarceration of the fraudulent accuser – he or she would not suffer unduly.
Also, providing abuse victims with new identities and new living arrangements and locations should be mandatory in all cases where the abuse is confirmed – and it should be punishable with jail time to disclose the identity or whereabouts of confirmed abuse victims.
All in all I think we need to hold the law enforcement officers and social workers more accountable for the fact that so many restraining orders doesn’t seem to work or are issued in error. It should mean something when you fail to Serve and Protect.
This article, including artworks and photos are © Henric C. Jensen aka Shadow Bear and are NOT public domain, unless otherwise specified.
This entry was posted on June 8, 2006 at 8:56 am and is filed under Abuse. Tagged: abuse victims, Domestic Violence, Police Violence, Restraining orders, social workers, Witness Protection. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.