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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Female Officers as Victims of Police-Perpetrated Domestic Violence

General Material
Published Date
April, 2007

"Advocates, police, and other professionals can be stymied when working with a victim whose batterer is a police officer. The situation is even more baffling when the victim is also in law enforcement. Such situations require understanding why the standard remedies we rely on may not be useful with this population of victims. The purpose of this article is to increase advocates’ knowledge of how the expectations and values of the female officer’s profession and workplace culture influence her behavior and decisions regarding her abusive relationship. We will discuss some of the ways the police culture can contribute to the isolation of its female members and condition them to tolerate and even accept men’s disrespect, negative attitudes, and potentially, domestic abuse. We will look at some of the ways that the police culture serves to mirror and reinforce the dynamics of the abusive relationship. Though the same can be said of many other male-dominated workplace cultures, what makes victims in the police profession particularly vulnerable is that they must rely on the integrity of their own colleagues and supervisors to provide the intervention and protection of the law."