Abuse arrest policies push gender bias: report

Biased domestic violence arrest policies are violating the civil rights of innocent Americans and allowing abusers to go free, according to a report released today. The report, “Predominant Aggressor Policies: Leaving the Abuser Unaccountable?” charges such policies violate 14th Amendment equal protection guarantees and worsen the cycle of violence.

The analysis is published by SAVE – Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, and is available online:

The report analyzes domestic violence policies in 23 states designed to guide law enforcement personnel in arrest decisions. The document calls on states with predominant aggressor laws to repeal such policies.

The predominant aggressor report follows SAVE’s recent release of “Assaulting our Rights: How Domestic Violence Laws Curtail Our Fundamental Freedoms,” which concludes abuse laws result in the curtailment of civil liberties of over 2 million Americans each year.

Research shows men and women are equally likely to instigate acts of partner aggression: . But in Roanoke, Va., police officers are instructed to assess the “Height/weight of parties,” a criterion that openly biases the officer to arrest the male.

In Maine, law enforcement personnel are expected to assess the “Power and control dynamics.” Law enforcement expert Richard Davis of Plymouth College, Mass. charges these criteria represent “more a polemic ideological rant than a domestic violence intervention program.”

In several states, police are told to evaluate “Risk or potential of future injury.” But experts question the scientific basis of such recommendations.

“Predominant aggressor laws pressure police officers to arrest the man regardless of who called the police or what person instigated the abuse,” according to SAVE spokesman Carl Starling. “Females that provoke violent acts are not held accountable for their abusive behavior, while innocent men end up with an arrest record for life.”

Last September, San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested on charges of domestic violence, following an accusation by an inebriated woman. Lacking any evidence of harm, the D.A. dropped the charges. Columnist Dean Tong later wrote, “Shawne Merriman was falsely accused of domestic abuse charges, but may always carry a scarlet letter emblazoned upon his name.”

©2010, Trudy W. Schuett

*    *    *

Trudy W. Schuett is an Arizona-based online veteran with 10 years in cyberspace; an author and multiblogger. She has held workshops on blogging, writing, and promo for writers at the New Communications Forum and Arizona Western College, and has participated in world blogging events such as Global PR Blog Week. She is also an advocate for unserved victims of domestic violence. She is is the author of three novels, two how-to books and eight blogs. Note: Books are currently out of print, but two appear in blog form. She currently publishes New Perspectives on Partner Abuse at She has a video at her site that provides a look into the circumstance of a few men. Entitled, Husband Beaters It is in five parts and was part of the Secret Lives of Women series on the WE network. She publishes the AZ Rural Times and New Perspectives on Partner Abuse , she is on Twitter and Facebook She lives in Yuma AZ, with her husband, Paul. or E-Mail.

Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Menstuff® Directory
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon Clay
©1996-2023, Gordon Clay