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Lesson #07: Response to Domestic Violence incidents


Material for a 3-hour lesson, part of the Domestic Violence Course, developed by the Kosovo Police Service School.


Law enforcement response to domestic violence situations has changed dramatically in the last decade. In the past, the response was to handle domestic violence as a “private matter” and the role of the responding officer was to “quiet things down” and then leave the scene allowing the couple to work things out themselves. Today, law enforcement policies handle domestic violence as a criminal offence and when responding to the scene, officers follow stringent policies regarding the arrest of the offender.
Law enforcement represents the entry point into the criminal justice system for a large number of victims and offenders. Police agency training, policies, and procedures can support consistent and effective police intervention when intervening in domestic violence incidents, as well as connecting victims with community services and support. Aggressive and proactive police response can deter further violence and ultimately save lives. Responsive and timely intervention can increase victim safety, enhance investigations, and facilitate successful prosecution.

The goal of the lesson is to provide the participants with an operational overview of police response to a domestic violence call including dispatcher obligations, conflict assessment, on-scene professional behaviour and report writing.

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  1. List the duties and responsibilities of responding officers.
  2. List at least six (6) duties and responsibilities of investigators.
  3. List four (4) considerations of the responding officer when approaching the residence.
  4. List four (4) actions of the responding officer when making the initial contact with occupants.
  5. List eight (8) things the responding officer should do once inside the residence.