Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 771–784 | Cite as

Responses of Police Officers to Cases of Officer Domestic Violence: Effects of Demographic and Professional Factors

  • Daniel G. Saunders
  • Stephanie Grace Prost
  • Karen Oehme
Original Article


Although the perpetration of domestic violence by police officers has received more attention lately, little research has examined the topic. This study investigated common responses of police officers (n = 1108) to officer-perpetrated domestic violence case scenarios and the relationships between officer characteristics and such responses. Common responses included encouraging the victim to file a formal report, assisting in finding help for domestic abuse, and referring the offending officer to an employee assistance program (EAP) or counselor. Arrest was a likely response when officers were asked to imagine they witnessed a victim’s injuries and heard statements about an assault in a case scenario. Supervisors had the most victim-supportive responses, suggesting they may be very good trainers of front-line officers.


Law enforcement officers Domestic violence Police Domestic abuse by police 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel G. Saunders
    • 1
  • Stephanie Grace Prost
    • 2
  • Karen Oehme
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.College of Social WorkFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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