There has been a recent public outcry for social workers to be called in for domestic violence incidents instead of law enforcement as part of the effort to lessen the influence of police.
A former African-American police officer shares his take on this situation and how a social worker isn’t equipped to handle the situation. The average citizen does not understand what police officers do- they have no concept of policing in America at all. Police help domestic violence cases.
Statistically, domestic violence incidents are among the most dangerous type of incidents a police officer can ever go into. Those who support defunding the police are very misguided in thinking that a social worker is capable of handling a domestic violence situation. Watch this video of how intense a domestic violence situation can be for law enforcement. It can get heated very quickly. (The footage was taken from a law enforcement officer’s perspective.)
In this video, law enforcement officers go to the house with the domestic violence victim to gather some belongings. When the abuser shows up at the residence, guns are drawn, and the situation escalates. A social worker would not be prepared if the abuser became violent.
When you defund the police, they would not even be able to show up to the house call to assist domestic violence victims. If they had not been there to defend the victim, she would have been dead. Those men risked it all, specifically for an incident that only lasted 30 seconds.
Watch on further for an episode of “Facts Matter Moments” with Terry Trueblood as your host. This podcast episode features Sol Ennis-Klyczek – a certified domestic violence professional. In this episode, Terry and Sol will both be discussing Illinois HB3653 and how it will affect the work of the police as well as domestic violence professionals like Sol. Due to the dangerous nature of domestic violence cases, social workers have been requesting the presence of law enforcement officers for many years. Police presence makes domestic violence victims safer and families safer as well.
Sol Ennis-Klyczek is a certified domestic violence professional who has also worked in domestic violence shelters. She has also been a teacher and facilitator for partner abuse intervention programs. In these programs, she has worked with both the victims as well as the abusers in domestic violence cases. As a domestic violence professional, Sol understands the important role of law enforcement in these cases. Police keep victims safe as well as keeping social workers safe.
Since the creation of the Illinois HB3653, domestic violence professionals like Sol have concerns about how this bill will impact domestic violence cases. The cash bail part of the bill is one of the more concerning parts:
“One of the things that I initially thought, the moment that I saw the bill, I thought ‘oh my goodness, what do you mean you’re going to remove the bail?’ When we think about someone who actually needs to be separated from the family, anything that you can put in that person’s way to give them some time to think, give them some time to get into some other type of educational program, so they can get out of that slowed down obsessive, violence compulsion- all of those things can be quite helpful.”
Illinois HB3653 will eliminate cash bail, which means that domestic violence abusers will have an easier time getting back on the street. Overall, bills like this embolden criminals. If they hit their spouse, they will be in and out of jail in a short and quick timespan. This makes the situation worse for everyone that the abuser comes into contact with.
Police presence is necessary in domestic violence cases. There is the threat of violence towards unarmed domestic violence professionals and social workers who do their job. There is a time and a place for evaluations. The abusers home or residence is not a good place, as they could escalate the situation and become violent. Domestic workers like Sol see how drugs, alcohol abuse and mental illness can exacerbate the issue and make the abuser more violent. According to Sol, in 60-75% of the domestic violence cases, a substance was involved. Police intervention in domestic violence ensures that everyone is protected. This is especially important when emotions are running high. At the end of the day, law enforcement keeps all of the community safe.