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The goal is to get law enforcement leadership nationwide to understand the value of investing time with officers in this area early on in their careers.“The better we get, the more victims report,” he said.Today, as laws and policies have been established, domestic violence is seen as a widespread issue that requires serious attention.“We’ve got specialists in the field — of sex assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking — we never had that expertise in the past,” he said.According to Wynn, the average number of domestic violence training for any officer is around 12 hours.That means some academies could be giving as little as one or two hours of domestic violence training.Survivors have reported that if a domestic violence shelter did not exist, the consequences for them would be dire: homelessness, serious losses including loss of their children, actions taken in desperation, or continued abuse or death. Homeless in Minnesota, 2003, 22; Center for Impact Research (2004).
“Leaving a lifeline to that victim, that is life and death stuff,” he said.
Seeing signs of trauma can help prevent officers from “closing a case out because [the victim] can’t remember all the details, but understanding that [the victim’s] memory is fragmented because of the trauma,” Wynn said.
Throughout his career, Wynn has also seen victims who are worried about talking to police about domestic violence.
Some examples of what not to do while speaking with a victim include: “They’re not talking about the sexual assault because they haven’t trusted us,” he said.
In 2014, FVPSA grantees reported 196,467 unmet requests for shelter—a 13% increase over those reported in 2010.