Family Law Blog

Domestic Violence Rates Higher in Police Families

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The rates of domestic violence, murder and suicide are higher among the families of those people who are entrusted with the responsibility of preventing such crimes in the general population. According to an analysis of data by researchers at the University of Utah, the rates of these offences, including domestic violence, were much higher among police families.

According to the researchers, over the past decade, they have been researching murder-suicide trends, and in the course of their research, they have analyzed as many as 730 murder-suicides across the country. In their analysis, the researchers found evidence of something called” suicide contagion,” in which a person who is considering suicide, believes that his family will be devastated by his suicide, and therefore, goes ahead and murders his other family members.

Many of these cases, according to the researchers, have family issues, like entangled or disturbed relationships, at the core of the issue. Usually, there is a spousal estrangement, divorce, separation or evidence or some other family law-related matter that is to be found at the root of such incidents. The researchers say that the number of incidents that their data analysis has thrown up does not even constitute the tip of the iceberg, and that there is much more data to be analyzed from around the country. They plan to continue their studies into such domestic violence and homicide risks in the police force across the country.

The researchers also believe that domestic violence rates are higher in police families, because officers very often do not know who to ask for help with a family-related problem, or believe that asking for help could be misconstrued as a sign of weakness. Society very often expects police officers to be robotic, in control of their emotions all the time and always on duty. People seem to forget that officers are human beings, and could be going through family issues at home that could affect their psychological state of mind.