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New domestic violence training for Chicago police

Chicago police officers are getting new training on domestic violence and how to better communicate with domestic violence victims. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel recently announced the creation of a task force that will develop a three-part training program for the city’s police force. The Chicago Police Department receives nearly 200,000 calls per year for domestic violence incidents and police officers are often the first people to respond to those calls.

The training includes three sections. The first will be a refresher on prior instruction. The second is a joint program with the state attorney’s office to train officers on the importance of accurate and informational reporting. The third piece of the training involves work with the city’s Department of Family and Support Services and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. Those organizations will train officers on the psychological and emotional impact domestic violence can have on the victim.

Supporters of the training say the third component is needed. One woman who now works for a non-profit community organization escaped a violent relationship after 12 years. She said she called the police more than 17 times and sometimes felt as if the officer didn’t fully understand what she was going through. The mayor believes that officers who are sensitive to the fears of the victims will do a better job of protecting them.

Leaving a relationship can be difficult enough without the added element of violence. When domestic violence or spousal abuse is part of a relationship, a victim may need to take legal action as a method of protection while going through a divorce or separation. This could include obtaining a restraining or similar protective order.

Source: ABC , “Domestic violence training boost for Chicago police”, Sarah Schulte, December 03, 2013