Surviving Police Domestic Violence

Taking Back Your Power

Police officers abuse their intimate partners because of their sense of entitlement to control. In both their personal and professional roles, an abuser is obsessed with maintaining control until he voluntarily relinquishes it, and not a moment sooner. The chase, the struggle, the fight is over when he says it's over. He has to prove that he can outlast anyone who takes him on; he has to prove that he's the toughest. "Whatever it takes." He doesn't care what he loses, as long as you lose as much or more. Victims usually have a hard time grasping the abuser's callousness and his willingness to destroy anything and anyone that he can no longer control.

The one thing your batterer dreads above all is your discovery that you can make it on your own.

He knows that once you really believe that you can make it without him, he will lose his power over you. Every step you take to protect your life, safety and freedom, takes some of the power away from him and gives it back to you. He may continue to struggle to regain control, especially if you have children in common, but the stronger you get, the weaker he will get.

Many Women Are Survivors

Thousands upon thousands of women have survived leaving abusive relationships. There is no way to know how many of those women were victims of police officer batterers. We hope that increasing public awareness will both prompt reform of the police culture and intensify police accountability. Changes in federal gun possession laws have forced police administrators to grapple with this problem. They say they must first determine whether enough police officers beat their wives to make this a "statistically significant" problem which warrants the development of policies and disciplinary procedures.

If you are a victim of a police officer, we hope that you will contact your local domestic violence agency for support and information. If the staff at your local domestic violence agency is not familiar with the dynamics of police-perpetrated domestic violence, please encourage them to get the information so that they can help you and other women.

You Are Not Alone

Probably the hardest thing for you to do right now is to decide whom you can trust, but it is vitally important that you let someone know what is happening to you. To all of you who are victims and happen upon this book, know that you are not alone, you are not exaggerating, and you are certainly not crazy.

Excerpt from Police Domestic Violence: A Handbook for Victims. Diane Wetendorf, ©2000, 2006, 2013 All rights reserved.

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There are no easy answers. The fact that many women have survived shows that your survival is possible.

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Victim Handbook by Diane Wetendorf