It Starts At Home

What If Your Abusive Husband is a Cop? (Rachel Aviv)

In the past thirty years, the criminal-justice system has become more responsive to domestic violence, but family courts have been largely insulated from this cultural change.

Although police departments have become more attentive to officers’ use of excessive force against civilians, the same scrutiny has not been applied to their potential for violent behavior at home. 

But the factors that lead to abuse at home—coercion, authoritarianism, a sense of entitlement to violence—are also present in the work that police officers do on the streets. It should not be surprising that domestic abuse appears to predict excessive use of force—a link that scholars have suggested should alter the way that departments respond to both kinds of aggression.

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