By Sergeant Brett Parson, Guest Blogger, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC
As a sergeant in a large city, violence against women crimes make up a large number of our calls for service. These crimes are often complex and officers struggle with how to best respond to calls of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Nationwide, law enforcement agencies are partnering with community organizations, implementing policies, and obtaining training and tools to better respond to the overwhelming numbers.
Here’s what we know:
- Each year, an average of 3.4 million people 18 or older is stalked nationally and 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. [Katrina Baum et al., “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC:BJS, 2009).]
- Annually, there are over 207,000 reported cases of rape and sexual assault in the United States, however 54% of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police and of those reported, only about 9% are prosecuted (www.RAINN.org).
- In Washington, D.C. alone, the Metropolitan Police Department received over 30,000 domestic-related calls for service in 2011.
These statistics only reinforce the need for law enforcement to receive on-going training on these topics to better serve victims and hold perpetrators accountable. In May 2012, I attended the IACP National First-Line Supervisor Training on Violence Against Women held in Philadelphia, PA. The varied presentation style and ground-breaking curriculum made this a very effective and useful training giving me ideas and tools to use immediately upon returning to my agency.
The passion and enthusiasm of the trainers and their clear grasp of the subjects (violence against women and leadership skills for first-line supervisors) contributed greatly to the program’s success. I learned not only from the content, but also the trainers’ individual styles and philosophies of teaching. It is my role to deliver effective information, guidance, and clear communication to my unit regarding these crimes. The experience gained at the training will greatly impact my efforts.
To learn more about the National Law Enforcement First-Line Supervisor Training on Violence Against Women, please click HERE.
For all IACP violence against women policies, training videos, resources and tools, please click HERE.