When it comes to domestic violence, the traditional scenario has been of men abusing and beating women. At the Gainesville Police Department in Alachua County, Florida, arrests of women on domestic battery or assault charges have sometimes outpaced the arrests of men.
Bruce Ferris, a former Gainesville police detective who investigated domestic violence cases, said many women charged with domestic violence are themselves victims of batterers and are defending themselves or striking out against repeated abuse.
Many states have a mandatory pro-arrest policy, where if police are dispatched to a domestic violence call, the aggressor must be arrested. For officers answering a call, it is not always easy to determine who is the aggressor for that specific incident. “Past abuse cannot be considered at the point of arrest,” says Ferris.
Pro-arrest policy blurs the lines in domestic violence, from the Gainsville Sun.
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