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Community Policing to Reduce and Prevent Violence Against Women

Training Curriculum and Resource Guide

Police Executive Research Forum

Published: (Year N/A)

Chapter 1: Introduction


The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is pleased to provide advocates, police, social-service providers, and other violence-against-women professionals and practitioners with a training curriculum and resource guide for community-policing approaches to reducing and preventing violence against women. This project could not have been completed without the input and efforts of numerous persons from our advisory board and the persons who participated in various focus groups and pilot training sessions.

The project team remains indebted to the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, the Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO), and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, whose financial support made this technical-assistance and training project possible. In particular, we would like to thank Kathy Schwartz, Catherine Pierce, Ellen Scrivner, Beverly Alford, and Stephanie Condon for their guidance and recognition of the need for community-policing and advocate-education initiatives.

Special thanks to our project advisory board members, who provided suggestions and guidance in the development and design of this curriculum and resource guide:

  • Lt. Debbie Allen, Office of the Chief of Police, Seattle, WA, Police Department

  • Sgt. Louis Armijo, DART, Albuquerque, NM, Police Department

  • Detective Howard Black, Domestic Violence Coordinator, Colorado Springs, CO, Police Department

  • Gail Garfield, Executive Director, Institute on Violence Inc., New York, NY

  • Nancy Kachel, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas, Inc.

  • Barbara O?Brien, Senior Executive Assistant, Attorney General's Office, Tallahassee, FL

  • Darrel Stephens, City Administrator, City of St. Petersburg, FL

PERF also recognizes the outstanding work of the following individuals in making this project concept a reality:

  • Drew Diamond, Senior Associate

  • Police Executive Research Forum

  • D'Arcy Morgan, Management Associate

  • Police Executive Research Forum

  • Bonnie Bucqueroux, Executive Director

  • Michigan Victim Alliance

  • Colleen Clifford, Technical Writer/Editor Consultant

  • Police Executive Research Forum

  • Rita Duncan, Assistant Professor

  • Tulsa Community College

  • Dr. James Golden, Associate Professor

  • University of Arkansas, Little Rock

  • Rhonda Martinson, Staff Attorney

  • Battered Women's Justice Project

Section 1: Introduction

Purpose: This section introduces participants to the workshop's objectives, materials, process, and outcomes. Participants will understand how the workshop fits the goals of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and, with an initial explanation of community policing, will start to become aware of how community-policing principles, policies, and procedures address violence against women effectively and impact the stakeholders' organizations and the broader community.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the overall training goals and the importance of leadership in addressing violence against women.

  • Recognize the definition and principles of community policing.

  • Define domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault according to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the jargon and terminology of policing and advocacy.

  • Understand how community policing provides a foundation for developing an action plan to address violence against women in the community.

  • Identify how this training can meet participants? needs concerning violence against women.

  • Develop ground rules that promote positive interaction and collaboration among participants.

Section1-1: Opening Remarks and Introductions

Training Sponsors

  • Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO), U.S. Department of Justice

  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, U.S. Department of Justice

  • Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)


  • VAWGO representative

  • COPS representative

  • PERF staff, facilitators, and consultants (note the team/diversity approach)

Training Mission Statement

Community Policing to Reduce and Prevent Violence Against Women: Training Curriculum and Resource Guide is a collaborative effort by the VAWGO, the COPS office, and PERF to teach criminal justice and advocacy professionals how to apply community-policing principles to the crimes of violence against women.

We struggled to balance information broad enough to teach the organizational process involved in community policing with information specific enough to give newcomers foundation-building examples and ideas. To give only the former burdens newcomers with "recreating the wheel." To give only the latter gives participants the "how" of adopting the community-policing philosophy, but not the skills and processes needed to apply community-policing principles agency wide.

We have balanced the information by designing a curriculum that teaches community-policing principles in an exercise-rich format that targets specific violence against women problems and illustrates the information in the manual's comprehensive and unique appendices. This workshop is unique among its counterparts as the first proactive, community-policing approach to addressing?and combating?violence against women in our communities.

"THAT'S ME!" Introductory Exercise

TIMING:5 minutes

SUPPLIES:Trainer's script (see Appendix A of this section)

"That's Me!" is a quick icebreaker that gives a snapshot of workshop participants. The facilitator asks participants to stand, throw their arms over their heads, and announce, "That's me!" whenever the facilitator reads a statement that describes them.

Section 1-2: What to Expect During the Workshop

This workshop is an opportunity for you and your team members to experience community policing, but everyone must participate actively. Because this workshop is interactive, lectures are minimized and a lot of time is devoted to working on issues that are important to your community. Workshop themes are:

  • Ethics

  • Diversity

  • Victim safety

  • Myths

  • Barriers

Section 1-3: Workshop Guide, Activities, and Facilitators

Workshop Guide

This is your copy of the workshop guide. Feel free to write and complete exercises in it. The first tab of your guide contains the workshop agenda, participant list, and facilitator biographies, as well as descriptions of the program and sponsoring organizations. Subsequent tabs contain:

  • Text, interactive exercises, scenarios, and checklists

  • Section-specific appendices of optional exercises, selected readings, and references

  • All standard overheads, so you don?t have to copy them during the workshop

  • Supplemental readings about violence-against-women programs around the country that may spark your interest and imagination

Workshop Activities

Space permitting, the facilitator will display charts of the themes, principles, definitions, and other concepts that are critical to understanding community policing. These charts will be "permanent fixtures" during the workshop.

As the workshop proceeds, your team will also post charts of the ideas, comments, and plans that result from your discussions and activities. These activities will include:

  • Discussions and explanations by the facilitator

  • Self-assessment checklists and individual exercises

  • Interactive team exercises, which include discussions, decision making, and action planning

  • Team responses to exercises (e.g., team spokespeople report to the full group)

  • Real-life scenarios

Workshop Facilitators

During team exercises your team will be assigned a facilitator. The facilitator's main duty is to help your team complete its task. The facilitator acts as a coach, not as a controller or decision maker. Facilitators can provide immediate support for consensus building and other team processes, and they can also help teams identify the resources they may need to develop and implement their action plans. After the workshop, your facilitator will give you follow-up assistance (e.g., sources for additional training, resource lists, personal contacts).

Section 1-4:Overall Training Goals for the Workshop

Community Policing and Violence Against Women: A Philosophy, Not a Program offers a unique opportunity for a participating jurisdiction to decide on, plan, and implement a community-policing response to violence against women by having advocates, citizens, police commanders, and other stakeholders work together and experience collaborative problem solving.

The overall training goals of this workshop are to:

  • Build a sense of "team" among participants by empowering each to work collaboratively toward a common goal

  • Use problem-solving and community-policing principles, policies, and procedures to show teams how community policing addresses violence-against-women issues successfully

  • Inspire teams to introduce and test community-policing strategies in their jurisdictions

  • Promote leadership in planning and implementing community-policing responses

Your Goals for the Workshop

What are your goals for this workshop?

Section 1-5:Group Process Skills

Teams or groups sometimes have a hard time staying "on track." Often, the seriousness of a problem creates tension between group members. Group members who represent diverse cultures or interests can find it difficult to get to know and work with other members. Members with higher workplace statuses than their fellow team members may "pull rank." Other team members may be uncomfortable disagreeing with their supervisors. Therefore, all team members should "leave their ranks at the door."

The workshop facilitators will model many of the process skills needed for effective group work. By becoming more aware of group dynamics, all participants can help keep their teams' behaviors on track.

Section 1-6:Workshop Ground Rules

To stay on track, all participants must agree on a set of ground rules that will govern behavior during the workshop. Ground rules help ensure all team members can listen and be heard. As a full group, add to the following:

  • Respect others' opinions. Agree to disagree.

  • Treat all team members as equals. Avoid using ranks or titles.

  • Smoke only in designated areas.

  • Consider all statements personal opinions, not official organization or agency opinions.

  • Try not to interrupt the person who is speaking. Be a good listener.

  • Begin and end on time.

Section1-7:Introducing the Definition and Principles of Community Policing

Group Discussion

  • Why do communities need community policing?

Defining Community Policing

Community policing is an organization-wide philosophy and management approach that promotes partnerships, proactive problem solving, and community engagement to address the causes of crime, the fear of crime, and other community issues.

Defining the 10 Community-Policing Principles


Accountability refers to mutual accountability. In community policing, the community holds police officers accountable for their actions, and the police hold the community accountable for shouldering its share of the responsibility for promoting and maintaining public safety and the overall quality of life.


Change drives organizations and individuals to view the transition to community policing as an opportunity to improve the way police deliver their service. Community-policing changes should result from strategic planning, which involves all employees, government officials, and community members.


Trust is the conviction that people mean what they say. A community-policing organization must demonstrate that it has integrity, that it follows through on its promises to the community. Trust reduces the mutual suspicions police and community members harbor. Trust allows the police and the community to collaborate.


Vision is creating an ideal, a grand image of how to improve security and the quality of life through community policing. This vision, which should include community members? core values, should provide the inspiration, motivation, and authority to achieve short-term and long-term community-policing goals. Community-policing vision is an entirely new philosophy and management approach that influences organizational policies, procedures, and practices.


Partnership supports the development of collaborative relationships between individuals and organizations. Developing community-policing partnerships is an organizational philosophy and strategy.


Empowerment is the act of creating an opportunity for shared power and ownership. Community policing in a police organization gives line personnel greater autonomy (freedom to make decisions). In the community, community policing allows citizens to share police decisions and responsibilities with the police, as well as their thoughts about which problems are important and more.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is a collaborative, analytical process for identifying specific community situations/events and their causes and tailoring responses to those events. Problem solving involves an organization-wide commitment to transcend traditional police responses to crime and, in creative and innovative ways, address the multitude of problems eroding the quality of life.


Leadership involves constantly emphasizing and reinforcing community policing?s vision, values, and mission in an organization. Leaders must support and articulate the commitment to community policing as the dominant way of doing business in the organization. Leaders serve as role models for taking risks and building collaborative relationships that implement community policing in the


Equity in the delivery of police service recognizes that all community members will receive the same level of effective, respectful police service, regardless of race, gender, religious belief, income, and any other difference. Community policing also recognizes the special needs of populations like women, the elderly, and juveniles.


Service is community policing?s commitment to providing decentralized and personalized police service to neighborhoods according to the intensities and types of services the neighborhoods need. To serve neighborhoods properly, the police must value community members as "customers." By viewing community members as clients, the police can learn, through empathic listening, which services are most needed and when.

Why Women Don't Call Scenario

One woman who grew up in an inner city was fortunate her dad fulfilled the American dream and moved the family to an affluent neighborhood. The woman married young and, much to her horror, soon found her husband physically abusive. The abuse escalated to the point that the woman would end up in the emergency room periodically, but she kept the violence a secret, primarily out of shame and fear. When asked why she never reached out to the police for help, the woman gave three reasons:

  1. 1.In the woman's old neighborhood, community members viewed the police as an occupying army.

  2. 2.Even in the affluent suburbs, the woman's only contact with police had been during a routine traffic stop, and the officer had treated her rudely. The woman did not trust the police.

  3. 3.The woman did not know the police department?s policies for mandatory arrest, and she wanted assurance she would have some say in what would happen.

  • How can this image of police be changed?

  • How would community policing change this scenario?

Section 1-8:Defining Violence Against Women: Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Sexual Assault

The VAWA legal definitions for domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault appear in Appendix B of this section. As a group, provide examples of the issues and challenges these legal definitions pose (e.g., police officers who are batterers).

Domestic Violence


Sexual Assault

Section1-9:Community Policing: Developing a Strategic Approach to Violence Against Women in Your Jurisdiction

What can community policing do to prevent violence against women? To answer to this question, you must first understand that community policing is philosophy driven and built on the core components of community partnership and problem solving. Second, you must understand that while many communities have developed and implemented wide-ranging and successful programs in response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, these quality programs are not universal.

It is important that the police response to violence against women go beyond the formation of special units and task forces. As vital as these units are to current protection efforts, they do not meet the daily demands for police patrol response to violence against women. The community-policing framework ensures all police officers take an ongoing and comprehensive approach to respond to, and even prevent, violence against women.

A police agency that embraces community policing and provides its officers the related education and organizational support can balance the more conventional reactive responses to violence against women with proactive efforts that encompass early intervention, prevention, and treatment. Community policing reduces the risk of losing good initiatives due to political or leadership changes, and it creates an atmosphere in the police department that supports collaborative problem solving and fosters a higher level of community trust.

The key principle in implementing community policing is leadership.


TIMING: 10 minutes

SUPPLIES: Newsprint, markers, anything else the team can find

Each team has 5 minutes and 5 minutes only to prepare and present a 60-second commercial about the good things its community is already doing to address violence against women. Teams can do anything they want?sing, dance, give a speech, include a poster?but they have only 5 minutes to "get their acts together."

Appendix A: Script for "That's Me!" Exercise

Stand up and shout, "That's me!" if you:

  • Are a member of the training staff

  • Drove to the workshop

  • Are a parent

  • Are a member of the team from ____________ (community name)

  • Own a dog

  • Are a victim advocate

  • Have a birthday next month

  • Are in community partnerships

  • Own an iguana

  • Are a police officer

  • Can chew gum

  • Can chew gum and walk at the same time

  • Can chew gum, walk, and pat your head at the same time

  • Can chew gum, walk, pat your head, and play the harmonica at the same time

  • Sincerely want to see violence against women reduced in our culture

Appendix B: VAWA Definitions


Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is commonly known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). To paraphrase VAWA:

Domestic violence is defined as a violent crime in which the victim and perpetrator are current or former spouses, or have a child in common, or have lived together as spouses.

Sexual assault is defined as knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a person without that person's permission.

Stalking is discussed several places in VAWA in the context of enumerating the new crimes of interstate domestic violence (crossing a state line or Indian country, or forcing an intimate partner to cross a state line or Indian country, in order to injure or harass the partner and in the course of such travel, intentionally committing a violent crime that injures the partner); interstate violation of a protection order (crossing a state line or Indian country, or forcing an intimate partner to cross a state line or Indian country, to violate an order that protects against threats of violence, harassment, or bodily injury and then subsequently engaging in such conduct); firearm possession by a person subject to a domestic abuse restraining order (firearm possession by a person subject to an order that was issued after a hearing to which the person had notice and the opportunity to participate; that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner; and that finds that the person represents a credible threat to the safety of the partner or child, or that prohibits actual, attempted, or threatened force against the partner or child).

This last crime created by VAWA "firearm possession by a person subject to a domestic abuse restraining order" is sometimes confused with a new crime created by the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, which amends the Gun Control Act of 1968. Commonly called the Lautenberg amendment, this new crime is firearm possession by a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (firearm possession by a person convicted of a federal or state misdemeanor that has as an element the use or attempted use of force or a weapon by the victim?s current or former spouse; parent; guardian; person with whom the victim shares a child; or person with whom the victim has cohabited as a spouse, parent, or guardian). As of this writing, the law is retroactive (applies to persons convicted of such misdemeanors before the Lautenberg amendment was passed) and does not exempt government employees (applies to law enforcement officers).

Section 2003(1) of VAWA defines domestic violence as including "felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other adult person against a victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies."


Section 2003(6) of VAWA defines sexual assault as "any conduct proscribed by chapter 109A of title 18 of the United States Code." Section 109A reads as follows:

Section 2241. Aggravated sexual abuse

  • (a) By force or threat.---Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a federal prison, knowingly causes another person to engage in a sexual act---

    • (1) by using force against that other person; or

    • (2) by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnaping;

    • or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any terms of years or life, or both.

  • (b) By other means.---Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a federal prison, knowingly---

    • (1) renders another person unconscious and thereby engages in a sexual act with that other person; or

    • administers to another person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that person, a drug, intoxicant, or

    • other similar substance and thereby?substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct; and

    • (2) engages in a sexual act with that other person; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both.

  • (c) With children.---Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a federal prison, knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who has not attained the age of 12 years, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of life, or both.

  • (d) State of mind proof requirement.---In a prosecution under subsection C of this section, the government need not prove that the defendant knew that the other person engaging in the sexual act had not attained the age of 12 years.

Section 2242. Sexual abuse

Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, knowingly---

  • (1) causes another person to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear (other than by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnaping; or

  • (2) engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is---

    • (A)incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct; or

    • (B)physically incapable of declining participation in, or communicating unwillingness to engage in, that sexual actor attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Section 2243. Sexual abuse of a minor or ward

  • (a) Of a minor.---Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a federal prison, knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who---

    • (1) has attained the age of 12 years but has not attained the age of 16 years; and

    • (2) is at least 4 years younger than the person so engaging; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

  • (b) Of a ward.---Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a federal prison, knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who is---

    • (1)in official detention; and

    • (2) under the custodial, supervisory, or disciplinary authority of the person so engaging; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

  • (c) Defenses---

    • (1) In a prosecution under subsection (a) of this section, it is a defense, which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant reasonably believed that the other person had attained the age of 16 years.

    • (2) In a prosecution under this section, it is a defense, which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence, that the person engaging in the sexual act were at that time married to each other.

  • (d) State of mind proof requirement.---In a prosecution under subsection (a) of this section, the government need not prove that the defendant knew---

    • (1) the age of the other person engaging in the sexual act; or

    • (2) that the requisite age difference existed between the persons so engaging.

Section 2244. Abusive sexual contact.

  • (b) In other circumstances.---Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a federal prison, knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person without that other person?s permission shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.

Section 2245. Definitions for chapter

  • (2) the term "sexual act" means---

    • (A) contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, and for purposes of this subparagraph contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight;

    • (B) contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; or

    • (C) the penetration, however slight, of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; and

  • (3) the term "sexual contact" means the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

  • (4) the term "serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty;


Stalking is discussed at several places in VAWA:

Section 2261. Interstate domestic violence

  • (a) OFFENSES.---

    • (1) CROSSING A STATE LINE. ---A person who travels across a state line or enters or leaves Indian country with the intent to injure, harass, or intimidate that person's spouse or intimate partner and who, in the course of or as a result of such travel, intentionally commits a crime of violence and thereby causes bodily injury to such spouse or intimate partner, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

Section 2262. Interstate violation of protection order

  • (a) OFFENSES.---

    • (1) CROSSING A STATE LINE. ---A person who travels across a state line or enters or leaves Indian country with the intent to engage in conduct that---

    • (A)(i) violates the portion of a protection order that involves protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury to the person or persons for whom the protection order was issued; or

    • (ii) would violate subparagraph (A) if the conduct occurred in the jurisdiction in which the order was issued; and

    • (B) subsequently engages in such conduct, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

Subtitle F: National Stalker and Domestic Violence Reduction

Section 40601. Authorizing access to federal criminal information databases

  • (B) the term "protection order" includes any injunction or other order issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to, another person, including temporary and final orders issued by civil and criminal courts (other than support or child custody orders) whether obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendente lite order in another proceeding so long as any civil order was issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection.

Section 110401. Prohibition against disposal of firearms to, or receipt of firearms by, persons who have committed domestic abuse.

(32) The term "intimate partner" means, with respect to a person, the spouse of the person, a former spouse of the person, an individual who is a parent of a child of the person, and an individual who cohabitates or has cohabited with the person.

(b) PROHIBITION AGAINST DISPOSAL OF FIREARMS.---Section 922(d) of title 18, United States Code, is amended---

(3) by inserting after paragraph (7) the following new paragraph:

(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury

to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that---

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate;

(B)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury."

The Lautenberg Amendment creates the crime of firearm possession by a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

(a)Definitions.---Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(33) The term "crime involving domestic violence" means a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence, regardless of length, term, or manner of punishment, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which such felony or misdemeanor was committed.

(b)Unlawful Acts.---Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended---

  • (1) in subsection (d)---

    • (A) by striking "or" at the end of paragraph (7);

    • (B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (8) and inserting "; or"; and

    • (C) by inserting after paragraph (8) the following new paragraph:

    • "(9) has been convicted in any court of any crime involving domestic violence, if the individual has been represented by counsel or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel";

  • (2) in subsection (g)---

    • (A) by striking "or" at the end of paragraph (7);

    • (B) in paragraph (8), by striking the comma and inserting ";or"; and

    • (C) by inserting after paragraph (8) the following new paragraph:

(9) has been convicted in any court of any crime involving domestic violence, if the individual has been represented by counsel or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel," and

(3) in subsection (s)(3)(B)(I), by inserting before the semicolon the following:

"and has not been convicted in any court of any crime involving domestic violence, if the individual has been represented by counsel or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel."

(C) Rules and Regulations.---Section 926(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended?

(1) by striking "and" at the end of paragraph (2);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (3) and inserting "; and"; and

(3) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new paragraph:

"(4) regulations providing for the effective receipt and secure storage of firearms relinquished by or seized from persons described in subsection (d)(9) or (g)(9) of section 922."

Chapter 2: Myths, Stereotypes and Reality

Section 2: Myths, Stereotypes and Reality

Purpose: This section explores the myths and stereotypes of violence against women, as well as the misconceptions police and advocates may have of each other.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the dynamics underlying the definitions of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault discussed in Section 1.

  • Identify the common myths and stereotypes of various kinds of violence against women and how they impede efforts to address violence against women.

  • Explore how false assumptions impair communication between police and advocates.

  • Identify the direct and indirect costs of violence against women.

Section 2-1: The Dynamics of Violence Against Women

Section 1 gave you the legal definitions of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault , but those definitions are not a detailed and complete picture of how violence against women permeates our communities. Various misperceptions, misconceptions, myths, and stereotypes can cloud our understanding of violence against women. Many times, violence-against-women incidents are private, "hidden" crimes even victims try to shield from public view. This section helps you to understand the dynamics underlying violence against women and clarifies the reality of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault so you can collaborate on community-based problem solving.


TIMING:20 minutes (5 minutes setup and execution, 15 minutes results verification and discussion)

SUPPLIES:Slips of paper with one of five different sentences

Each participant receives, face down, one slip of paper with one of the five different sentences. Participants are then asked to follow the facilitator?s instructions. The instructions and the balance of this exercise are in Appendix A of this section, but participants should not look until after the facilitator takes them through the debriefing checklist in Appendix A.

  • How do "filters" like the ones in this exercise relate to the myths and stereotypes of violence against women?

Section 2-2: Stalking---Fact and Fiction

The "He Just Likes Her" Scenario

A woman arrives at the police station to make a complaint against her male coworker, a vice president in the company where she works. The man has pursued the woman for 18 months, sending cards and letters telling her how much he loves her. The woman changed jobs to avoid working for this man directly, but it made no difference. In fact, the man is now sending her flowers twice a week. The civilian volunteer at the desk asks the woman to take a seat and calls an officer in the sex crimes unit. "We've got a woman here who has some guy pestering her with cards and flowers," the volunteer says. "I think he just has a crush on her. Should I tell her we?re too busy to see her today?"

  • What does this scenario say about the importance of educating everyone in the police department?sworn, nonsworn, and civilian?

  • How do we hope the officer on the other end of the line responds?

  • What are the victim-safety issues in this scenario?

  • What are the diversity issues?

Myth of "Normal":"What's the big deal? The guy's just in love. She should be flattered."

Fact:Stalking may be difficult to identify at first. Initially a victim may not feel there is any cause for alarm and may even be flattered by the attention. If the behavior escalates and becomes more overt, however, the victim faces a very real threat (George Mason University Sexual Assault Services, 1997). Lovesickness and obsession are different; stalking is the latter. Pay close attention to what a stalker says and the way he says it. He will often use words or phrases that indicate a sense of entitlement.

Myth of Free Speech Excuse: A man has a First Amendment right to "express himself."

Fact:The right to speak and associate freely is not absolute. Sometimes the constitutional right of speech and association must be balanced with the right of privacy and the right to be left alone.

Myth of the Stalker "Profile":Stalkers are just "weirdos."

Fact:A stalker can be anyone: a stranger, a classmate, a coworker, an ex-boyfriend, a spouse. Stalkers can be male or female. Stalkers tend to be highly intelligent. They know the stalking laws, and they know how to skirt those laws. Stalkers have a "Wizard of Oz" mentality of controlling people from behind the scenes. They also have histories of failed relationships (George Mason University Sexual Assault Services, 1997).

Section 2-3:Domestic Violence ----Fact and Fiction

The "Not in My Part of Town" Scenario

A new community outreach effort on the part of police and advocates includes a series of town hall meetings on domestic violence. In the most affluent neighborhoods, some residents express the view that domestic violence "doesn't happen in my part of town." "Why are we wasting all this time and money on those people?" they ask. "If they want to beat on each other, that?s their business."

  • What stereotypes about class does this scenario reinforce?

  • How can the prosecutor help to educate the community about the actual distribution of domestic violence within the community?

  • How does this misperception about socioeconomic class distort the priorities of the criminal justice system?

Myth of Socioeconomic Class: Domestic violence occurs only in poor, poorly educated, and minority families.

Fact:Studies consistently find battering among all types of families, regardless of income, profession, religion, ethnicity, educational level, or race. However, lower income victims and abusers are overrepresented in calls to police, shelters, and social service agencies because they lack other resources.

Why Women? Scenario

As part of the new community-policing approach to violence against women, the local police department elects to train everyone on new ways to address domestic violence. At each training session, however, at least one respected officer challenges the basic premise that the issue is violence against women. "I heard on Rush Limbaugh [from my pastor] that new research shows women are just as likely to be abusive as men," he might say, or, "Feminists exaggerate the statistics to make it seem women are at risk and this is a big deal. The truth is, some women push men over the edge, and many women end up shooting or stabbing their husbands."

  • How can the trainer educate the audience without antagonizing the officer who speaks up?

  • How can the trainer avoid polarizing the audience?

Myth of Parity:The real problem is couples who assault each other.

Fact: One study did find women use violent means to resolve conflict in relationships as often as men ( Strauss, M., 1985), but other researchers have criticized that study on several grounds. First, the study did not find out whether the violent acts were acts of self-defense, nor did it examine the effects of the violent acts on the victims (National Woman Abuse Prevention Project). Careful fact-finding often reveals that one party is the primary physical aggressor and the other party responds violently in self-defense (e.g., she stabbed him as he choked her), or that one party?s violence is more severe (e.g., punching/choking versus scratching) (Saunders, D., 1986 ). The U.S. Department of Justice has found that 95 percent of victims of spousal abuse are female.

Myth of Rarity:Domestic violence affects only a small percentage of the population and is therefore rare.

Fact: National studies estimate 3 to 4 million women are beaten each year in our country. In a 1995 study, 31 percent of women said they were physically assaulted by their husbands or boyfriends.

"The Devil Made Me Do It" Scenario

Two police officers?one male and one female?arrive at the scene of a domestic violence call. The man has clearly been drinking, and the woman is obviously injured. The department urges arrest in cases with visible injury, but the man takes the male officer aside and urges the officer to "give him a break." "I just got a little tanked," the man says. "I never do this. Believe me, this?ll never happen again."

  • Clearly, sexual dynamics could complicate this scenario if the male officer buys the man's excuse and the female officer does not. If that happens, how should the female officer respond?

  • How can the officers challenge the man?s thinking in a way that encourages him to face his problems?

Myth of the Substance Abuse Excuse:Alcohol and drugs cause battering.

Fact: Alcohol and drugs like marijuana, depressants, antidepressants, or antianxiety drugs do not cause nonviolent people to become violent. Many people use or abuse those drugs without ever battering their partners. Batterers often use alcohol and drugs as excuses for their actions, but research indicates those chemicals do not cause the assaultive behaviors of domestic violence ( Critchlow, B., 1986 ). While the presence of alcohol or drugs does not negate the domestic violence incident, it is relevant to assessing lethality and determining case dispositions. The use of or addiction to substances may increase the lethality of domestic violence and must be carefully considered when weighing the safety issues of the abused party, the children, and the community ( Browne, 1987 ).

Myth of the "Only Once" Excuse:Domestic violence is usually a one-time, isolated incident.

Fact:Domestic violence is not a one-time, stress-induced event. Most domestic violence is not out-of-control behavior but rather a pattern of behavior the perpetrator adopts because it works. We all have different sources of stress in our lives (e.g., our jobs, marital and relationship conflicts, losses, discrimination, poverty). We can respond to stress in a wide variety of ways (e.g., problem solving, abusing chemical substances, eating, laughing, withdrawing, being violent). People choose ways to reduce stress according to what has worked for them before ( Bandura, A., 1973 ). It is important to hold people accountable for their choices in reducing stress, especially when the choices involve violence or other illegal behaviors. We don?t excuse robbery or a mugging because the perpetrator was stressed. We can no longer excuse the perpetrator of domestic violence. In fact, many episodes of domestic violence don?t even occur when the perpetrator is emotionally charged or stressed. When we remember that domestic violence is a pattern of behavior consisting of various tactics repeated over time, citing specific stressors becomes less meaningful in explaining the pattern ( Pence, E., & Paymer, M., 1993 ).

The Love Tap Scenario

The police respond to a neighbor's call that violent sounds are coming from the house next door. When the officers arrive at the house next door, they find a well-kept home and an agitated couple. The woman's face is bruised. Both the woman and her husband insist the neighbor who called the police overreacted. "Sure, we had an argument," the husband says. "But my wife bruised her face when we were tussling." When the officer asks to speak to the wife alone, she responds, "Look. I was raised that the husband's the man of the house. His word is law. You tell our neighbor to "butt out." The officers leave, muttering to each other that there is nothing that they can do in such cases. "She must like it," one remarks.

  • How could the officers have done more to address the problem?

  • What myths or stereotypes impaired the officers? ability to respond to the call more effectively?

  • How do those myths or stereotypes impact victim safety?

  • What can the department do to improve the likelihood its officers will respond better next time?

Myth of Severity: Women exaggerate the problem of domestic violence.

Fact: Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in our country. The FBI estimates a woman is beaten every 15 seconds. Thirty percent of female homicide victims are killed by partners or ex-partners. Each year in the United States, 1,500 women are murdered as a result of domestic violence.

Myth of Women as Provocateurs: Battered women are masochistic and provoke abuse. They must like it or they would leave. When there is violence in the family, all family members participate. Therefore, the whole family must change for the violence to stop.

Fact: Some mistakenly argue that the domestic violence perpetrator and the abused are both abusive, one physically and one verbally. While some domestic abuse victims may resort to verbal insults, the reality is that verbal insults are not the same as a fist in the face. Furthermore, perpetrators use physical as well as verbal assaults. Domestic violence perpetrators are more verbally abusive than their victims or others in distressed or nondistressed intimate relationships ( Margolin, G., Gleberman, L., John, J., & Ransford, T., 1987 ). The acts perpetrators report as victims' abusive behaviors are often acts of resistance. Victims do not receive violence passively but often engage in strategic survival during which they sometimes resist demands they see as immoral or inappropriate. Perpetrators respond to their victims' resistance with escalating tactics of control and violence. The batterer often sees the person seeking separation as engaging in the ultimate act of resistance. Consequently, the perpetrator may increase the violence during separation.

Myth of the "Man's Right" Excuse:Men who wish to be in "traditional" relationships with women have the right to discipline their partners. The criminal justice system should not handle domestic abuse.

Fact:Our society does come from a patriarchal legal system that gave men the right to physically chastise their wives and children. However, we do not live under such a system now. Women and children are no longer the property of men, and domestic violence is a crime in every state in the country.

Section 2-4:Sexual Assault---Fact and Fiction


TIMING:10 minutes


This exercise illustrates why a sexual assault victim may be reluctant to report the sexual assault. The facilitator asks a participant to stand and represent the sexual assault victim. The facilitator then asks the remaining participants to name people to whom the sexual assault victim would have to tell her story (e.g., medical professionals, police officers, social workers, the prosecutor, the media, the employer, and so on). Each time a participant names a person or an entity in the community, the facilitator asks that person to stand and represent that person or entity. Between 10 and 20 participants should stand. When the participants exhaust their ideas, the facilitator turns to the participant representing the sexual assault victim and says, "All right, Ms. Victim. Now detail the most humiliating, embarrassing, and painful experience of your life to each of these people, one at a time. Make sure you tell your story exactly the same way each time, or you might be called a liar."

The "She Asked for It" Scenario

A man takes his employees out for drinks after work. One is a 20-year-old female who is unaccustomed to drinking. She drinks too much, so the man offers his employee a ride home. Instead, he takes the woman to his house where he starts groping her. The woman pushes him away, and he says she is "teasing him." The woman then passes out. The man removes his employee's clothes and has sex with her while she is unconscious. The man is eventually convicted of sexual assault, but the judge hands him a relatively light sentence, saying the situation is "not like [the woman] was raped by a stranger hiding in an alley."

  • How can the police and advocates educate other community members about the spectrum of sexual assault?

  • How do community-based initiatives involve courts and corrections?

Myth of Collusion: Women bring sexual assault on themselves by drinking too much, dressing too sexy, or being in places where they shouldn't be.

Fact:Blaming the victim for the crime is supporting the myth that sexual violence is nothing more than sex. In reality, sexual violence is a crime of power, a way for the powerless to feel stronger. It has nothing to do with the way someone dresses, how she acts, or how much she drinks. The law is, " 'No' means 'no.' "

Myth of Implied Consent:Sometimes when a woman says "no," she really means "yes."

Fact:The law regarding consent to sex states that consent must be overt; a man is not entitled to infer, guess, or assume consent.

Myth:If women were just more careful and alert, they could avoid being victims of sexual violence.

Fact:Over 78 percent of sexual assault victims know their assailants. Over 50 percent of sexual assaults occur in the victims' homes. Being careful and alert does not identify the people you know who may be rapists.

Myth of Collusion:A woman cannot be raped if she keeps her legs crossed, keeps moving, or fights back.

Fact: Rapists often use weapons, physical violence, or the threat of violence to get what they want. Fighting back might reduce the incidence of rape, but it would also increase the incidence of physical injury.

Section 2-5:Other Myths About Perpetrators and Victims

Myth About Men Who Rape:(1) Rapists are "dirty old men." (2) Rapists are crazy. (3) Rapists are oversexed. (4) Rape is a crime of impulse.

Fact:(1)Half of all rapists are between ages 15 and 24. Many imprisoned rapists reveal they committed their first crimes at age 14 (Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center). (2) Anyone who commits rape has a problem, but to assume a rapist is crazy or psychotic and not responsible for his actions is a mistake. In many other areas of their lives, rapists appear like other people. They are married, hold jobs, and have children (Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center). (3) Because rape involves forced sex, many people find it hard to understand that rape is not committed to achieve sexual gratification. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers who have counseled rapists and conducted studies of their behavior confirm this. Rapists are not desperate for sex. Many rapists say they do not rape for sex. They use sex to abuse and humiliate their victims (Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center). Rapists often carefully plan their attacks and wait patiently for vulnerable victims.

Myths About Women Who Are Raped:(1) Women often lie about being raped. (2) "Real" rape victims report their crimes to police immediately. (3) Most rape victims recover and "get on with lives" without major problems. (4) Most rape victims are white, and most perpetrators are black.

Fact:(1) The FBI reports that false reporting of sex crimes mirror the number of false reports for other felonious crimes (3 to 5 percent). A case that is not prosecuted or does not result in a conviction is not necessarily a false complaint. (2) Of victims who do contact police, 25 percent report after at least 24 hours have passed. (3) Victims report sex crimes are life-changing events that impact the rest of their lives. (4) Ninety percent of sexual violence involves an offender of the same race as the victim. The misconception that the offender is usually of a different race is due in part to stereotypes and in part to the media, which have sensationalized white-black sex crimes.

Section 2-6:The Real Costs of Violence Against Women


TIMING:15 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

This brainstorming exercise explores the overt and hidden costs violence against women exacts from all of us. Participants count off 1 through 5 to form five teams. Each team is challenged to list all the ways in which violence against women exacts an economic, a social, a cultural, a social, and a spiritual toll from one of the following areas:

  • Families

  • The community

  • Society

  • The workplace

  • Our international reputation

When brainstorming ends, a spokesperson from each team briefly explains to the full group the list his or her team compiled.


Facilitator Instructions

The facilitator begins the exercise by instructing the participants to:

  • Turn over the slip of paper when I say "go." You will have 10 seconds to count the F s on your paper. Remember, your sentence may not be the same as those people have around you. Just count the F s in your sentence.

After 10 seconds the facilitator instructs the participants to turn their slips of paper face down.

  • Now let's see how many F s you found. How many of you found one F ? How many of you found two? How many of you found three F s?

The facilitator continues until participants stop responding.

  • Accuracy is very important in this exercise, so I think we should make sure we have our numbers straight. I'm going to give you another 10 seconds to verify your count. Ready . . . "Go."

After another 10 seconds, the facilitator again instructs the participants to turn their slips of paper face down.

  • Now let's see how many F s you found. How many of you found one F? How many of you found two? How many of you found three F s?

Again, the facilitator continues until participants stop responding. For a second time, the facilitator prompts participants to verify their counts by running the exercise for another 10 seconds.


To follow up the exercise, the facilitator says:

  • The first thing you must understand is I lied. There is only one sentence. You all have the same sentence on your slips of paper:

Feature films are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.

  • The second thing you must understand is we are all products of our life experiences. This exercise has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with perception. Why did different people see different numbers of F s? Because we all have filters through which we see. Our perceptions can be colored by:

  1. Time pressure

  2. Excess data

  3. Peer pressure

  4. False data

  5. Lack of data

Chapter 3: Building A Community Vision for Change

Section 3: Building A Community Vision for Change

Purpose:This section gives participants an overview of community policing and an in-depth examination of three of the 10 community-policing principles' change , accountability, and vision . Community policing is both a philosophy and a management style that differs from current practice by requiring the police to form new partnerships with various stakeholders in the community so that the police and stakeholders can together identify, prioritize, and solve the community?s problems. For the shift to community policing to have lasting purpose and meaning, the police and the community must develop a shared vision of the future. This shared vision will shape continued police-community collaboration.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the changes community policing requires in internal and external relationships.

  • Determine how community policing enhances the accountability of all community members.

  • Develop a vision of how community policing can improve the ways in which communities address violence against women.

Change drives organizations and individuals to view the transition to community policing as an opportunity to improve the way police deliver their service.

Accountability refers to mutual accountability. In community policing, the community holds police officers accountable for their actions, and the police hold the community accountable for shouldering its share of the responsibility for promoting and maintaining public safety and the overall quality of life.

Vision is creating an ideal, a grand image of how to improve security and the quality of life through community policing. Community-policing vision is an entirely new philosophy and management approach that influences organizational policies, procedures, and practices.

This section explores in depth three of the 10 community-policing principles? change, accountability, and vision ---as they relate to violence against women:


Community policing is not "business as usual." It is a profound change in the philosophy and practice of policing, based on involving the community directly in identifying, prioritizing, and solving problems related to crime, the fear of crime, and disorder.


Community policing allows stakeholders to hold the police accountable for their actions as well as their outcomes. At the same time, the police can hold the community accountable for shouldering its share of the responsibility for positive change.


The framework and goals of community policing are informed by a shared vision of making the community a better and safer place in which to live and work.

Section 3-1: Change

Community policing offers an opportunity to change the current philosophy, management style, and practice of policing in ways that can improve police response to violence against women. Community policing means changing from the status quo . Community policing demands changes in the philosophy and practice of policing, which means not only internal changes but changes in relationships with the community as well. Particularly when it comes to addressing the issue of violence against women, if nothing has changed, it is not community policing.

  • Change drives organizations and individuals to view the transition to community policing as an opportunity to improve the ways in which police address violence against women.

  • Changes in police philosophy, management style, and practice should result from strategic planning and collaborative work between the police, advocate groups, and stakeholders.


TIMING: 10 to 15 minutes, 20-minute maximum

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

To illustrate the kinds of changes community policing asks police to make, participants will use domestic violence as an example of how current practice addresses violence against women. As teams, participants will have 10 minutes to indulge their collective sense of humor and their understanding of the shortcomings of bureaucracies to describe a worst-case scenario related to:

  • Dispatching/prioritizing

  • Responding to calls

  • Selecting officers

  • The officer's goal

  • The sergeant's goal

  • The manager's goal

  • The chief's goal

  • Training

  • Crime analysis

  • Problem solving

  • Internal collaboration

  • External collaboration

  • ___________________

  • ___________________

  • ___________________

After completing this list, which also appears in Appendix A of this section, participants will go back through the list and note how community policing changes the paradigm.

How Your Jurisdiction Measures Up

This exercise should help participants identify areas in police agencies that must change to fulfill the philosophy, management style, policies, practices, and procedures of community policing. Using the second part of the worksheet in Appendix A, participants will record three areas in their agencies that must change if they are to implement community policing in their jurisdictions.

Nothing New Here Change Scenario I

The chief has announced a new planning initiative to implement community policing. A series of training sessions are being held within the department, and participants are encouraged to ask questions and provide input. At one session, a veteran sergeant announces, "I don't see anything new here. We?ve been doing community policing. All the good police departments do community policing. What's the big deal?"

  • How do you respond to the sergeant?

  • When responding, what examples of the kinds of changes community policing requires the department to make do you use?

  • message should top leadership in the department send?

  • message should middle managers send?

Soft on Crime Change Scenario II

The department has worked to produce a new strategic plan that uses community policing to address violence against women. One of the major revisions concerns how police officers will handle domestic violence calls. Even though everyone in the department has had the opportunity to provide input, during a training session on the new policies and procedures an agitated male line officer in the front of the room asks to speak. "I signed on to be a cop, not a social worker," he says. "The problem with domestic violence calls is that the women don't leave. It's their fault."

  • How do you respond to the line officer?

  • What role can advocates play in addressing statements like the one the line officer made?

  • What other partners in the community could play a role in addressing this situation?

  • What other kinds of training does this scenario suggest the community needs?

Section 3-2: Accountability

Community policing recognizes that accountability means more than quantifying activity as proof of good intentions. It means that the police and the other stakeholders must hold each other accountable, both in terms of behavior and outcomes.

The mutual accountability afforded by changing to community policing can be both immediate and direct, allowing groups to work as partners in community building and problem solving. It gives women new opportunities to collaborate on changes that offer the promise of making women safer. It also allows women input into how changes will be made, which ensures the process will empower women and respect their concerns. The new openness and accessibility associated with community policing encourages feedback. With feedback, efforts can be revised and refined to improve the chances the new initiatives will succeed. The goal is to use accountability as a means of encouraging risk taking, not as a means of stifling creativity.

Police/Advocate Accountability

Community-policing principles serve as the foundation for mutual accountability between police and advocates. The test is that both groups embrace the 10 principles as the framework for collaboration.


TIMING:25 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

Using the principle of change , participants should review the previous exercise in which they identified three areas in the police agency that must change so community policing can be applied more effectively against violence toward women. Participants should review the lists their teams developed and, using the worksheet in Appendix B of this section, identify ways in which advocates can hold the police directly accountable for making those changes.

For example, if a team targeted officer training for change, how can advocates hold the police directly accountable for making that change? Use the 10 community-policing principles as the framework for discussion. Consider the role of principles like trust, service, and problem solving.

Accountability to Other Stakeholders

The principle of accountability extends beyond the mutual accountability of police and advocates to accountability to all the other stakeholders in the community.

Trust Among Stakeholders Scenario

The department and various advocate groups in the community have been working to develop a new partnership. About 2 months into this new partnership, an officer sets out to the local battered women shelter on a warrant to pick up a woman who is reportedly housed there. Because of the department's new relationship with the shelter, the officer calls ahead to say he is coming and is told all is well. When he arrives, however, he is told there must be some mistake?the woman isn?t there. The officer suspects the staff spirited the woman from the house before he arrived. The officer tells his fellow officers, and the story quickly spreads through the department.

  • How can this new partnership be salvaged?

  • What must happen for trust to rebuild between the partners?

Accountability and Diversity

We live in a diverse culture where different groups have different norms, expectations, and traditions. Those groups have divergent views on the role and appropriate behavior of women. Balancing sensitivity and respect for difference with fairness in enforcing the law requires sound judgment. The following scenarios stimulate discussion about appropriate conduct and training needs.

"In My Country . . ." Scenario

A suburban police department outside Detroit wanted to establish a new outreach program for its Iraqi community, and it named a young officer, not an Iraqi, to this new position. As one of his first duties, the officer went on a follow-up call to investigate a robbery at a store owned by a prominent Iraqi family. The officer was interviewing the husband and wife together when the wife tried to correct something her husband had said. In front of the officer, the man punched his wife in the face, announcing, "In my country, it is not proper for a wife to contradict her husband in front of another man."

What should the officer do?

  • If the officer tries to arrest the husband and the wife begs him not to, should the officer relent?

  • What can the officer do to maintain a positive relationship with the Iraqi community?

  • What can advocates do to help police enforce the laws that protect women who live in the Iraqi community?

This scenario is based on a real case, and the officer is ashamed to admit he did nothing. He now feels he made a mistake and should have arrested the husband.

Everyone's Guilty Scenario

A male and a female police officer respond to a domestic violence call. When they arrive at the scene, the man argues he hit his wife only in self-defense. He points to bruises on his upper forearms that appear to be from someone's fingers. The woman is sobbing, and she has a badly bruised eye. The male officer suggests, "Let's run them both in and let the system sort it out." The female officer protests, however. "He?s the one who should be arrested," she contends. "Why punish the victim twice? Those bruises on his arm are clearly where she tried to hold him away from her." "Look," the male officer says. "I'm no forensic expert. I say we stop wasting time and run them both in. You women always stick up for each other. My way is fair."

  • What should the female officer do?

  • What should the male officer do?

  • How can advocates play a role in educating officers?

  • What other community groups can help educate officers?

A Matter of Shame Scenario

A middle-school principal calls the local police department to report that one of his young female students may have been sexually attacked in one of the school's bathrooms. The principal says that the girl is crying and upset, her clothes are in disarray, and her skirt is bloodied on its bottom edge. The principal also says the girl has refused to talk to him until her parents arrive. The girl's parents, who arrive with the responding officer, insist they will take their daughter home to address the matter. The officer protests that the girl may have been raped. The parents contend that such situations are matters for families to address.

  • What should the officer do?

  • What should the principal do?

  • How can advocates play a role in this scenario?

  • What are the victim-safety issues in this scenario?

The Abusive Officer Scenario

During a training session on domestic violence, it becomes clear that one of the male officers who is participating is quite uncomfortable. At one point, the officer blurts out, "You know, there are times when it's the woman's fault. They just push you too far. Just because you push or slap someone doesn't mean you're a batterer."

  • What should the training facilitator do?

  • Should this officer be making calls that involve violence against women?

  • Should an officer who has been the victim of domestic violence make calls that involve violence against women?

  • How does life experience affect an officer's performance?

Accountability and Outcomes

How do we evaluate the community-policing approach to violence against women? How can we move from measures that quantify activity toward those that focus on results?

Section 3-3:Vision

Building a better future requires building a shared vision of success. That vision must include the mission of the police department, and it must be based on shared values. Community policing proposes a future in which communities are better and safer places in which to live and work. What will that mean in terms of violence against women?

  • Vision is the framework that shapes how community policing can address violence against women and the fear it spawns.

  • Vision includes stakeholders? shared core values as they relate to improving the overall quality of life for women in the community.

  • Vision provides the foundation for changing policies, procedures, and practices.


TIMING: 15 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easel, markers

If the collaboration succeeds and community policing becomes the framework for addressing violence against women, what will our communities look like in 10 years? How could we tell the difference? Using domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault as the framework for discussion, the facilitator will use guided-relaxation techniques and the script in Appendix C of this section to paint a picture of this positive vision for the future. (Note that the goal is to express the impact on the large issues through smaller details' more youngsters are smiling and well-rested in school because Dad no longer hits mom; the young mother can dash to the convenience store safely at 10 pm now that the community has street patrols.)

Appendix A: Change Exercise

Using domestic violence as the example, imagine a worst-case scenario that shows the drawbacks of current practice:

  • Dispatching/prioritizing calls

  • Responding to calls

  • Selecting officers

  • The officer's goal

  • The sergeant's goal

  • The manager's goal

  • The chief's goal

  • Training

  • Crime analysis

  • Problem solving

  • Internal collaboration

  • External collaboration

Go back through the list and note how community policing changes the paradigm.

How Your Jurisdiction Measures Up

Identify three areas that must change to implement community policing as the means for addressing violence against women:



  • Does everyone in the department understand the reasons for the changes?

  • Do they understand the correlation between the proposed changes and reducing violence against women?

  • Is there a strategic planning process to develop a coherent plan for change?

  • Will that strategic process involve everyone in the department'sworn, nonsworn, and civilian?

  • Are there structured opportunities for other stakeholders to participate in developing the plan?

  • How will you identify policies, procedures, and practices that can hinder meaningful and effective change?

  • Is the timetable realistic?

  • How will the plan encourage risk taking and creativity?

  • Does the plan address the need for changes in:

    1. Philosophy and practice?

    2. Selecting and hiring personnel?

    3. Training of all personnel?

    4. Recognition and promotion?

    5. Assessment and evaluation?

    6. Leadership and decision making?


  • How will the department forge partnerships with other stakeholders?

  • How will power sharing be expressed in practice?

  • What changes does this imply in relationships with advocate groups?

  • What policies, practices, and procedures must be changed?

  • How does this change the politics within the community, and how must partners respond?


  • How must advocate groups change to accommodate this new partnership?

  • What policies, procedures, and practices should change to facilitate this new partnership?

Appendix B: Police/Advocate Accountability Exercise

Using the three areas identified previously, identify how advocates can hold police accountable for making the changes needed to implement community policing.



  • On what issues will police and advocates want to hold each other accountable?

  • What kinds of police/advocate conduct raise concern?

  • What mechanisms can be developed to enhance mutual accountability?


  • How will the police department address internal issues of diversity, particularly as they relate to initiatives to reduce violence against women?

  • Have the stakeholders incorporated efforts to address diversity in the implementation plan?

  • What are the implications for hiring? Training? Evaluation?

  • What new mechanisms are needed to ensure these issues are being addressed internally as well as externally?


  • How will the partners measure success in terms of addressing violence against women?

  • What kinds of new and creative measures can be used to go beyond quantifying activity to evaluating outcomes?

  • How will you assess proactive efforts to prevent violence against women?

  • What structured opportunities do other stakeholders have to play a major role in the assessment/evaluation process?

  • What are the opportunities for informal feedback?

Appendix C: Vision of Success Exercise

Capture the details of your vision of success.


The facilitator should lower the lights and speak slowly and soothingly:

I would like each of you to find a comfortable position---loosen your tie, kick off your shoes, if that helps. We are going to participate in a guided-relaxation exercise. This is not a religious or spiritual exercise but an exercise in imagination. If anyone feels uncomfortable, feel free to participate at the level of your satisfaction.

For those of you who feel comfortable, I'd like you to breathe deeply---feel the air fill your lungs. Now release. Fill your lungs slowly. Now release.

Now close your eyes and do the same thing. Fill your lungs slowly. Then release. Fill your lungs slowly. Then release.

Now let's imagine ourselves climbing into a beautiful hot-air balloon---it's a balloon of your favorite colors, suspended in a gentle breeze. We climb in and look over the side as we start to glide gently up and up and up. Slowly and peacefully, we are rising above our town. We can see it there below us.

Don't forget to keep breathing deeply and slowly. No hurry. Just relax.

Now we are drifting over the countryside---green meadows below us. Slowly, very slowly turning around. The balloon is rocking gently and we are slowly returning to our town.

This is truly a magic balloon. Very special. It is allowing us to look at our town 10 years into the future---after all our hard work and changes have had a chance to bloom. Our magic balloon is giving us a glimpse of this wonderful future. Oh, we have worked so hard together. So many meetings. So many new people at the table. So many nights and weekends out in the neighborhoods talking with people. So many new ideas. And now here is that bright future we all worked so hard to achieve.

The balloon is dipping closer. Slowly it is getting closer to earth. I can see some young girls leaving school, on their way home. Let's listen in. What are they saying? How do they look? What kinds of things are they talking about? There are some young girls out in the soccer field. Let's hear what they're saying.

Oh, our balloon is gently rising a bit. Here we go to a new location. I can see it now---it's a park where a group of young mothers are watching their babies. I see the babies in their strollers. Let's listen in. What are they talking about? How do they look? How are they interacting with their babies? One of the fathers has arrived. What are they talking about?

Our balloon is on the move again. Gliding gently over the trees. It's strating to get darker now it's just about dusk. Who is that down there? Oh, I see. There's a group of women leaving their jobs. They are walking to their cars in the parking lots downtown. Let's see how they are doing. Are they moving fast or slow? Are they talking to each other? Do they look concerned or secure?

Our balloon is drifting back over the neighborhoods. Because ours is a magic balloon, we can listen in to the meeting taking place there in the community room. There's a police officer and an advocate. Let's let our magic balloon drift closer. Let?s hear what they are talking about. One young woman looks concerned. She is having a problem with her former boyfriend. What are they telling her? What is she saying? Who else is there at the meeting?

Outside the meeting in the complex, we see a police officer knocking on the door. A woman opens the door. She looks upset. What is the officer saying? What is she saying? Her husband or boyfriend comes outside shaking his fist. What happens now? What is the officer doing?

Our balloon is rising again. What are our last images as we drift away? How does the community look? How have our efforts to control disorder paid off?what do the streets look like?

We are now heading to an open field. Our balloon is gently settling down. Gently. Gently. Breathe deeply again. The balloon lands. We carefully step out of the gondola.

Take another deep breath and slowly open your eyes. Shake your hands gently. And again.


  • Do the partners have a shared vision of what success in addressing violence against women will look like?

  • Is there a process to allow them to continue to refine that vision?

  • Is the vision consistent with the mission of the police?

  • Is the vision supported by the shared values of the stakeholders?

  • How is the vision communicated to every level of the police agency?

  • How is the vision communicated within the advocate group?

  • How is the vision communicated to other stakeholders?

Chapter 4: Leadership

Section 4: Leadership

Purpose: Leadership turns vision into reality. Leaders of police and advocacy groups must be committed to and demonstrate support for community policing. They must support changes in their organizations and reinforce efforts to collaborate with each other as well as with other stakeholders in the community. Leaders are responsible for educating the community about violence against women and about the community?s role in identifying, prioritizing, and addressing the problem of violence against women.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what leadership entails and how it differs from management.

  • Identify opportunities for leaders at all levels of police departments and community advocacy agencies to institute changes that aim for "zero tolerance" of violence against women.

  • Understand the roles of motivating, coaching, and modeling in the leadership process.

  • Identify how police and advocacy leaders can exercise leadership on the issue of violence against women in the broader community.

  • Explore how police and advocacy leaders can identify other stakeholders and reinforce community collaboration efforts.

  • Identify ways in which community members can support the efforts of police and advocacy leaders to combat violence against women.

Trust is the conviction that people mean what they say. Trust allows the police and the community to collaborate.

Leadership involves constantly emphasizing and reinforcing community policing?s vision, values, and mission in an organization.

Leadership styles range from the inspiration of Roosevelt's "nothing to fear but fear itself" speech to the dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric of Hitler. Both men were clearly leaders, so leadership alone is not enough to ensure positive change. Even today, we see management books on how to lead by fear and intimidation. In this section, you will explore leadership that is informed by the vision, values, and mission that are developed as part of community policing. Community policing encourages positive relationships based on mutual trust, openness, and honesty. Community policing is about means and ends. Addressing the problem of violence against women requires leadership that embraces the best in us.

Section 4-1: Leadership and Management

The roles of the leader and the manager differ. Leadership places special demands on individuals at the top of organizations to do more than function solely as managers. Leadership entails establishing, communicating, and reinforcing the vision, values, and mission of the organization, internally and externally. If a person is perceived as a leader within an organization or the community, he or she is a leader.

Table 1. Roles of Leaders and Managers

Big pictureSpecific action plan
Long-term time horizonShort-term time horizon
Establish framework/timelinesSupervise and assess progress
Change agent

Add other items to these lists to clarify the distinction between these two roles.

  • Can one person be an effective leader and an effective manager?

  • Is leadership limited to top positions within an organization (police and advocacy groups)?

Internal Leadership

Leadership is needed to create a climate for change. Part of the challenge of internal leadership is to communicate the shared vision outlined in Section 3. Leadership is also needed to challenge the organization to plan strategically to translate that vision into an action plan (see Section 7 following). All this must occur within the framework of shared values, which must inform the process.


TIME: 20 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

There is consensus that the success or failure of community policing ultimately rests on whether middle managers in police organizations not only buy into the changes required but provide leadership that inspires the line-level personnel they supervise. Each team has 10 minutes to brainstorm a laundry list of ways top police managers can exercise leadership in bringing middle police managers on board. Advocates should also offer ideas, because they bring a fresh perspective. The police-advocate collaboration benefits from the latter learning about police culture.

Section 4-2: Motivating, Coaching, and Modeling

Leadership that expresses the community-policing philosophy relies on three basic approaches to promote positive change:


Community-policing leadership uses motivation as the key to inspiring people to make changes that address violence against women more effectively.


Leaders give a pat on the back for a job well done; offer advice, feedback, and tips; tap people for tasks based on their strengths; and offer training and encouragement to help people rise above their past performances.


Community-policing leadership basically asks leaders to treat people as they would want to be treated. Therefore, leaders should express the values the department stands for.

Take the following 5-minute self-test to determine whether you are fulfilling your leadership role in ways that support community policing.

  • Am I flexible?

  • Do people inside and outside the organization trust me?

  • Do I encourage collaboration?

  • Do I reward teamwork?

  • Do I trust subordinates and delegate power to them?

  • Do I share power with the community?

  • Do I share information freely, inside and outside the organization?

  • Does my organization reflect my leadership style?

Section 4-3: External Leadership

In addition to leadership within the organization (both police and advocacy), there is also a clear need for external leadership on the issue of violence against women in the community. The same principles and tactics of motivation, coaching, and modeling apply, of course, but the challenge is greater externally because the number of groups with their own agendas and turfs are far greater and the challenges of operating in a political context are very real.

Loss of Trust Scenario

A police officer arrives at the battered women?s shelter with a warrant for an abuse victim who lives there. The shelter worker claims the woman is not on site, but the officer doubts her word. The officer demands entry, and harsh words are exchanged. The officer finally enters the premises and finds the woman is not there, and he suspects she was spirited out the back door during the discussion at the doorway. The officer makes it clear to the shelter worker that he will report his concerns to his supervisors and that this incident could jeopardize future police-shelter collaboration. The shelter worker tells the officer that the shelter director "has the ear of the mayor" and that in any such battle the police department will lose.

  • Who are the stakeholders in this scenario?

  • How can police and advocate leaders work together to resolve this crisis?

  • What can both parties do to prevent similar problems?

Section 4-4: Trust with the Community

Trust among groups who collaborate is extremely important, but trust with the community is critical. Part of the challenge of developing trust with the community is developing rapport with community members, because doing so requires partners to meet community members face-to-face. Accountability is also essential, and that often requires partners to make a special effort to dispel myths about violence against women within police agencies so the community can count on the police to respond appropriately.

Community Trust and Accountability Scenario

A 911 call comes in from a young boy who says his mother is being beaten by her boyfriend. Police respond, but the woman answers the door and downplays the incident, saying her son misunderstood. The woman has no visible marks, so the officers leave. A few hours later, a neighbor makes a 911 call about the same address. This time, both mother and son are injured badly enough to require hospitalization. Neighbors are outraged because they saw the patrol car at the residence earlier but "nothing was done" to protect the woman and her child.

  • What can police do to restore the community?s trust?

  • How can advocates help restore community trust?

  • What other groups could assist in restoring trust, and what should they be asked to do?

  • What are the victim-safety issues in this scenario?

  • What are the diversity issues?

Section 4-5: Leadership and Stakeholders

Partnership and collaboration go beyond developing a new working relationship between police and advocates to engaging all relevant groups in the community. As this implies, leadership is essential in keeping efforts to address violence against women on track as more and more groups with their own agendas and goals become involved.

At issue, of course, is the difference between having police and advocates exercise leadership and having them dominate the decision making. Community policing is a change from the "police-as-experts-with-all-the-answers" philosophy. It is important that power sharing and collaboration ensure each person?s voice is heard. Throughout the process, as the circle of shareholders and collaborators grows, leaders are responsible for maintaining momentum toward the ultimate goal. The challenge for the leader is to expand the circle of stakeholders to include all groups with stakes in the outcome and encourage them to share in the decision making without turning them into "yes-men" and "yes-women" in one extreme or allowing them to undo progress in the other.


TIMING:25 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint and easels, markers

In this exercise, the full group brainstorms a list of groups in the community who should be recruited to participate in efforts to reduce violence against women. The full group then brainstorms a list of the barriers preventing the community groups from participating. These barriers can be general (e.g., lack of time) to specific (e.g., secular groups or other religious groups may be uncomfortable attending meetings in Christian churches). Once the group completes the list of barriers, the facilitator divides the list equally among the smaller teams. Each team has 10 minutes to think of creative ways to overcome the barriers. At the close of 10 minutes, team spokespeople report their ideas to the full group.

Keeping Secrets Scenario

It is not until a fourth victim's body is found that the police spokesperson reluctantly agrees the department has been concerned a serial rapist may be operating in the community. This admission sets off a firestorm of protest among feminist groups, who argue that the police should have publicized these suspicions long ago. The police respond that it was difficult to assess the situation, because the victims who disappeared were prostitutes and prostitutes are notably transient. Police officials said it wasn't until a body surfaced that their fears were confirmed. The women's groups counter that prostitutes are marginalized, and they insist that the police publicize details about the crimes and the suspect's modus operandi (MO) so women in the community can better protect themselves. The women's groups announce they will hold a protest march every Friday afternoon in front of the police department until the rapist is caught.

  • What steps should the police chief and the director(s) of advocate group(s) take to demonstrate leadership?

  • What role will the media play?

  • How should leaders handle the press?

  • What internal tensions might result if the police chief wants to release more information than the investigators?

  • In the event of internal tensions, what should the chief do to demonstrate internal leadership?

Section 4-6:Community Support

As the preceding scenario demonstrates, initiatives aimed at reducing violence against women benefit from involving the broadest possible range of groups with stakes in the outcome. The challenge becomes to involve the groups in the process so they have ownership in the outcome. Considering the preceding scenario, how could community groups demonstrate their support for the efforts of police and advocates?

  • What could the faith community do to demonstrate support?

  • Is there a role for schools?

  • Hospitals?

  • Public health services?

  • Civic officials?

  • The media?

  • The business community?

  • Nonprofit agencies?


TIME:30 minutes (5 minutes setup, 10 minutes execution, 15 minutes debriefing)

SUPPLIES:For each team: masking tape, newspaper, twine; for the facilitator: one heavy book (preferably about violence against women) and a prize for the winning team

As teams, participants have 5 minutes to build a bridge that can support the facilitator?s book. Team members may use only the materials at hand, and they cannot talk during the exercise. Nonverbal communication is allowed, however. Team members are also not allowed to touch the book until the end of the exercise, which means they cannot test their bridge until after they have built it.


At the end of the exercise?s 5-minute construction time, the facilitator tests each team?s bridge with the book and awards the prize. Among the questions for discussion at this point are:

  • Did specific individuals assume leadership roles by directing bridge construction?

  • How did other team members relate to the leaders?

  • How did leadership differ from management in this exercise?

  • How does the difficulty of communicating without spoken language compare to the difficulty of coordinating collaboration between groups in the community?

  • When community groups work together to build a bridge of support for women, who benefits?


TIMING:25 minutes

SUPPLIES:Paper and pens/markers

This exercise requires participants to form new teams. Depending on the size of the full group, the goal is to produce one or more teams of advocates (no more than 10 to a team) and one or more groups of police executives (no more than 10 to a team). The advocate teams must write a 3-minute speech they would like the police to deliver. The police must write a 3-minute speech they would like the advocates to deliver. At the end of 15 minutes, the facilitator asks volunteers from each group to deliver the speech the other group wrote for them.

Appendix A: Leaders and Leadershp

Leaders are responsible for guiding line personnel toward agency goals. In pursuit of those goals, it is possible for a community agency to be effective but not efficient and, conversely, efficient but not effective. When you tell 20 women where to find the forms to secure a personal protection order, you are efficient. When you help those 20 women complete the forms properly, you are effective.

Because efficiency and effectiveness are two necessary components for success, leadership must blend them skillfully. This blending is ever mindful of the constantly changing requirements of the external situation, whether those requirements are political, economic, or social, or all three.

It has been said leaders do not force people to follow, they invite them on the journey. So it is for advocacy leaders of line personnel. While advocacy leaders should have the traits identified for any leader, the nature of their business dictates that they have additional characteristics. Leaders must model the behavior they desire, creating an organizational environment that encourages compliance and rewards achievement. Before leaders can successfully articulate commitment and expectations to line staff, however, they must be committed themselves. This commitment should be exemplified through personal actions and professional management decisions.

In attempting to eliminate violence against women, leaders of community advocacy organizations should be vigilant. As with all leaders, they must forthcoming in terms of confronting people: taking the initiative to ask questions when answers are needed, being persistent when needed, making bold steps without regard for consequences.

Leadership must also have a specific vision for reducing and eliminating violence against women. This vision includes not only a mental picture of the ultimate goal, but an understanding of the steps and proper timing needed to achieve it as well. For example, recognizing abuse against women as a widespread problem includes keeping records that indicate it is so. Agencies that provide services to battered women are often the first places a battered woman turns to for help. If a woman calls her local crisis hotline seven times over 5 months and adequate reports are not compiled, each call is treated as a new incident rather than as a situation that is clearly escalating out of control.

Line personnel should be screened in the hiring process to increase the likelihood of selecting highly qualified and dedicated individuals who are committed to providing quality service. Current employees should be trained regularly so expectations are clarified and reinforced.

Advocacy line personnel must understand that moving beyond the norm is sometimes necessary so that no client ever goes unserved or underserved. If a woman's problem is not within the scope of the organization, an organization representative should make an appropriate referral. Female victims must know there is a support network available and that she can access it when she seeks help.

Community leaders and their line personnel have an important role in educating the entire community about violence against women, but any leader of an organization that is dedicated to serving women who are victims of violence must first focus on his or her organization. First, the leader should institute and enforce an aggressive policy for correcting behavior within the organization. Then, by collaborating with the leaders and line personnel of other organizations, the leader can legitimately suggest that other stakeholders and line personnel actively advocate against violence women in the community and lecture, establish, maintain, and strengthen links to other stakeholders.

Leaders should work together and make joint commitments, then communicate those commitments through all levels of their respective organizations. Communication must be a two-way process. Stakeholders should meet periodically to assess progress---where they are, what they did to get there, what challenges they encountered, and what they did to overcome their challenges. When meeting, stakeholders should bring specific success/failure stories that others can use as learning tools. Leaders should establish milestones that commit their organizations to reaching attainable goals. Periodically reassessing the direction of a plan makes the plan more dynamic and relevant. The reassessment method pays the plan more than "lip service."

One advantage of community policing is that it allows advocacy groups to share their expertise with other stakeholders. When advocacy groups share their expertise, stakeholders do not have to hire outside consultants because advocacy group personnel share with law enforcement the techniques that have been successful as well as the information they gleaned.

Through collaboration, leaders could seek opportunities to educate the community about current trends and thereby provide a well-coordinated response to violence against women. For example, directors of battered women's shelters could speak at police roll call and training sessions or at judicial gatherings. Shelter directors play an important role in educating criminal justice system personnel about the most effective techniques for reducing violence against women. Those directors can help police chiefs understand that domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault are serious crimes, and they can help chiefs instill that understanding in their officers. Police chiefs who have that understanding may require their officers to complete on-going training dispelling the myths of violent crimes against women. In addition to educating police officers, shelter directors can inform prosecutors and judges of the importance of arrest policies being supported through prosecutions and sanctions.


  • Do you lead by example?

  • Is your leadership style consistent with the vision, values, and mission of your organization?

  • Are you as quick to praise as you are to criticize?

  • Do you have a plan to shift power to the line level and the community?

  • Are people excited at exploring possibilities rather than fearful of making mistakes?

  • Are you training disciples who can carry the mission forward if you leave?

  • Are you institutionalizing change so it is sustainable?

  • Are you constantly looking for new incentives to motivate the people who work for you?

  • Do you seek opportunities to share your vision with other groups (e.g., speeches, newsletter articles, delegates)?

  • Do you go to community meetings and listen?

  • Do you consistently reinforce the message that these changes will be made?

  • Are you willing to deal with marginal employees who refuse to embrace necessary changes?

Appendix B: Trust

Trust is essential in community policing, because it allows the police and the community to collaborate in an environment free of suspicion, apprehension, and trepidation. Trust is the basis upon which collaborative efforts are maintained.

With mutual trust, stakeholders have confidence in each other and have faith their fellow stakeholders will honor their agreements. When trust is established within a community, the victims of violence against women respond with assurance. Thus, trust is the result of demonstrated commitment and integrity.

Police and community advocacy groups establish trust by first understanding that the burden of addressing violence against women in the community is on them, not women. If female victims of violence are expected to use available community services, the barriers that prevent them from seeking help must be eliminated. One of those barriers is lack of trust. Women must feel they can rely on the people working within community organizations to address their concerns. Women must also feel that the information they give on confidential terms will remain so.

While we often express concern about the trust between police and women at risk, advocacy groups must also examine their policies, practices, and procedures. Consider the example of Linda N. She called a local battered women's shelter because her 14-year-old son had slapped her and pushed her down, but a shelter worker told Linda the shelter could not help her because it had neither the resources nor the responsibility for addressing her need. Linda received no help, and the shelter's rejection became one more of her burdens. When one of Linda's neighbors later revealed that she had heard about Linda's shelter encounter from a friend who knew the shelter worker, Linda was dismayed that her call was not kept private. Needless to say, Linda will never call the shelter for help again, and she will tell others what happened.

When community policing is operating as it should, problems like Linda's do not happen. At the least, the shelter worker should have offered Linda referral options, including the police.

The police, more than any other stakeholders in violence against women, have the greatest challenge and obligation to demonstrate that they can be trusted. Police build trust with the community through direct contact. Officers in the field must approach their duties understanding that many negative reactions they receive in the community are due to a lack of trust. Once they understand that, officers must strive to demonstrate integrity. They must interact with the community honestly and follow through. Officers may have good ideas about what must be done in a neighborhood, but they should include residents whenever possible and determine what those residents feel needs to happen. Promising and following through are the path toward building trust.

Appendix C: Alternate Scenarios

The Sharing Money Scenario

While routinely reviewing federal registers, the senior planner for a local women?s advocacy agency finds a notice of funding availability. She believes the grant would benefit women in her community and suggests to her executive director that they apply. The grant would provide money to establish an education and training program for citizens to reduce sexual assault in the community. Because sexual assault is also a police issue, the executive director asks the police department become a co-grantee. The police chief indicates some interest but is opposed to the director?s insistence on community input in the grant's development.

  • What must these leaders do to collaborate successfully?

  • How should the executive director and the police chief use the grant money so it supports a community-policing effort instead of another short-lived, minimally effective program?

The Reluctant Judge Scenario

A municipal court judge consistently dismisses domestic violence cases he deems minor, and he gives light sentences to abusers whose cases do go forward. The local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is outraged, but the judge, who is well-respected for his other decisions, refuses to change, stating his rulings are lawful.

  • How could community advocacy leaders respond?

  • Should the police chief and deputy chiefs become involved? If so, what is an appropriate community-policing response?

  • What should leaders in both entities instruct line personnel to do?

The Internal Leadership Scenario

The police chief learns that one or more officers were uncomfortable at various in-service, domestic violence training sessions because they had committed violence against women. The chief knew some abusers merely tuned the training out, but others became belligerent or defensive, arguing that the training was political. One officer at the training was overheard saying, "This is the work of feminists trying to make a big deal out of nothing."

  • What should the chief do?

  • What message should the chief send the trainers?

  • What policy should the department adopt concerning officers who commit domestic violence?

  • How should the department?s policy be developed?

  • Who should help make these decisions?

Chapter 5: Partership

Section 5: Partership

Purpose: Partnership in community policing supports the development of a collaborative working relationship between police, advocacy groups, and the community. Because community participation enhances effectiveness, collaborative partners must work to nurture the community's input and assistance whenever possible. Developing community-policing partnerships requires organizational as well as individual commitment to the process. Key components to making the process work successfully include equity, empowerment, service, and collaboration .

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the process by which stakeholders form a collaborative partnership.

  • Identify barriers to the partnership process and methods to overcome them.

  • Define the ways in which equity, empowerment, service, and collaboration are used to enhance community-policing efforts regarding violence against women.

Partnership supports the development of collaborative relationships between individuals and organizations.

Equity in the delivery of police service recognizes that all community members will receive the same level of effective, respectful police service, regardless of race, gender, religious belief, income, or any other difference.

Empowerment is the act of creating an opportunity for shared power and ownership.

Service is the commitment to provide decentralized and personalized police service to neighborhoods according to the intensities and types of services the neighborhoods need.

Section 5-1: Partnership

The challenge in forming partnerships is to remember that true partnerships require the partners to share power. Just working together is not enough. In addition to facing the problems that commonly make building partnerships difficult, the police, advocates, and other concerned groups face specific obstacles as they work together to address violence against women, including:

  • Gender issues (police agencies tend to be dominated by men, while advocacy groups and the "helping" professions have traditionally been dominated by women)

  • Disparities in the sizes and funding levels of the various participating agencies

  • Differences in politics (police agencies tend to be conservative, while the helping professions tend to be liberal)

  • Challenges specific to violence against women (violence against women issues tend to be hidden, chronic, and repetitive)


TIMING: 30 minutes

SUPPLIES:Roll of masking tape

The Box is an exercise that encourages collaboration between strangers and stimulates thought about issues of power and discrimination within communities. To start the exercise, the facilitator makes a square box on the floor with masking tape. The box should be large enough for all participants to stand inside of comfortably. The facilitator is designated as "Owner of the Box."

The facilitator tells the participants that everyone must get inside the box, because in 2 minutes 1,000 volts of electricity will surge through the tape and the area outside the box. Anyone standing on or outside the tape will be electrocuted.

At this point in the exercise, the participants move into the designated space with ease. The facilitator then announces that the voltage has been shut off temporarily and that participants may step out of the box. The facilitator next reduces the box to a space small enough to force participants to collaborate about how everyone will fit. During the collaboration, the Owner of the Box announces to the group the he/she does not want any other participant to touch him/her. The Owner of the Box emphasizes that the box is his/hers and remains adamant and uncompromising.


The facilitator notes that the dilemma is ultimately solved through the collaborative efforts of all participants?all stakeholders in the community. The discussion compares the dilemma of the participants and the Owner of the Box to the lives of some women in their communities.

  • How did the participants feel when, for no apparent reason, the Owner of the Box told them their spaces, their lives, were not as important as his/her space or life?

  • How would the participants expect women and their families to respond to a real threat?

  • How are the rights and personal freedoms of women compromised when they live in communities with people in power who seem to have no inclination to protect them?

  • How can leadership through community policing resolve the feelings women may have?

  • What steps did the participants take to resolve the problem with the Owner of the Box?

  • How might the participants? actions translate to a community trying to collaborate with unwilling partners?

  • How might stakeholders encourage the power brokers in a community to share their power base?

Section 5-2: The New Paradigm: Collaboration

The goal is for stakeholders to become partners, which moves the partnership beyond coordination and cooperation to true collaboration. According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

Coordination is the harmonious functioning of parts for most effective results.

Cooperation is the association of persons for common benefit.

Collaboration is the act of working jointly with others; cooperation with an agency . . . with which one is not immediately connected.

Table 2. Differences between Coordination/cooperation and Collaboration

OLD/Coordinate and Cooperate NEW/Collaborate
Experts make decisionsEveryone is involved in decisions
Rigid agenda created by managersOpen discussion and communication
Quick to take actionExplore the options
Decision by majority voteDecision by consensus
Smaller groups are second classEveryone is equal
Authoritarian and hierarchicalSupportive and egalitarian
Meetings set up to suit the needs of top managersRemove obstacles to achieve the broadest participation

Collaboration Rests on Trust


  • Results from demonstrated commitment and integrity and therefore must be earned

  • Reduces the mutual suspicion of police, advocate groups, and the community

  • Is the cornerstone that allows police, advocate groups, and the community to work collaboratively

Section 5-3: Equity

Do not confuse equity with equal. A high-crime area deserves more attention than an area with a lower crime rate---providing "equal" service to the two areas would not achieve "equity."

Community policing recognizes the:

  • Need to provide a police response sufficient to solve the problem

  • Importance of ensuring that groups who have felt marginalized or felt they were treated differently because of race, gender, income, disability, religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, or some other characteristic or quality receive equitable police service

  • Importance of tailoring police and advocacy responses to meet the range of needs within the community, at all levels

Section 5-4: Empowerment

To reclaim the word empowerment from ridicule as a meaningless buzzword requires remembering that it means giving people the responsibility, authority, and power to make positive changes on their own. Community policing rests on the recognition that the police cannot do the job alone. For initiatives to succeed, everyone, even victims, must do their share.

Sharing the Load Scenario

A young woman who attended a fraternity party later claimed she had been gang raped when she was too drunk to resist. The case made headlines for months, but when it finally came to trial, the jury found the young men "not guilty." Women's groups were outraged. They demanded meetings with the mayor, the chief of police, and the prosecuting attorney.

  • How can these officials empower their critics?

  • What opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges do the women's groups face?

Brainstorm a list of suggestions that would allow the women's groups to play an important role in preventing and resolving incidents like this one.

Section 5-5: Service

In retailing, the motto is, "The customer is always right." In sales, the call isn't over until the client is satisfied. The danger for police is to assume that they, as the experts, know what the community wants and needs. The danger for advocates is to assume that they know victims? needs. The challenge in shifting to community policing is for the police and advocates to listen to and work with the community to deliver the kinds of service the community wants and needs. Community policing ensures that all women receive decentralized, personalized, and quality public service and that consumers of police service are treated as valued customers. Community policing seeks accurate feedback about the level of service provided to women and uses that feedback to improve services.

Let Someone Else Sort It Out Scenario

Police respond to a neighbor's 911 call about screaming next door. The officers arrive to find a domestic dispute between two lesbians. One woman is clearly bruised and battered. She begs the police to arrest her partner. The partner, who is unmarked except for a scratch on her arm, insists she did nothing wrong. She claims her partner fell in a shoving match. One of the officers says, "Okay, ladies. You?re both going to jail. I?m gonna let the prosecutor sort this one out." The officer then turns to his partner and says, "Better wear your rubber gloves on this one."

After her release from jail, the injured woman complains to the local lesbian and gay task force, and they approach the police department about the way they perceive officers treating lesbians.

  • Statistics indicate that homosexuals rarely report incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault between partners. Why?

  • What actions can police departments take to ensure lesbian citizens receive the same level of service as other women in the community?

  • Some issues are of particular concern to the gay and lesbian community. What are they, and how might they impact the delivery of police service?

  • How does this scenario illustrate the challenges inherent in the principles of equity and service?

  • What can the police department do to demonstrate a commitment to serving the individual and the group?

We Protect Our Own Scenario

The estranged wife of a police officer accuses her husband of stalking her. She has called the police on three occasions, but they have found no reason to arrest him. On one occasion the responding officers told the women they knew her husband and did not believe he would do anything to jeopardize his career. The woman fears for her life, so she petitions the court for a protective order. The judge hears testimony that the husband, who denies any wrongdoing, is a model police officer. The woman says she has no proof of the stalking because her husband never threatens her when anyone is around. She says she sees him outside her window at night. Her husband says she is using the stalking story to improve her chances of custody. The judge denies the protective order.

  • Has the wife received equitable service?

  • Has the husband received equitable service?

  • What does it really mean when we say, "The customer is always right"?

Appendix A: Equity

Equal opportunity does not necessarily ensure equal outcome. Theoretically, every woman has the opportunity to use the services provided by police departments and community organizations. Although equality is of extreme importance when handling instances of violence against women, inequities in those services remain.

Equity . . . equal treatment and provision of services, regardless of the status of victim . . . . For many police departments and community advocacy organizations, the issue of equity is more often honored in rhetoric than in practice. There should be no difference in the response to a domestic violence call from a Latina woman living in public housing and that from a white woman living in an exclusive neighborhood. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The level of service officers and advocates provide the victims of violence against women often mirrors the stereotypes and biases those officers and advocates bring to the situations.

Because violence against women occurs at all levels of society and within all groups, intervention policies and practices must accommodate the varied backgrounds of all women. Diversity is an issue that is sometimes inadvertently left unaddressed when considering violence against women. With a populace as diverse as that of the United States, the "one size fits all" approach does not address the complexity of issues involved with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Relating to a poor woman in public housing and a wealthy woman in suburbia is different. While these two women have much in common, one woman faces some issues the other does not. Therefore, the level of service need not be different, but the provision of services should.

To be equitable, services provided by law enforcement officials and community advocates must be tempered by sensitivity to cultural differences.

Community policing recognizes cultural differences among groups and the necessity of considering those differences when providing service. Race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, social class, age, and disability are social characteristics with inherent differences. Some characteristics are deemed so significant they engender emotional responses.

It is the importance society places on differences that creates cultural barriers which advocates and officers must overcome if they are to achieve equity. Women resist dealing with agencies with reputations for inequitable service.

One key in changing the culture within an agency is to educate service providers on the frame of reference in which the victim makes decisions. We are all products of our experiences, and this tends to influence our thinking and actions. The media add another dimension, because they present information and images that often tend to reinforce stereotypes and prejudices. If an officer or advocate is not familiar with the cultural traits of a victim or does not understand customs unlike his own, that officer or advocate cannot provide equitable and effective service.

All service providers need ongoing sensitivity and diversity training. Officers and advocates cannot be expected to learn every language and every custom. However, it is reasonable to expect officers and advocates to understand that social differences require culturally sensitive responses and to be familiar with some general characteristics of various groups in their service areas. Community leaders and police chiefs must clearly articulate and demonstrate their commitment to this issue. Line personnel who follow the lead should be rewarded for a job well done. Safeguards should be built into the process so the process continues to be effective.

Appendix B: Service

On many police insignia you will find the phrase "to protect and to serve." "To protect" is fairly easy to define: firearms, badges, equipment, power, and the authority to protect women from perpetrators of violence. The "to serve" piece is more difficult to define because service is a matter of perception.

Women often report that they feel victimized twice?once by the perpetrator and again when an officer responds to the call for help. When an investigating officer asks the victim, "What did you do to provoke it?" that officer clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of violence against women. The officer may feel he or she has provided the victim adequate service. If asked about the quality of service, however, the victim would undoubtedly rate it poor.

Some police departments tend to emphasize "protect," not "serve." If "serve" were eliminated from the police creed, the officer behavior would not change. Police would continue to do what they have been doing. But suppose the "protect" portion were eliminated and only "serve" remained. Police departments would have difficulty because service is an issue that has been largely unaddressed in the field of law enforcement.

Customer satisfaction and delivery of service have been tasks left to the business world. Customer service is foreign to procedures employed by police departments, as evidenced in the difficulty imagining police using the business motto, "The customer is always right." However, part of the police mission is to deliver good customer service.

Community policing allows police departments to serve as well as protect more effectively by decentralizing a monolithic organization which heretofore has not sufficiently provided personalized service to the community. Police services then become more suitable, accessible, and understandable to the community members who use them. The community-policing philosophy encourages police officers to view women as their customers and as such be responsive to women?s needs and concerned about the quality of service provided them.

With community policing, officers know what the community wants from them, because they hear about it all the time. The community simply wants officers to listen more attentively and, whenever possible, act on community input. As in other fields, customer needs should dictate police services. To determine whether the women in a community are being served adequately, women must define the service. Formal policies and procedures should be based on community input and augmented by officer experience.

Community advocacy groups that are designed to serve and support women should also reexamine their polices, practices, and procedures through the prism of service. Again, the goal is to move toward assessing qualitative outcomes, not just quantifying activity. The issue is not just how many women were served, but were they served well. Undoubtedly, some community advocacy groups that address violence against women issues are more effective than others regarding evaluation and providing quality, relevant service. The evaluation and involvement of female victims led to the establishment of DIVERT programs (see the appendices of this guide).

Additional programs that meet the needs of female victims of violence could be developed through the collaborative efforts of police departments, social service providers, victims, and the community at large. The challenge is to maintain opportunities for constant feedback. Because what works one year may not work the next, organizations must be flexible and responsive.

Appendix C: Alternate Exercises and Scenario


TIMING:15 minutes


The facilitator asks participants to divide themselves into groups of five. No one from the same team/community can be on the same team. The facilitator then asks for a police volunteer. This person is the "fall guy"---the rest become "catchers." The fall guy must fold his arms over his chest, close his eyes, and fall backward. Members of the group catch him and "play catch" with him, bouncing him around the group. Next, the facilitator asks for an advocate volunteer and repeats the exercise.

The first issue, of course, is whether the fall guy will follow through and fall backward. The facilitator leads a discussion about taking risks to trust people.

  • If professionals are unwilling to take risks, how can they expect women in the community to do so?

  • How can community policing minimize risk-taking for female victims of violence?


TIMING:30 minutes

SUPPLIES:Two easels with newsprint, markers

The full group is divided into two subgroups?the Old Way and the New Way. Both groups must put together a meeting to develop a plan to apply for $1 million of new federal money that is available to a community to address violence against women. The Old Way group must follow the old paradigm?have fun with it and make it as hidebound and bureaucratic as possible. The New Way group must identify the steps required to put together the meeting using the new paradigm. Each group should elect a scribe to record the group?s steps/ideas on the easel. After 10 to 15 minutes, each group elects a spokesperson who reports to the full group.

  • Which way is quicker and easier?

  • Which way would you rather work?

  • How did you identify stakeholders to invite to your meeting?

  • How did you address barriers to the stakeholders participating?

  • Which group developed a better proposal?


TIMING:20 minutes

SUPPLIES:Trainer's script, signs that can be hung around the neck with descriptors like "white female," "white male," "minority female," "minority male"

The facilitator enters the room with a pained expression. "I'm here to announce that there's been a mistake. When all of you were born, you were given the wrong sex and race. In the next 2 minutes, the error will be rectified. This means that if you are a man, you will become a woman. If you are a woman, you will become a man. If you are white, you will become a minority. If you are a minority, you will become white." Participants pick up and wear the appropriate signs.

  • How will your life be different?

  • How will your family react when you go home? Your friends? Your neighbors?

  • What is the most disturbing thought you have about these changes?

  • How do you think these changes would affect the way you are treated if you had to call police?

After the discussion, the facilitator tells the participants they will stay in character until the next break.


At the next break, the facilitator leads the following discussion:

  • Are you happy to be changing back to your original sex and race?

  • How would any of your previous answers change now that you have had the chance to walk in someone else?s shoes, even this briefly?

Stereotyping Scenario

An officer, who is with his partner, asks an emotionally distraught white woman from a low-income neighborhood about the circumstances precipitating her domestic violence call. She says her boyfriend hit her, shows scratches and scars on her legs, and demonstrates that it is difficult for her to walk. The officer then asks, "Is your boyfriend black?" The victim emphatically responds, "No! He's white! I just want him to leave me alone!" The officer next asks, "Have you filed a protective order?" "No," the woman responds. The officer and his partner exchange a glance of exasperation.

  • Would the officer have asked the woman the same questions if she lived in an upscale neighborhood?

  • What must departments do to ensure victims of violence against women are treated equitably?

Chapter 6: Problem Solving

Section 6: Problem Solving

Purpose:This section begins participants problem solving. Problem solving is the most critical component of community policing because it puts community-policing principles into action. The SARA (Scanning-Analysis-Response-Assessment) model of community-based problem solving offers participants a structured way of tailoring and revising effective responses to their violence-against-women problems. For the problem-solving process to be effective, however, the police, advocates, and other community stakeholders must commit to transcending traditional response and play different roles as they work together in their communities. Through its initiative, creativity, and shared vision, community-based problem solving enhances current police efforts to reduce and/or eliminate violence against women.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore how problem-oriented policing increases police effectiveness.

  • Identify and describe the components of the SARA problem-solving model.

  • Demonstrate how the scanning component of the SARA model can be used to identify and prioritize violence-against-women problems in the community.

  • Show how the analysis component of the SARA model can be used to understand the scope and nature of the community?s targeted violence-against-women problem.

  • Develop leadership skills to elicit community support and encourage initiative and creativity when implementing problem-solving strategies for violence-against-women issues.

Problem solving is a collaborative, analytical process for identifying specific community situations/events and their causes and tailoring responses to those events.


TIMING: 20 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

Teams are given 10 minutes to identify specific changes they would make in policies, practices, or procedures to improve service in their jurisdictions. Changes can range from providing specific training on diversity to organizing a committee to develop new protocols for domestic violence calls. At the end of 10 minutes, teams select spokespeople who report their top three changes to the full group.

Section 6-1: Problem Solving: The Concept

Like community partnership (see Section 5), problem solving is one of the two core components of community policing. Problem solving is a collaborative, analytical process that identifies and analyzes community situations/events and their causes and tailors effective police responses. Problem solving is a new way of thinking about policing. It requires the police and the community to share responsibility for the safety of their communities and to play different roles as they work together to address the problems adversely impacting their quality of life, like violence against women.

Problem solving differs from traditional police strategies in that it:

  • Involves the community and all those affected closely

  • Recognizes and uses the expertise of all community members, including patrol officers

  • Uses consensus-building skills

  • Encourages the problem solvers to:

    1. Use a wide range of information sources

    2. Consider creative solutions

  • Addresses the underlying conditions prompting police calls-for-service

According to Goldstein's theory of problem-oriented policing (1979), underlying conditions like the characteristics of offenders or the social environment create problems in the community. These problems may in turn create one or more incidents that may capture the attention of the police or other community members. Incidents may include things like an unusually high number of domestic violence calls or a rash of sexual assault cases. Incidents like these, which are symptoms of their underlying problems, will continue as long as the problems persist.

Determining the underlying conditions of a problem depends largely on knowing the community extremely well. The police alone cannot solve the community's problems, because they do not have the resources. Community policing relies on input from the police, advocates, and other community stakeholders to solve problems.

The SARA Problem-Solving Model

The SARA problem-solving model (Goldstein) brings the stakeholders in violence against women together to work through the problem-solving process in a way that enhances the chances those stakeholders will address their problems effectively. The four components of SARA are:

Scanning : Identify problems.

Analysis : Determine the causes and characteristics of the identified problems.

Response : Collaborate to design and implement a community-based solution to a targeted problem.

Assessment : Evaluate the results and effectiveness of the chosen response.

The SARA model closely follows the "5 W s and 1 H " journalistic guidelines:

  • Who?

  • What?

  • Where?

  • When?

  • Why?

  • How?

As the problem-solving process unfolds, the SARA model helps the police and advocates to answer the questions of the journalistic guidelines and to tailor appropriate and effective responses to specific violence-against-women issues in their communities. Effective problem solving is a dynamic process that allows stakeholders to move back and forth between the four stages of the SARA model as the problem---and its unique characteristics---dictate.

Section 6-2:The Scanning Component of SARA

Scanning (problem identification) begins the problem-solving process. Scanning?s purpose is to identify a violence-against-women problem through point-by-point observation. The police and advocates must describe the problem in enough detail that the problem can be measured. To gain sufficient detail and scan effectively, the problem-solving team must take the following steps:

Step 1:Compile a "laundry" list of potential problems.

Step 2:Identify the problems.

Step 3:Prioritize the problems. Problem solvers may choose to order their problems according to:

  • Difficulty (easiest to most difficult to solve)

  • Potential for harm (most to least harmful)

  • Potential for solving other problems (the "umbrella" method)

Step 4:State the specific problem (e.g., where the problem occurs, who is involved, what setting is most problematic).

Review and Prepare for Analysis Hypothesis

  • From what you already know, what do you think is causing the problem?

  • General goal statement

  • How will data be gathered and reported?

  • When will data collection begin?

Problem solvers should be careful not to analyze the problem at this stage (see Section 6-3 following).


Brainstorm aspects of stalking to fulfill the scanning component of SARA:

Section 6-3:The Analysis Component of SARA

Analysis is the heart of the problem-solving process. In the analysis stage, police and advocates set out to collect more detailed information about the problem they identified through scanning (see Section 6-2 preceding). To analyze the problem accurately, problem solvers should collect data from a wide variety of sources, not just the police. They should seek information from community interviews, surveys, presentations, and observations. The goal of analysis is for the police and advocates to understand the scope and nature of the targeted violence-against-women problem, which means a careful and in-depth analysis of the factors contributing to the underlying conditions of the problem is especially important if the problem-solving effort is to succeed.

The analysis component of SARA has the following steps:

Step 1:Identify the conditions accompanying the problem.

  • What conditions or events precede the problem?

  • What conditions or events accompany the problem?

  • What are the problem?s consequences?

  • What harms result from the problem?

Step 2:Measure the strength of the problem.

  • How often does the problem occur?

  • How long has the problem existed?

  • What is the duration of each occurrence of the problem?

Now that the data have been collected, should you continue with analysis or return to scanning (Section 6-2 preceding) and restate the problem?


  • What are your conclusions about why the problem occurs?

Step 3:Prepare to respond to the problem.

  • Define a tentative goal (e.g., reduce the frequency of the problem or minimize its harm).

  • Identify resources that may help solve the problem.

  • Identify current procedures and/or policies for addressing the problem.


Follow the four steps of the analysis phase of SARA:


TIMING:2 hours and 20 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

Participants divide into their police-advocate teams. Each team selects a specific domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault issue in its jurisdiction.

Facilitators help guide teams through the steps of the scanning component (30 minutes). Once the team has reached consensus on a specific violence-against-women problem, members complete the steps of the analysis component (30 minutes). Each team then elects a spokesperson who reports to the full group at the close of the analysis phase.

  • Were participants creative and innovative?

  • What kinds of information did the participants use? What other kinds of information would the participants have liked to have had?

  • Did the participants achieve consensus?

  • Did ethics, diversity, victim safety, costs, and common myths surface as issues in the discussion?

Appendix A: Scanning and Analysis Checklist

  • Have you scanned (defined/described) the situation in terms of who, what, when, where, and how?

  • Did you go back and reexamine the scanning phase for items you may have ignored?

  • Have you followed the four steps of the analysis phase?the why?

  • Have you opened your mind to all possibilities?

  • Have you avoided the temptation to jump to a response?

  • Have all team members participated?

Chapter 7: Designing Responses and Action Planning

Section 7: Designing Responses and Action Planning

Purpose:This section is designed to help participants complete the problem-solving process they started in Section 6. Once stakeholders have identified a violence-against-women problem in their community (the scanning component of the SARA model) and determined the problem's nature and scope (the analysis component of the SARA model), they will implement responses to that problem (the response component of the SARA model), then assess those responses (the analysis component of the SARA model). As they work together to plan a response to a violence-against-women problem in their community, stakeholders will address issues like ethics, diversity, victim safety, costs, and barriers.

Learning Objectives

  • Using the response component of the SARA problem-solving model, devise an appropriate response to the targeted violence-against-women problem.

  • Using the analysis component of the SARA model, assess the feasibility of the response chosen for the targeted violence-against-women problem.

  • Identify potential barriers to implementing the chosen response effectively.

  • Develop ways to address the barriers to implementing the chosen response.


TIMING:30 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easels, markers

The facilitator asks participants to list the possible barriers to successfully implementing the proposed solutions and community-policing practices (e.g., policies and procedures, people and attitudes, resource deficiencies). The facilitator then asks the participants to list ways to overcome the barriers they identified.

Section 7-1:The Response Component of SARA

Problem response is the third stage of the SARA problem-solving process. Too often, community members try to work through the response component without taking the time to analyze the problem (see Section 6-3 preceding). When community members do not analyze the problem, their response may be inappropriate and ineffective.

Actions taken because of a problem and actions taken to resolve a problem differ. An action taken because of a problem is not responsive. For example, assume the police, without doing crime analysis, choose to send patrol officers to an address repeatedly to respond to domestic disturbance calls. Repeat calls to the scene do not provide a long-term solution to the problem of domestic violence at that address. Instead, the police repeat the same ineffective response over and over again with no context or history.

The police do not know the nature of the crime (i.e., who, what, when, where, and how) and cannot therefore plan an effective, coordinated response involving all stakeholders.

A responsive action to a problem directly and appropriately addresses the causal issue, event, or condition of the problem and considers the resources, external support, and planning requirements for eliminating the problem or making it manageable.

The police and advocates have three objectives during the response phase:

1.Develop a set of response options that are consistent with the information they gathered.

2.Select the appropriate response(s).

3.Implement the response(s).

The response component of SARA has the following steps:

Step 1:Brainstorm possible responses to the problem.

Step 2:Consider the feasibility of each potential response and chose one.

  • What must be done before the plan is implemented?

  • Who will be responsible for preliminary actions?

Step 3:Outline the plan and who might be responsible for each part.

  • Will this plan accomplish all or part of the goal?

  • What specific goals will this plan accomplish?

  • What are some ways to collect data?

Step 4:Identify the most likely problems with implementing the plan.

  • What are some possible procedures to follow when the plan is not working or when it is not being implemented correctly?

Plan Implementation

Section 7-2:The Assessment Component of SARA

The twofold purpose of assessment is to evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen response (see Section 7-1 preceding) and identify potential midcourse corrections. Problem solvers should process unsettled implementation questions and issues by referring to the scanning and analysis components of SARA (see Section 6 preceding).Information concerning the effectiveness of the response should be obtained from those responsible for implementing the response and those receiving the service.

When conducting the assessment and/or plan evaluation, police and advocates again collect data and evaluate the effectiveness of their responses. It is important for the police and advocates to focus on "before-and-after" comparisons of their problem. Based on this evaluation, the problem solvers can decide if the plan is working given the project and/or program goal statement and the more specific goals formed during the analysis stage (see Section 6 preceding). If the plan is ineffective, the police and advocates should review the problem-solving steps, starting with scanning, to determine whether the problem was identified properly.

The assessment segment of SARA has the following steps:

Step 1:Assess the integrity of the plan.

  • Was the plan implemented?

  • What was the goal as specified in the response?

  • Was the goal attained?

  • How do you know if the goal was attained?

Step 2:Forecast.

  • What is likely to happen if the plan is removed?

  • What is likely to happen if the plan remains in place?

  • Identify new strategies to increase the effectiveness of the plan

  • How can the plan be monitored?

Step 3:Conduct post-implementation planning.

  • Modify the plan.

  • Conduct follow-up assessment.

Section 7-3: Building an Action Plan

The best solution and response will not solve the problem if they are not put into action. The forms in Appendix B of this section provide a useful framework for collaborative, community-based problem solving when you return home and begin working to address and prevent violence against women in your community. The following exercise briefly illustrates how your team can use these forms to address your targeted violence-against-women problem.


TIMING:80 minutes

SUPPLIES: Forms in Appendix B of this section

Teams can use any or all of the forms in Appendix B of this section to begin organizing plans to address specific violence-against-women problems in their communities. Within 60 minutes, each team must outline a plan that can be implemented in the community and that stresses problem solving, leadership, evaluation, accountability, and broad-based community involvement. Each team member must have a role in the plan?s design. Each team will have 5 to 10 minutes to present its plan to the full group. Teams can use whatever creative devices they can devise to make the full group enthusiastic about their plans.

Appendix A: Response Checklist

Is the response built on the scanning and analysis phases?

  • Was the response reached by consensus?

  • Does the response address the underlying dynamics that allow the problem to persist?

  • Is the response flexible, comprehensive, and creative?

  • Do all stakeholders have ownership in the plan?

  • Did you remember to ask the questions:

    • "What can I do to help?"

    • "What can we do to help?"

    • "What can they do to help?"

  • Does the response meet legal, ethical, and moral requirements?

  • Is the team excited and enthusiastic about the plan?


Did you regularly monitor feedback and keep revising the response plan?

  • Did the response solve the problem?

  • Did the response reduce the problem?

  • Did the response reduce the harm the problem causes?

  • Did the response raise awareness of the problem?

  • Has the process energized the team to tackle other problems?

Appendix B: Develop a Response Plan: Team Excercise Worksheet

1.(a)DESCRIBE THE PROBLEM(the violence-against-women problem the team selects) Give as much detail as possible.)



(d) IDENTIFY THREE COMMUNITY-POLICING PRACTICES THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO THIS PROBLEM (can include arrest, environmental design, public education):

2. TEAM'S DESIRED OUTCOMES:(What will success look like? How can we evaluate if we are successful?)

3.LIST ALL ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS. Then examine each. Cross out the solutions that won't work or can't be agreed on by the team. Combine similar solutions. Summarize agreed-upon solution(s) below.



List skills/resources each member brings to the team (e.g., knowledge, experience) and what the team can do to help implement proposed solutions and facilitate community-policing changes.

(b)WHAT DOES THE TEAM NEED OTHERS TO DO? (What must be done and by whom? Reference the entire list of stakeholders.)

5.WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS? List the barriers that may prevent successful implementation of the proposed solutions and community-policing practices. List ways to overcome each barrier.


Use this Team Action Task Worksheet to brainstorm the Action Steps needed to implement the proposed solution and the Action Tasks under each that are needed to make the step happen. Also include the steps needed to overcome the barriers you identified earlier. Make sure to include the changes the police department and the advocacy group must make to implement community policing as a means for addressing violence against women.

NOTE: Teams often find themselves wanting to "back up"---to enrich their plans with as many points of view as possible by inviting other stakeholders to the table for planning sessions. If your team chooses to do this, you and your team members may need to keep revising and adding to your Action Steps/Action Tasks.

Action Step 1:

Action Tasks

Action Step 2:

Action Tasks

Action Step 3:

Action Tasks


Table 3. Team Response Action Plan Form

Action Step/Tasks Responsible Party Start/End Dates Key Stakeholders Resources/Information Needed

INITIAL RESPONSE ACTION PLAN:Response Action Planning Checklist

Use this Response Action Planning Checklist to review your work preparing the Action Plan. Answer the questions one by one and review your answers and ideas. When you feel a question has been answered thoroughly, move to the next one. This comprehensive approach helps ensure "all bases are covered."

Check When Answered by Team Consensus

  1. Are we satisfied with the overall response-review all solutions, and community-policing practices?_____

  2. Are we able to measure results?_____

  3. Will this response solve the problem?_____

  4. Have we identified all the Action Steps/Tasks that must be done?_____

  5. Are the Action Steps/Tasks in the best sequence?_____

  6. Is someone responsible for each Action Step/Task?_____

  7. Have we identified realistic timelines for each action task?_____

  8. Do we have helpful checkpoints and milestones?_____

  9. Have we identified needed resources and how we will get them?_____

  10. Have we included all stakeholders?_____

  11. Do we have ideas to get these stakeholders and others more involved?_____

Appendix C: Alternate Exercise


TIMING:20 minutes

SUPPLIES:Newsprint on easel, markers

In this exercise, the full group brainstorms creative ideas for evaluating progress in addressing violence against women. The goal is to transcend traditional measures, like calls-for-service. One way to approach the issue and identify opportunities for success and failure is to focus on answers to, "If women felt safer, they would . . . "

List creative ways to assess the success or failure of efforts to reduce violence against women:

Chapter 8: Resources

Section 8: Resources

Section 8-1: Vital Statistics

  • Each year, 7 percent of all American women (almost 4 million) are physically abused by their spouses or partners.

  • A woman is physically abused every 9 seconds in this country.

  • Two-thirds of attacks on women are committed by people the victims know---often husbands or boyfriends.

  • Women are more often victims of domestic violence than they are victims of burglary, mugging, or any other physical crime.

  • Women from 19 to 29 and women from families with incomes below $10,000/year are more likely than women of other ages to be victimized by intimates.

  • Twenty-eight percent of female homicide victims are killed by their current or former partners.

  • Seventy-five percent of domestic homicides occur after the victims have left the perpetrators. Women who leave their batterers are at a 75 percent greater risk of being killed by the batterers than those who stay.

  • Of women who are victimized by their spouses or ex-spouses, 20 percent report that they were victimized repeatedly by the same people.

  • About 30 percent of men who are counseled for battering are professionals who are well-respected in their workplaces and communities.

  • Of women who visit medical emergency rooms, 22 to 35 percent visit for domestic-violence-related injuries (about 1 million women per year), and 50 percent will not discuss the injuries with anyone, including the police and doctors.

  • Twenty-five percent of pregnant women have histories of partner violence. Pregnant women are at twice the risk of battery.

  • Seventy-nine percent of violent children have witnessed violence between their parents.

  • About 10 percent of high school students have experienced physical violence in dating relationships; 22 percent of college students have.

  • As many as 90 percent of women in jail today are there for killing the men who battered them. The average prison sentence for these women is 15 years, compared to 2 to 6 years for men who kill their women partners.

  • Ninety percent of all family violence defendants are never prosecuted.

  • Police are more likely to respond within 5 minutes if the offender is a stranger than if the victim knows the offender well.

  • Only 25 percent of the approximate 2 million annual cases of elder abuse are ever reported.

Section 8-2:Violence-Against-Women Resources


Disabled Women's Network (DAWN)

1112-123 Edward Street, Toronto, ON M56 1E2, Canada 416-750-3296

Support agency for women with disabilities who are facing problems. Operates shelters and rape crisis centers, provides counseling, features speakers on violence and disabled-women issues.

Domestic Violence Initiatives for Women with Disabilities (DVI)

P.O. Box 300535, Denver, CO 80203 303-839-5510

Statewide organization that provides battered women emergency financial assistance, crisis intervention, and court accompaniment, among other services.


Elder Abuse Prevention

1015 Nevin Street, Suite 102, Richmond, CA 94801 510-465-1065 (Editor's Note: as of 10/31/03, this URL no longer activewww.aimnet.com/~oaktree/elder/home.html) Contact: Ms. Kathleen Dorosz, Director

Serves as information clearinghouse and helpline.

National Center on Elder Abuse

810 First Street, NE, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20002-4205 202-682-2470 Contact: Ms. Toshio Tatara, Director

Provides information, technical support, and training to professionals and the community. Also operates Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE).

Hearing Impaired

Washington Deaf Domestic Violence Relay Service Line

800-833-6384 TTY: 206-726-0093

Relays calls from hearing impaired people who are addressing domestic-violence issues and directs those people to the appropriate sources.


Gay Men Survivors of Abuse Support Group


Eight-week support group for gay men addressing domestic violence that is part of the Neighborhood Involvement Program. Provides counseling, support, and community intervention.


The United, 14 West Mifflin Street, Suite 103, Madison, WI 53701 608-255-7447

Volunteer grassroots organization that runs a shelter and provides resources nationally for lesbian victims of domestic violence.

Task Force on Lesbian Battering

1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 303, St. Paul, MN 55104 612-646-6177 Contact: Ms. Marilyn Allen

Community-service group focused on training and educating professionals (law enforcement officials, advocates, members of the law community) in domestic-violence issues as they relate to lesbian and other relationships.



800-313-ASRA www.sawnet.org/orgns/aasra.html

Shelter for South Asian victims of domestic violence. Provides support, referrals, and advocacy.


P.O. Box 141, Menlo Park, CA 94026-0141 408-730-4049

Nonprofit helpline that serves women suffering from domestic violence in Indian, Pakistani, Bagladeshi, and Sri Lankan communities. Volunteers speak English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malyalam, Oriya, Sinhalese, Marathi, Urdu, Punjabi, and Gujarati.


P.O. Box 2131, Union, NJ 07083-2131 908-687-2662

Works with South Asian women on issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, and immigration.

African American

Black Women's Health Network

3636 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23707 804-398-2430

Addresses all issues involving black womenss health, including domestic-violence issues. Offers seminars, public forums, publications, counseling, and database information. Victim-assistance oriented.

Casa Myrna Vazquez, Inc.

P.O. Box 18019, Boston, MA 02118 617-521-0100 Hotline: 800-992-2600

Community-based bilingual and multicultural organization that provides intervention, prevention assistance, shelters, immediate crisis help, follow-up crisis intervention, help for children in domestic-violence situations, advocacy, and community education with special outreach to Latino, African American, and West Indian families.


Black, Indian, Hispanic, and Asian Women in Action

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 306, Minneapolis, MN 55404 612-870-1193

Educational resource that has produced videos, publications, national presentations, and seminars on the issue of domestic violence among women of color. Also provides referrals to local organizations.


AYUDA Legal Aid

1736 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009 202-387-0434

Provides legal aid and advice to battered immigrant women and other immigrant services.




Safehouse for women that provides counseling and legal services for Jewish women facing domestic violence.

Jewish Family Services


National referral service for identifying shelters and providing counseling, job placement, and financial aid for victims of domestic violence. Emphasizes community education.

Jewish Women International

202-857-1300 www.jewishwomen.org

International organization with regional offices. Addresses all issues pertaining to Jewish women. Provides advocacy assistance, education, and intervention and support help for domestic-violence victims.

Shalom Task Force

P.O. Box 3028, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163 Hotline: 718-337-3700

Provides crisis intervention for individuals and families, a confidential hotline, referrals (legal, psychological, housing, rabbinic law, resources), speakers, seminars, and a high school education program.

Native American

Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center

P.O. Box 572, Lake Andes, SD 57356

Offers health information and publications for women on all topics, including domestic violence. Geared toward Native American women.

Sacred Circle

722 St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57710 605-867-1035 Contact: Mr. George Twiss

Newly formed center to study and provide information, technical support, legal advice, and referrals to professionals on the issue of domestic violence and Native American women.

Mending the Sacred Hoop National Training Project

206 West Fourth Street, Duluth, MN 55806 218-722-2781 Fax: 218-722-0779

National Organizations

ABA Commission on Domestic Violence

740 15th Street, NW, Floor 9, Washington, DC 20005-1009 202-662-1737 Fax: 202-662-1032

American Bar Association's information clearinghouse.

Battered Women's Justice Project

c/o National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, 125 South 9th Street, Suite 302, Philadelphia, PA 19107 800-903-1011 Fax: 612-824-8965

One of the foremost national advocacy informational resource organizations. Performs research, produces publications, and provides other information collection and dissemination services on domestic-violence issues. Also has two branches:

Civil Justice Issues

c/o PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 6440 Flank Drive, Suite 1300, Harrisburg, PA 17112-2778

Criminal Justice Issues

c/o MN Program Development, Inc., 4032 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Battered Women Support Services

P.O. Box 1098, Postal Station A, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T1, Canada 604-687-1868 Hotline: 604-687-1867

Provides counseling and advocacy for women addressing violence against women in lesbian relationships, dating violence, and domestic-violence settings. Also provides legal advocacy, support groups, publications, and education and training.

Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence

936 North 34th Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98108 206-634-1903 Fax: 206-634-0115

Educational resource providing videos and publications, programs and models, and national workshops on violence-against-women issues.

Domestic Violence Education Services (DOVES)

P.O. Box 1172, Alhambra, CA 91802-1172 818-576-5610 http://www.doves-stop-violence.org/ Contact: Ms. Barbara Corry, Founder

Educates the community about domestic violence, helping victims and perpetrators. Provides consulting, training, community education, curriculum development, and resource publications.

Families in Crisis

P.O. Box 806, Ravensdale, WA 98051 800-999-9551 ext. 4494 http://www.hhnews.com

Outreach through education, perpetrator counseling, and community involvement. Also offers support to professionals (lawyers, judges, probation officers, counselors) in these areas.

Family Violence Project


Branch of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges that addresses domestic violence. Develops and demonstrates improved court responses to domestic violence, provides training for professionals, sponsors conferences, offers publications, and runs Resource Center on Domestic Violence (see following listing).

Gender Violence Institute

P.O. Box 91, Clearwater, MN 55320 888-558-4484

Trains law-enforcement and criminal-justice agencies to improve domestic-violence response.

Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence

c/o Futures Without Violence, 383 Rhode Island Street, Suite 304, San Francisco, CA 94103-5133 888-792-2873 or TTY: 800-595-4889 Fax: 415-252-8991 www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/features/detail/790/ Contact: Ms. Janet Nudelman

Provides information, technical assistance, and library services for health-care-based domestic-violence training and program development.

National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape/Women's History Library

2325 Oak Street, Berkeley, CA 94708 Contact: Ms. Laura X., Director

Grassroots volunteer organization with a national database, Network of Survivors, Activists, Advocates, and Allies. Provides information, statistics, law and interpretation services, strategies, referrals, publications, technical assistance, and campaigns for public policy changes and community awareness.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

3616 Far West Boulevard, Suite 101-297, Austin, TX 78731-3074 800-799-SAFE Contact: Ms. Ellen Rubenstein Fisher

Provides emergency and nonemergency referrals to local domestic-violence resources.

National Network to End Domestic Violence

740 15th Street, NW, Floor 9, Washington, DC 20005-1009 202-347-9520 Fax: 202-434-7400 Contact: Ms. Donna Edwards

Nonprofit state coalition on domestic violence.

National Organization for Victim Assistance

800-TRY-NOVA http://www.try-nova.org

Private, nonprofit organization that works on behalf of crime victims. Serves as national advocate and provides direct services to victims, educational resources, and support. Educates policy makers and stakeholder professionals about victims' rights.

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

6400 Frank Drive, Suite 1300, Harrisburg, PA 17112-2778 800-537-2238 Fax: 717-545-9456

Domestic-violence resource network. Provides information and resources, policy development, and technical assistance for community programs. Prepared the National Domestic Violence Organizations list.

National Victim Center


Informational referral service for violent crimes.

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)


Connects victims directly with local counseling hotlines. Also provides domestic-violence professionals information, referrals, publications, and other resources.

Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody

NCJFCJ, P.O. Box 8970, Reno, NV 89507 800-527-3223 Fax: 702-784-6160 Contact: Ms. Merry Hofford

Under National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Provides information, consultation, legal research, and technical assistance in child-protection and custody issues that have a domestic-violence context.


LAPD Threat Management Unit

150 North Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 213-893-8339

Investigates the crimes of stalking, primarily long-term aggravated cases. Also investigates workplace violence.

Survivors of Stalking, Inc. (SOS)

P.O. Box 20762, Tampa, FL 33622-0762 http://web.tampabay.rr.com/soshelp/Whatwedo.htm (*As of 8/5/11, website no longer available)

Sole National Resource Center exclusively for stalking victims. Provides advocacy, referrals, information, support, advice, and education to help raise public awareness. Also has a resource center and works with victims and law-enforcement agencies.

State Organizations

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 4762, Montgomery, AL 36104 334-832-4842

Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 130 Seward Street, Suite 501, Juneau, AK 99801 907-586-3650

Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence 110 West Camelback Road, Suite 109, Phoenix, AZ 85103 602-279-2900

Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence #1 Sheriffs Lane, Suite C, North Little Rock, AR 72114 501-812-0571

California Alliance Against Domestic Violence c/o MAWS, 1717 5th Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901 415-457-2464

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 18902, Denver, CO 80218 303-831-9632

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence 135 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06105 860-524-5890

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 847, Wilmington, DE 19899 302-658-2958

District of Columbia Against Domestic Violence 513 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20013 202-783-5332

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 410 Office Plaza Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301 904-671-3998

Georgia Coalition of Family Violence, Inc. 1827 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 325, Atlanta, GA 30339 770-984-0085

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence 98-939 Moanalua Road, Aiea, HI 96701-5012 808-486-5072

Idaho Coalition Against Domestic Violence 15 Park Boulevard, Suite 140, Boise, ID 83712 208-384-0419

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence 730 East Vine Street, Suite 109, Springfield, IL 62703 217-789-2830

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence 2511 E. 46th Street, Suite N-3, Indianapolis, IN 46205 317-543-3908

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1540 High Street, Suite 100, Des Moines, IA 50309-3123 515-244-8028

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 820 SE Quincy, Suite 422, Topeka, KS 66612 913-232-9784

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association P.O. Box 356, Frankfort, KY 40602 502-875-4132

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 77308, Baton Rouge, LA 70879-7308 504-752-1296

Maine Coalition for Family Crisis Services 128 Main Street, Bangor, ME 04401 207-941-1194

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence 11501 Georgia Avenue, Suite 403, Silver Spring, MD 20902 301-942-0900

Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women's Service Groups 14 Beacon Street, Suite 507, Boston, MA 02108 617-248-0922

Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence 913 West Holmes, Suite 211, Lansing, MI 48910 517-887-9334

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women 450 North Sydicate Street, Suite 122, St. Paul, MN 55104 612-646-6177

Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 4703, Jackson, MS 39296-4703 601-981-9196

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence 415 East McCarty, Jefferson City, MO 65101 573-634-4161

Montana Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 633, Helena, MT 59601 406-443-7794

Nebraska Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Coalition 315 South 9th, #18, Lincoln, NE 68508-2253 402-476-6256

Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence 2100 Capurro Way, Suite E, Sparks, NV 89431 702-358-1171

New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence P.O. Box 353, Concord, NH 03302-0353 603-224-8893

New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women 2620 Whitehorse/Hamilton Square Road, Trenton, NJ 08690-2718 609-584-8107

New Mexico State Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 25363, Albuquerque, NM 87125 505-246-9240

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Women's Building, 79 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 518-432-4864

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 25189, Durham, NC 27702 919-956-9124

North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services 418 East Rossner Avenue, Suite 320, Bismarck, ND 58501 701-255-6240

Ohio Domestic Violence Network 4041 North High Street, Suite 101, Columbus, OH 43214 614-784-0023

Oklahoma Coalition on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 2200 North Classen Boulevard, Suite 610, Oklahoma City, OK 73106 405-557-1210

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence 520 NW Davis, Suite 310, Portland, OR 97209 503-223-7411

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence 6400 Flank Drive, Suite 1300, Harrisburg, PA 17112 717-545-6400

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence 422 Post Road, Suite 104, Warwick, RI 02888 401-467-9940

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault P.O. Box 7776, Columbia, SC 29202-7776 803-750-1222

South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault P.O. Box 141, Pierre, SD 57501 605-945-0869

Tennessee Task Force Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 120972, Nashville, TN 37212 615-386-9406

Texas Council on Family Violence 8701 North Mopac Expressway, Suite 450, Austin, TX 78759 800-525-1978

(Utah) Domestic Violence Advisory Council 120 North 200 West, Room 319, Salt Lake City, UT 84103 801-538-9886

Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault P.O. Box 405, Montpelier, VT 05601 802-223-1302

Virginians Against Domestic Violence 2850 Sandy Bay Road, Suite 101, Williamsburg, VA 23185 804-221-0900

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence 2101 4th Avenue East, Suite 103, Olympia, WA 98503 360-352-4029

West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 85, Sutton, WV 26601-0085 304-765-2250

Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1400 East Washington Avenue, Suite 103, Madison, WI 53703 608-255-0539

Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault P.O. Box 1946, Pinedale, WY 82941 307-367-4296

Section 8-3:Community-Policing Resources

Brown, Lee P. (1989). Community Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Officials . National Institute of Justice, Perspectives on Policing. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and Harvard University.

This report describes the community-policing philosophy and outlines its historical development. The author draws on his experience in implementing community policing in Houston to depict the process of evolving a police department into a community-policing organization.

Community Relations Service Staff (1987). Principles of Good Policing: Avoiding Violence Between Police and Citizens . Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

This publication sets out principles that should govern police work in a community. The underlying assumption is that a police force and the community it serves must reach a consensus on their guiding values.

Couper, David C., and Sabine H. Lobitz (1991). Quality Policing: The Madison Experience . Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.

This discussion paper chronicles the experiences of the Madison (WI) Police Department in using quality improvement methods to implement a problem-solving approach to community policing. The paper relates the obstacles and achievements the department experienced over a 9-year period as it moved toward a style of leadership conducive to formulating long-term solutions to crime and disorder.

Eck, John (1989). Taking a Problem-Oriented Approach to Drug Enforcement , Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.

This is an outline of a 2-year Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) project started in Spring 1988, which applied a problem-oriented approach to the problems of illegal drugs in five cities: Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia, Tulsa, and San Diego.

Goldstein, Herman (1990). Problem-Oriented Policing . New York: McGraw-Hill.

This book outlines the basic elements of the problem-oriented approach to policing, in which the police focus on the underlying causes of crime rather than just respond to calls-for-service.

Greene, Jack R., and Stephen D. Mastrofski, eds. (1988). Community Policing: Rhetoric or Reality . New York: Praeger.

This work examines community policing in terms of its nature, its underlying theory, and evaluation approaches and issues.

Kelling, George L. (1988). Police and Communities: The Quiet Revolution . National Institute of Justice, Perspectives on Policing. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and Harvard University.

This report discusses the movement of many police agencies toward community policing and problem solving and examines the benefits and risks of community policing.

Kelling, George L.; Robert Wasserman; and Hubert Williams (1988). Police Accountability and Community Policing . National Institute of Justice, Perspectives on Policing. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and Harvard University.

This work contends that community-policing characteristics like organizational decentralization and increased intimacy between officers and citizens require increased use of officer discretion and increased officer empowerment.

Skolnick, Jerome H., and David H. Bayley (1988). Community Policing: Issues and Practices Around the World . National Institute of Justice, Issues, and Practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

This report, which focuses on the common aspects of community-policing initiatives in the United States and abroad, discusses the concept of community policing as it reviews approaches in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, and Japan.

Sparrow, Malcolm K. (1988). Implementing Community Policing . National Institute of Justice, Perspectives in Policing. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and Harvard University.

This paper reviews the challenges facing those who choose to implement community policing. The aim of this paper is to help resolve the problems of implementation by finding effective means for overcoming obstacles.

Toch, Hans, and J. Douglas Grant (1991). Police as Problem Solvers . New York, NY: Plenum.

This work views the problem-oriented approach to policing from the officers? perspective, aiming to make the problem-oriented policing process come alive and make sense.

Trojanowicz, Robert, and Bonnie Bucqueroux (1990). Community Policing?A Contemporary Perspective . Cincinnati: Anderson.

This book defines "community policing" by setting forth the Ten Principles of Community. Policing and details the evolution of the community-policing officer and the growth of community policing. This book is intended to help government policy makers and administrators, community leaders, and concerned citizens understand what community policing can and cannot do.

Wadman, Robert C., and Robert K. Olson (1990). Community Wellness: A New Theory of Policing . Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.

This discussion paper not only explains why the dominant theory of reactive policing is failing, it suggests a direction for American policing. This paper explores the philosophical aspects of community policing and provides useful, concrete strategies for implementing it.

Weisel, Deborah Lamm (1990). Tackling Drug Problems in Public Housing: A Guide for Police . Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum.

This book provides critical information about developing collaborative relationships to ease the drug problems in public housing. It describes the development of relevant public-housing policies, rules, and management practices like screening and eviction, as well as legal and fiscal constraints.

Section 8-4: Community-Policing Web Sites

Beaufort Police Department, Community Policing Team: http://www.bftpolice.com/cop/community.htm (*As of 8/5/11, this site is no longer available)

Chicago Police Department, Community Policing Page: http://www.ci.chiil.us/CommunityPolicing (*As of 12/02/03, this site is no longer available 12/02/03)

Ignet: http://www.ignet.gov/

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACJD/archive.jsp

Nashville Police Department: http://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department.aspx

Northwestern University Police: http://www.northwestern.edu/up/

Police Executive Research Forum: http://www.policeforum.org

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Community Policing: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ccaps-spcca/contract-eng.htm

Willow Springs (MO) Police Department: http://scan.missouri.org/~willowpd (This website is no longer available as of 12/02/03).

Winston-Salem (MS) Police Department: http://wsnetra.ci.winston-salem.nc.us/psc (this page is not available as of 12/02/03).

Section 8-5:Principle-Specific Resources



License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives . D. Finkelhor and K. Yilo, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1985.

The Female Fear . Margaret T. Gordon and Stephanie Riger, New York: The Free Press, 1989.

Rape and Criminal Justice: The Social Construction of Sexual Assault . Gary D. LaFree, Wadsworth, Inc., 1989.


"Acts of Power, Control, and Resistance." Peter M. Kellett, Hate Speech , Rita Kirk Whillock and David Slayden, eds., Sage Publications, 1995.

"Children: The Unintended Victims of Marital Violence." A. Rosenbaum and K. O'Leary, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry , 5:689-699, 1981.

"Citizens Terrorized as Police Look On," David Freed, Los Angeles Times , pp. 1, 3-5, September 25, 1988.

"Anti-Gay Violence, Victimization, and Defamation in 1989." National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1990.



Leadership and the Quest for Integrity . Josepth L. Badaracco, Jr., and Richard R. Ellsworth, Harvard Business School Press, 1989.

Principle Centered Leadership . Stephen R. Covey, Summit Books, 1991.

Ethics and Leadership: Putting Theory Into Practice . W.D. Hitt, Battelle Press, 1990.

New Ways of Managing Conflict . R. Likert and J. G. Likert, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1976.

Working Together to Get Things Done: Managing for Organizational Productivity . D. Tjosvold, Lexington Books, 1986.

Change Masters . Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Simon and Schuster, 1984.

Leadership without Easy Answers . Ronald A. Heifetz, Harvard University Press, 1994.

A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management . John P. Kotter, The Free Press, 1990.

Effective Leadership: A Self-Development Manual . John Adair, Aldershoot, England: Gower Publishing Company, Ltd., 1983.


"Leadership Strategies for Managing Conflict." C. Kormanski, Journal for Specialists in Group Work , 7, pp. 112-118, 1982.

"Leadership: Good, Better, Best." Organizational Dynamics , v. 13 (Winter), pp. 26-40, 1985.

"Why Our Society is Rape-Prone." Jane Hood, New York Times , May 16, 1989.


"Leadership Challenge." CRM Films, 2215 Faraday Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008

"Winning Face to Face: The Art of Resolving Conflicts in the Workplace."

"The Power of Vision."

"How to Lead Effectively."

"Twelve Angry Men."



A Different Mirror . Ronald Takaki, Little, Brown & Company, 1993.

Impacts of Racism on White Americans. Benjamin P. Bowser and Raymond G. Hunt, Sage Publications, 1996.

Unequal Sisters . Ellen Dubois and Vicki Ruis, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1990.

Man's Most Dangerous Myth . Ashley Montague, Sage Publications, 1997.

Racial Formation in the United States . Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Routledge, 1987.

The Meaning of Difference . Karen E. Rosenblum and Toni-Michelle C. Travis, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 1995.

The War Against the Poor . Herbert J. Gans, Basic Books, 1995.

Streetwise . Elijah Anderson, University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Two Nations . Andrew Hacker, Charles Scribner?s Sons, 1992.

South of Haunted Dreams . Eddy L. Harris, Henry Holt and Company, 1997.

The Native American Almanac: A Portrait of Native America Today . Arlene B Hirschfelder and Martha Kreipe de Montano, Prentice Hall, 1993.

A Circle of Nations: Voices and Visions of American Indians . John Gattuso, ed., Beyond Words Publishing, 1993.

Growing Up Native American: An Anthology , Patricia Riley, ed., William Morrow and Company, 1993.

The Invisible Musician . Ray A. Young Bear, Holy Cow! Press, 1990.

Discrimination American Style: Institutional Racism and Sexism , Joe R. and C.B. Feagin, Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company, 1986.

Hate Crimes: Confronting Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men . Gregory Herek and Kevin Banl, eds., Sage Publications, 1991.

Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them . David Island and Patrick Latellier, Hawroth Press, 1991.

Naming the Violence: Speaking Out About Lesbian Battering . Kerry Lobel, Seal Press, 1986.

Barrios and Borderlands: Cultures of Latinos and Latinas in the United States . Denis Lynn Daly Heyck, Routledge, 1994.

Hispanics in the United States . Joan Moore and Harry Pachon, Prentice-Hall, 1985.

Politics and Society in the Southwest: Ethnicity and Chicano Pluralism . Z. Anthony Kruszewski, Richard L Hough, and Jacob Ornstein-Galicia, Westview Press, 1982.

Puerto Rican Americans: The Meaning of Migration to the Mainland . Joseph P. Fitzpatrick, Prentice-Hall, 1987.

Hmong Means Free: Life in Laos and America . Sucheng Chan, ed., Temple University Press, 1994.

The Filipinos in America . Antonio J.A. Pido, Center for Migration Studies, 1996.

Chinatown and Little Tokyo . Stanford M. Lyman, Associated Faculty Press, 1986.

Chink! Cheng-Tsu Wu, Meridian, 1972.

Japanese Americans: The Evolution of a Subculture . Harry H.L. Kitano, Prentice-Hall, 1976.


"White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies." Peggy McIntosh, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology , Margaret L. Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins, eds., Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995.

"Crimes Against Humanity." Ward Churchill, Z Magazine , pp. 43-47, March 1993.


"Pink Triangles." Cambridge Documentary, P.O. Box 385, Cambridge, MA 02139

"Ethnic Notions."

Journals and Periodicals

African American

American Visions

Black American Literature Forum

Black Issues in Higher Education

Black Law Journal

The Black Nation

The Black Scholar

Callaloo: Journal of Afro-American and African Arts and Letters

College Language Association (CLA) Journal: Afro-American, African, and Caribbean Literature





Journal of Black Psychology

Journal of Black Studies

Journal of Negro Education

Journal of Negro History

Kokay I

Negro History Bulletin

Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review

Phylon, A Review of Race and Culture

Review of Black Political Economy

SAGE: A Scholarly Journal of Black Women

Western Journal of Black Studies

Native American

Akwesasne Notes

American Indian Art Magazine

American Indian Culture and Research Journal

American Indian Law Review

American Indian Quarterly

Dream Catcher

Indian Affairs

Indian Country

Native Peoples

NCAI News (National Congress of American Indians)

News from Native California

Osage Nation News

Wassaja (National Newspaper of Indian America)

General Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Affairs

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Ethnic Forum

Explorations in Ethnic Studies

Immigrants and Minorities

Interracial Books for Children Bulletin

Journal of American Ethnic History

Journal of Ethnic Studies

Race & Class

Sage Race Relations Abstracts (periodicals index)



Bilingual Review, La Revista

Chicano Law Review

El Chicano

El Tecolote

Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences

Hispanic Link Weekly Report

Latino Studies Journal

Revista Mujeres

Asian American

Amerasia Journal

Asiaweek: Journal for the Asian American Community

Focus on Asian Studies

P/AAMHRC Research Review (Pacific/Asian American Mental Health Research Center)

Pacific Citizen

Pacific Ties

Vietnam Forum

Jewish American Journals




Cultural Considerations

While the United States has numerous racial and ethnic groups, these groups have traditionally been expected to conform to Anglo American customs and values. The "American melting pot" metaphor has been more idealistic than realistic, because all cultures in this country have not blended into one.

Thousands of people living in America have maintained the cultural traditions of their heritages. Within these cultural traditions are vastly different views of human interaction, time, space, and the proper human relationship to the physical environment. Through various cultural expressions, people translate their beliefs into behaviors. Clearly, if these views differ significantly from the national Anglo standard, a woman may be misunderstood or, worse, discounted. To respond effectively to violence against women, service providers must be aware of and sensitive to cultural variations among victims.

The following information is intended to describe some generic characteristics of women from different backgrounds so that you may acknowledge cultural differences. When serving victims, it benefits the service provider to consider these characteristics as possible reasons a woman responds in a way the service provider may feel is peculiar. These cultural distinctions may influence the feelings a woman has about seeking help, but they should not influence the quality of service she receives.

This information should not be construed as applying to every victim, because many members of racial and ethnic groups do not live according to the customs and norms of their groups. Recognize, however, that differences do sometimes exist and, when appropriate, use that knowledge to improve services to female victims of violence.

Latino/Hispanic Community

He never hits me hard . . . He thinks I'm going to run away like his sisters, who made the family ashamed. Just because I'm a daughter, and then she doesn't say.

Sandra Cisneros The House on Manqo Street

The term Hispanic is a collective label proposed by the U.S. government to designate people of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, and Central/South American heritages. It is an English word derived from Hispania, the Roman name for Spain. The term Latino is also a group designation for people of the aforementioned descents but, because it is a Spanish word, it is considered more acceptable to many Spanish-speaking Americans. These terms are often used interchangeably.

While this population is very diverse, its members share many characteristics and values:

  • The Latino community mistrusts the police and community services, so it is not uncommon for Latinas (women) to use these services only when necessary.

  • The Spanish language and other cultural traditions differ from the dominant Anglo society. The language barrier presents another explanation for the underutilization of public services.

  • According to traditional Latino values, women are subservient to men. Men are seen as aggressors and, according to custom, a woman is a man's property. This custom may be the reason some Hispanic women find it difficult to identify with domestic abuse.

  • Latinas who are undocumented are in a very precarious position. Because of their illegal status, these women may be reluctant to report violence or to cooperate with service providers when those providers discover violent episodes.

  • Close family ties and emphasis on the group as opposed to the individual are characteristic of Hispanics. In traditional Latino culture, it is inappropriate to seek help outside the cultural community. Therefore, the woman who seeks outside help not only brings shame upon herself, she brings shame upon her family as well.

Asian Community

Spare no effort, struggle unceasingly, that at last peace may come to our people. Ch'u Chin

The Asian community is an extremely diverse group. It comprises people with ancestors from the numerous Asian countries. Unlike the Latino community, the Asian community does not have a common language. Asians share other characteristics:

  • The Asian community may not consider domestic abuse a criminal activity, because most traditional Asian societies are male-dominated.

  • Saving face is important to Asians. As a result, Asian women may feel it is better to avoid the embarrassment of reporting abuse.

  • Many marriages are arranged for Asian children, and women are still bought and sold in some Asian cultures. If a man has purchased his wife, she becomes his property, to do with as he pleases. Some Asian women are taught to believe that they should tolerate violence.

  • Some Asian women fear leaving their abusive relationships because they cannot support themselves.

Native American Community

. . . everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. Mourning Dove

Members of the Native American community are descendants of the indigenous people of the territory now known as the United States. Native Americans are also called American Indians. Like the names for other communities, the title Native American is collective. This community encompasses a diverse group of tribes, each with its own, unique culture. Among the common characteristics of Native Americans are:

  • A code of silence may pervade the community, making Native American women reluctant to speak out about violence against women. They may believe such matters should be unspoken.

  • Because Indian women are traditionally viewed as strong, it is assumed that they can (and will) endure anything.

  • Although it is generally unacceptable to abuse or be abused, the abuse rate in the Native American community is high.

  • Tribal people tend to be group oriented. As in other communities, violence in the Native American community is seen as shaming the family. As a result, Native American women may hesitate to seek outside assistance with violence problems.

African American Community

In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature's way of forcing change---break down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new can take their place. Susan Taylor

Black Americans share ancestry from various African and Caribbean countries, but there is diversity among this community. Differences generally fall along socioeconomic and class lines, but some generic cultural traits characterize the African American community:

  • Poor race relations have fueled the belief that whites do not understand the plight of blacks, nor are they really concerned. Therefore, attempts to assist African American victims may be met with suspicions of ulterior motives.

  • Extended African American families are common, and black women may seek assistance and support from family members or friends rather than "outsiders." Likewise, the black church is an important resource in the African American community.

  • Because of extreme prejudice and discrimination, the police have historically represented a threat instead of a help to the African American community. The African American community still perceives this threat as imminent and thus generally lacks trust whenever police are involved.

  • Traditional norms require members of the African American community to refrain from "airing dirty laundry" outside the group.

  • In the past, African American women had to be strong, serving as the backbones of their families and, on many occasions, saving the lives of their sons, husbands, brothers. Some contemporary black women are encouraged to exemplify this strength by saving black men from a perceived racist criminal justice system.

  • A woman who reports violence perpetrated by an African American male may be chastised by other community members because they expect the male to be brutalized, not because he is an abuser but because he is black.

Homosexual Community

And the day came when the risk it took to remain closed in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin

There are homosexuals in all racial and ethnic groups, in all religious and political groups, and at all socioeconomic levels in American society. Service providers who work with a woman who is a lesbian and a member of a particular racial or ethnic group should consider characteristics of that racial or ethnic group as well as those of the homosexual community. While the gay and lesbian community experiences violence against women, there is a dynamic in this community that may not have the same significance in other populations. Because of the stigma of being gay, victims may feel ashamed and hesitate to seek assistance. Privacy is an important issue for lesbians, because a large population still "closeted." Homosexuals also share the following characteristics:

  • Fear of the consequences society imposes for homosexuality may prevent homosexual victims from reporting violent episodes. These consequences may be physical (additional violence from other sources), familial (disowning the victim), or even economic (employment termination).

  • Many homosexual victims feel trapped and helpless because they know their abusers derive a sense a power from the victims' fear of reporting the crimes.

  • As with other categories of victims, lesbians often have low self-esteem and may believe that they somehow deserve their violent treatment.


Domestic Violence Intervention Services. Tulsa, OK.

American Ethnicity. Adalberto Aguirre, Jr., and Jonathan H. Turner, McGraw Hill, 1995.

Free Your Mind. Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman, Harper Collins Publishers, 1996.

Racial and Ethnic Groups. Richard T. Schaefer, Harper Collins Publishers, 1996.

Racial and Ethnic Relations. Joe R. Feagin and Clairece Booher Feagin, Prentice Hall, 1996.

Nonverbal Communication

The spoken word is the cornerstone of communication, but language is not the only way humans communicate. When people interact, they convey messages without uttering one word. Nonverbal communication is the transfer of information without speech. Forms of nonverbal communication include kinesics, proxemics, touch, paralanguage, and objects.

Each culture has its own standards for appropriate nonverbal communication. An individual?s eye contact, body movements, posture, facial expressions, and even clothing and body ornaments, convey a message. Nonverbal communication usually supports and complements verbal communication. One easy way to demonstrate this is to hold perfectly still, with a blank face and an averted glance, while someone speaks to you. Almost immediately that person will ask you what is wrong.

Research indicates that the facial expressions for the basic emotions of surprise, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, and happiness are universal. Other nonverbal communication is as unique to a culture as spoken language. Community advocates and police should know the more common forms of nonverbal communication (kinesics and proxemics) and how cultural differences in these forms of communication may impact the service provision to female victims of violence.

Kinesics (Body Language)


Gestures are physical movements that signify attitudes or thoughts. Gestures are particularly influenced by culture because they are socially defined. Therefore, a gesture in one culture could mean something entirely different in another. For example, in America, a circled thumb and finger and three other fingers extended means "okay." In France or Belgium, however, this gesture means "You are a 0." Brazilians consider the gesture obscene, and some Southern Europeans consider it a sexual insult or invitation.

Similarly, Americans shake their heads side to side to indicate "no" and nod them to mean "yes." These gestures carry the opposite meanings in Bulgaria, where shaking means "yes" and nodding means "no." Imagine the potential confusion if service providers were operating with definitions of American gestures while interacting with a Bulgarian victim.

Eye Contact

Various cultures have different meanings for the directness of a gaze. White Americans rely heavily on eye contact to indicate whether a person is listening. This is significantly different from black Americans, who make eye contact frequently while speaking but infrequently while listening. Many African Americans divert their eyes but indicate they are listening by uttering "um-hmm." Traditional Navajos use much more peripheral vision and avoid eye contact, if possible. Some Navajos consider direct stares hostile and use them to chastise their children. Among Mexican Americans and the Japanese, avoiding eye contact may be a sign of respect or deference. A service provider who assumes such behaviors indicate that the woman is rude, aggressive, inattentive, or of low intelligence hampers service.

Proxemics (Using Space to Communicate)

People may also communicate messages by using space. In the United States, putting space between angry individuals is a use of space, as is placing one's face in another's such that noses nearly touch. Again, culture is influential, because it dictates the appropriate distance for communicating. Research by Edward T. Hall indicates that the Anglo middle-class standard for people in the United States is four interpersonal distance zones: (1) intimate (contact to 18"), (2)personal (1.5" to 4"), (3) social (4" to 12"), and public (greater than 12"). These distances vary according to culture. For example, Latin Americans, Mid-Easterners, Africans, Black Americans, and Indonesians converse in closer proximity than what is normally comfortable for Anglos.

These differences in appropriate space could pose problems for service providers and/or victims. For example, a Latin American client who invades a counselor's intimate space may cause the counselor to back away. The counselor, if he or she is unaware of proper conversing space in the victim?s culture, may misinterpret the woman's behavior as an attempt to become inappropriately intimate or aggressive. Conversely, the victim may misinterpret the counselor's behavior as aloof.

Conversation Conventions

The norms of speaking, those that govern how we greet, address, and take turns speaking, differ from culture to culture. While many in the United States view silence negatively, those in other cultures interpret and use silence much differently. The English and Arabs use silence for privacy, while the Russians, French, and Spanish read it as agreement among the parties. In Asian culture, silence is traditionally a sign of respect for elders. Unlike in the United States, silence by many Chinese and Japanese is not a floor-yielding signal inviting others to pick up the conversation. Rather, it may indicate a desire to continue speaking after making a point.


Domestic Violence Intervention Services. Tulsa, OK

Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice. Derald W. Sue, 1981.

The Silent Language. Edward T. Hall, Anchor Books: Doubleday, 1981.

Sociology. Scott G. McNall and Sally A. McNall, Prentice Hall, 1992.

The Social Expericence. James W. Vander Zander, McGraw Hill, 1990.

Ten Aspects of Culture

1. Sense of Self and Space

The trainer invites two volunteers to the head of the room, then begins to move closer and closer to one volunteer, then the other. Discuss the reactions.


No one likes to have someone invade his or her "personal space," but the distance that makes people uncomfortable varies from culture to culture. In the United States, we feel increasingly threatened if people come closer than 1.5" to 3". The Japanese want even more space. In the Middle East, however, people stand close enough to feel your breath and smell you.


In Japan, people greet each other with bows. In the United States, people greet with handshakes. In Central and South America, handshakes may be accompanied by hugs. In the Middle East, a person may add a ritualized kiss on each cheek.


Another major difference is that U.S. residents tend to be informal, whereas others expect courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Sir, Madam).


  • Respect cultural differences in personal space.

  • Be careful about the use of first names. Ask people what they like to be called.

  • Guard against seeming overly familiar.

2. Communication and Language

Problems occur with verbal and nonverbal communication (more than half of our communication---gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, intonation---is nonverbal).

Eye Contact

In the United States, it is rude not to look someone in the eyes when communicating. In Asian and Latin cultures, averting the eyes is a sign of respect.


Gestures are an easy way to get into trouble. The "okay" sign (thumb and forefinger touching) is an obscene gesture in Greece and some parts of South American. Using the forefinger to beckon someone forward could be misconstrued by Ethiopians, because they reserve that gesture for children and dogs. Nodding can also be misinterpreted. In some cultures, a nod only means that the person has heard you, not that he or she agrees. Saying "no" by shaking the head is considered rude in some cultures.

Facial Expressions

We think of the smile as universal, but in Asian cultures it can be a sign of embarrassment, confusion, or discomfort. If a woman smiles at a man in the Middle East, she can be considered as offering a sexual come-on. In Germany, smiling is reserved for families.

Direct versus Indirect

The biggest barriers to understanding may be the ways in which cultures differ in how they communicate requests. The Japanese prefer indirection. If they are cold, they hug themselves rather than ask you to turn up the heat. A manager asks an employee to recheck a report rather than to point out an error. The danger is that the Japanese can view American behavior as rude, and American can miss Japanese cues.


  • Degree of directness:Americans and Northern Europeans see communication as a means of getting something done, whereas those in other cultures see it as a means of building relationships.

  • Appropriate subjects:Many Asians regard feelings as too private to share. Latinos generally appreciate inquiries about family members, whereas Arabs and Asians find them intrusive.

  • Touch:Use care. Devout Muslims and Orthodox Jewish men never touch women outside their families, even to shake hands.

  • Loudness and pitch:Americans appear noisy and rude to the English and Northern Europeans, while Arabs and southern Europeans generally speak louder. Many Asian languages use higher-pitched sounds, which may grate on Western ears.

  • Silence:Americans dislike silence and will strive to fill it, whereas Asians view it as an important part of communication that allows serious consideration of the spoken words and allows the listener to show respect for the speaker.

  • Being misunderstood:Anger doesn't help, but understanding does.

  • Assume confusion:When there is a language barrier, do not assume that the receiver understands you.

  • Be alert to discomfort:Do not be misled. Smiles and laughter could indicate embarrassment or confusion. Try to identify the problem.

  • Avoid smiling:Smiling is too easily misunderstood.

  • No thinking out loud:Thinking aloud affords too many possibilities for misunderstanding. An offhand remark can be misconstrued and acted upon.

3.Dress and Appearance


Clothing varies from suits and red suspenders on Wall Street to Hawaiian shirts in Honolulu. In some cultures, clothing is a sign of social class or of necessity. In others, it is an opportunity to express personality. In yet others, it is a status symbol.


Turbans, dreadlocks, afros, and ponytails on men can send different signals in different places.


Jewelry is another potential source of negative impressions.


Attitudes toward tattoos change in different places at different times.

Body odor

Body odor is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable areas to discuss. Americans have deodorants for every part of the body, unlike the rest of the world. In some areas of the Middle East, a marriage go-between asks to smell the potential bride. As discussed earlier, Middle Easterners also expect to feel and smell others' breath when speaking. Big problems can occur when people with different expectations work together in close quarters. For example, some ethnic dishes are heavy in garlic (e.g., Korean kimehi), which can linger.


  • Hesitate:Don't be quick to react to someone?s dress or appearance. Stop to consider the meaning attached by the individual.

  • Cultural norms:Remember to think about the differences in cultural norms.

  • Unfair assumptions:A different attitude toward body odor is not a sign of uncleanliness.

4.Food and Eating Habits

Food restrictions/prohibitions

Many religions have requirements and prohibitions concerning various foods, ranging from Kosher food practices to the Muslim prohibition against eating pork.

Exotic foods

People from different cultures have different tastes, and many also have prohibitions against offending their hosts, so it may be difficult to tell that they are not happy with the selections.


Some religions eschew alcohol and some also prohibit beverages that include caffeine.


  • Be sensitive to differences.

  • If you do not like what is served, do not complain or draw attention to the problem, just do not partake.

5.Time and Time Consciousness

One of the biggest adjustments that U.S. residents often have to make when they go abroad is to adjust to slower rhythms. In Latin America and the Middle East, time is more elastic and less deadline driven. A premium is placed on spending the time for pleasantries.


  • Avoid being judgmental:Recognize different attitudes about time for what they are and not as a sign of laziness.

  • Scheduling:Allow time in your schedule for developing friendships and spending time on pleasantries.



In the United State, hiring relatives is nepotism. In other cultures, it is expected. Loyalty and obedience to family members, particularly older family members, can also differ culture to culture.


  • Kin:Recognize that loyalty to kin can color relationships.

  • Elders:Consider that you may have to consult with older members of the family to enlist their cooperation.

  • Show respect:Typically, you show respect for older family members by addressing them first and giving them formal authority when appropriate.

7.Values and Norms

Freedom versus conformity

The United States puts a premium on individual freedom and liberty, whereas other cultures, such as those in Asia, put a much higher value on loyalty and conformity to the group (family, society, or both).

Competition versus cooperation

Another difference between cultures concerns whether they are organized around competition or cooperation.

Openness versus privacy

While U.S. residents are considered more open than other cultures, remember that other cultures tolerate more physical closeness.

Abstractions versus relationships

The United States professes allegiance to concepts such as justice and truth, whereas other cultures put a higher value on loyalty to individuals, particularly family and friends.


While everyone wants to be treated with dignity and respect, we define and demonstrate respect differently. In Asia, the Middle East, and some areas of Latin America, you must preserve "face" at all costs and any embarrassment that can lead to loss of face. In traditional Japan, death was preferred to loss of face, Be alert to subtle slights.


  • Protecting others:When police conduct interviews, they should remember that cultural differences can make people view their actions as moral when they cover up and even lie for a friend or family member.

  • Be sensitive to giving offense:Try to allow others a face-saving option. Try to find ways to achieve your objectives without diminishing others.

8. Beliefs and attitudes


While ours is a society whose Constitution dictates a separation of church and state, this remains a Judeo-Christian culture. As we become more of a multicultural society, we must be increasingly aware of religious differences, including remembering that religious holidays and celebrations occur at different times.

Role of women

In some cultures, women defer to men, and it would be unseemly for them to work outside the home. For a man to take orders from a woman would imply a loss of face.

Order and authority

In Asia, students do not question teachers, employees don't confront bosses, and children don't talk back to parents. In some countries, people have also learned to fear to the police as instruments of oppressive regimes. In other cultures, bribing police is unofficial but routine.

Discretion versus rule of law

While the police officer has great discretion, there is a point at which the job requires enforcing our laws. At the same time, the officer must educate people about our form of policing, without taking offense at initial misunderstandings.

9. Mental Processes and Learning

Problem solving

Some differences in how we learn and how we view our role in the world are cultural. U.S. residents are "can do." We think we can solve problems through cooperation and hard work. In other parts of the world, problems are accepted as part of the natural order, and fighting too hard against them would be perceived as upsetting harmony. Other cultures also place a higher value on luck, intuition, and holistic thinking.

Learning style

Do you learn better by reading, listening, or watching a documentary? Many cultures rely almost exclusively on "talking heads" and written materials, so they would be uncomfortable with experiential learning and role-playing, which require students to their conclusions.


  • Community-based problem solving:Explain the rationale for attacking problems and use nonlinear problem solving methods such as brainstorming rather than logical analysis.

10.Work Habits and Practices

The Protestant work ethic serves as a cornerstone for U.S. society. Work is viewed as more than a means of survival; it defines a person?s identity and self-worth. In other cultures, however, work is viewed as more of a means to an end or as a necessary evil. In other cultures, independent action is not valued, and people wait to be directed. Different as well are the assumptions made about those who do not have jobs. For example, welfare recipients who live in public housing are often erroneously perceived as unwilling to work, even when they cannot find or hold jobs.


  • Understanding:Make the effort to find out the value of work in people's lives.

  • Leadership:Recognize that some people will want direction and that a failure to show initiative is not laziness.

  • Status:Be sensitive to issues concerning whether certain kinds of work are appropriate within a cultural context.

"Whose Laws?" Scenario

A police officer outside Detroit faced this scenario when he responded to a report of a theft. When he arrived, he discovered that the residents of the house were fundamentalist Muslims, which meant the husband expects obedience from his wife. His wife, however, had become more and more Americanized. When the officer began to interview the couple about the theft at their store, the wife interrupted to correct her husband about a detail. Without warning, the husband punched her in the face. She barely winced and simply moved back a step and remained silent.

  • What should the officer have done? (In this case, the officer was so stunned he did nothing, and he has questioned his decision ever since.)

  • What does being sensitive to cultural differences mean in this case?

  • Whose laws apply?

  • Would it make a difference if the officer started to arrest the husband and the wife begged him not to? Is it the officer?s job to worry about whether the husband would further punish his wife if he?s arrested?

  • Imagine that the officer was a community-policing officer who had recently been assigned to the neighborhood. Would an arrest have made developing a relationship with the Fundamentalist community more difficult?

  • How would the dynamic change if a women?s group heard of this incident?



Above the Law . Jerome H. Skolnick and James J. Fyfe, The Free Press, 1993.

Violence as Protest: A Study of Riots and Ghettos . Robert M. Fogelson, Doubleday, 1971.

The Undeserving Poor . Michael B. Katz, Pantheon Books, 1989.

The Case Against Paramilitary Policing . Tony Jefferson, Buckingham, UK: Open University Press, 1990.

Coping with Family Violence: Research and Policy Perspectives . G.T. Hotaling, D. Finkelhor, J.T. Kirkpatrick, and M. Straus, eds., Newbury Park, CA: Sage.


"Decades of Rage Created Crucibles of Violence." Seth Mydans, New York Times , May 3, 1992.

"Complaints Meet a Wall of Silence." Carol Watson, Los Angeles Times , March 10, 1991.

"After Prison, Ex-Officer's Advice on Police Violence: Don't Do It!" New York Times , July 12, 1991.

"Preface to a Feminist Theory of Poverty." Kathleen Moran, Poverty with a Human Face: Poverty, Justice, and Equality in the Contemporary United States , Claybourne Carson with Mark McLeod, eds., San Francisco Public Media Center, 1983.

"More Power Than We Want: Masculine Sexuality and Violence." Bruce Kokopeli and George Lakey, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology , Margaret L. Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins, eds., Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995.

"Fraternities and Rape on Campus." Patricia Yancey Martina and Robert A. Hummer, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology , Margaret L. Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins, eds., Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995.

"Police Intervention." A.R. Roberts, Battered Women and Their Families: Intervention Strategies and Treatment Programs , A.R. Roberts, ed., New York: Springer, 1984.