Intrigued, I called around to women’s shelters, experts on domestic violence, counsellors, police departments, ex-cops, criminologists.It took only a few conversations to see my friend had stumbled on a massive problem.Domestic violence takes place in up to a staggering 40 percent of law enforcement families, but police departments mostly ignore the problem or let it slide, write ex-police wife Susanna Hope and award-winning investigative journalist Alex Roslin in their new book Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence.The following excerpt is adapted from their book, available on Amazon or as an e Book from their website She talked with me even though she experienced severe emotional trauma whenever she relived her experiences—as she still does today.
The police have a name for it—extending “professional courtesy.” In the words of Anthony Bouza, a one-time commander in the New York Police Department and former police chief of Minneapolis, “The Mafia never enforced its code of blood-sworn omerta with the ferocity, efficacy and enthusiasm the police bring to the Blue Code of Silence.” Police departments often try to steer complaints into closed-door disciplinary hearings instead of the criminal proceedings that civilians would face.
When we think of domestic violence, we usually think of the police as the ones breaking it up, not committing it.
Watch a TV show or movie about police—the most depicted profession in entertainment—and you’ll often see stories about abusive men, but the police are the heroes.
She attended a support group for abused women in Montreal.
Many of the women in the group were partners of bikers, but she was surprised to learn that just as many were spouses of cops.
The internal hearings usually result in no more than a token slap on the wrist for the officer.