A domestic dispute can be scary. If you’re in an abusive relationship, you may have considered calling the police several times. There might be several things stopping you. Some of the most common reasons people don’t reach out to the police for help include:
- Fear of reprisal. Abusers will use many tactics to keep their victims in a relationship and away from the police. Some of the most common tactics include threatening to call immigration or threatening to take custody of the children.
- Criminal punishment. Many people don’t want their abuser to go to jail; they just want them to seek help. If this is your partner’s first offense, it’s far more likely that a judge will order counseling instead of prison time.
- Family stability. Some people worry that their children need the presence of both parents. Maybe you’re not worried about your partner abusing your children and think they need him or her in their lives. It’s important to note that the courts believe children benefit from an active relationship from both parents. Even if the other parent does not get joint custody, he or she may receive visitation rights.
What Happens When I Call the Police for a Domestic Dispute?
Calling the police to report a domestic dispute is one of the first important steps in getting out of an abusive relationship. Intervention from the authorities can break the cycle and provide you and your loved ones the time and resources to heal. There are several benefits to calling the police for help. The first is having an official record of the abuse in a police report. There are a number of reasons why an official police record is beneficial. These include:
- Gaining sole custody of the children
- Providing evidence for a restraining order
- Providing evidence for housing issues
- Giving context to an employer or school
- Support for a work permit or residency application
What To Tell the Police When Reporting Domestic Violence
When you call the police to your home following a domestic dispute, they’ll ask you to provide a statement. This statement will become a matter of official police record, so be thorough. Tell them about all criminal behavior toward you or your children – this includes physical or sexual assault, threats, violating restraining orders, or damaging your personal property. Here are a few things you can tell the police to detail your partner’s criminal activity:
- Details of the dispute and if there’s a previous history
- Any history of verbal or written threats
- Any reasons you may fear for your or your children’s safety
- Details of any weapons your abuser may be able to access
- Any criminal history
In addition, show the responding officer any injuries you sustained.
Writing up a police report might take a few days, but once it’s done, your domestic dispute become a matter of official record. This document can provide valuable assistance in getting out of an abusive relationship and protecting yourself and your children. Calling the police after a domestic dispute might save your life, so do it without fear of reprisal.