Battling domestic violence

Few 911 calls are as dangerous, complex and frustrating to police officers as those involving domestic violence. A silent epidemic tearing apart our communities, domestic violence affects people of all sexualities, of all races, rich and poor. And many Americans have no idea how often it happens.

That changed when a video surfaced of former Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his wife in the face, knocking her unconscious. A startled and enraged public got to taste a classic case of domestic violence: a horrific act of violence, a weak and incompetent response from the district attorney and a recanting victim who stood by the man who brutally abused her.

But rather than turn a blind eye, people stepped up and spoke out. They took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their outrage over the NFL’s cowardly response.

SportsCenter ran detailed segments complete with expert analysis, 911 recordings and court testimony. It seemed everyone wanted to see Ray Rice severely punished for what he did to his wife. And that reaction on the part of the public means a lot to police officers.

Even as a rookie officer, I’ve already gone through my fair share of domestic violence cases. There’s nothing so frustrating as fighting hard for a victim of domestic violence, only to have her turn on you and say that she made everything up and doesn’t want to see her man held accountable. There’s nothing so maddening as watching the district attorney’s office drop charges for which you spent hours gathering evidence. But there’s nothing so heartening and energizing as seeing that the public has our back and will stand alongside us in the struggle against domestic violence.

We will keep fighting against domestic violence and I can promise that I will slap cuffs on these dirtbag abusers every chance I get. But nothing sends the message quite like seeing a famous and talented NFL star bite the dust in the face of massive outrage on the part of the public. Keep standing with us—share stories and articles on social media.

Call the police when you see it happening or hear it happening in the apartment next to you. Support victims so they know they’re not alone and have the courage and resources to escape the cycle of abuse. And above all, keep the faith because together, our efforts are working.