Domestic violence is a huge public health and social problem worldwide, often leading to long-term mental and physical health issues.
To find out more about how police deal with domestic abuse cases, we ran a study on the Queensland Police Service in Australia. The numbers are startling: 25% of women in Australia experience domestic violence while in a relationship, and Queensland law enforcement responds to 5000 cases a week. Though 5000 seems like a huge number, domestic violence is known to be largely an under-reported and under-prosecuted crime, and only 10% of women experiencing domestic violence seek help.
BODY CAMERAS CAPTURE THE TRUTH
Though few women report the crimes they suffer, often because they are afraid of retaliation by their abuser or because they consider the abuse to be a private issue, modern technology is helping those who do seek help get justice and safety from their abusers. Body cameras record the circumstances surrounding an incident, and can help show so much more than a written or verbal statement while reducing the time police officers spend on recording affidavits and in court. In addition, with digital evidence management systems like Evidence.com, prosecutors are able to access untampered footage to see exactly what happened.
INCREASED GUILTY PLEAS
When Queensland police began using body camera footage in the court while dealing with cases of domestic violence, they saw a 60-70% decline in police summary hearings, and an increase of guilty pleas. Perhaps due to the increase in successful court cases, the study also projects a 22% increase in reported cases.
But domestic violence isn't just a problem in Australia. A 2010 report published by the NISVS found that more than 10 million people are abused by an intimate partner each year in the United States. In the UK, 80% of the cases of violence against women and girls are related to domestic abuse. A 2015 South Korean study found that 71.7% of female respondents experienced being controlled by their partners and that 36.6% experienced psychological/emotional violence from their partners. In Italy, almost 20% of women will experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner in a lifetime, and globally, one in three women have been victims of gender-based violence or abuse in their lives. Though each individual or corporation cannot be solely responsible for fixing this issue, together we can work to combat the problem.
Watch the video to hear the officers' perspective and learn how technology can help deal with this important issue, and find out more about domestic violence here.