Mandatory Arrests in Domestic Violence Police Calls Reportedly Lead to More Murders of Intimate Partners

Domestic violence remains a stubborn problem that refuses to go away despite society’s efforts.

Unfortunately, some perceived solutions haven’t panned out.

For example, about twenty years ago, many states devised a procedure they thought couldn’t miss.

Mandatory arrest on all domestic violence calls which summoned the police.

But apparently this strategy backfired.

Today, states with mandatory arrest laws reportedly have half again as many murders by intimate partners as back then. At the same time as other states have had sharp declines in intimate partner deaths.

How come?

Fewer victims contact the police in states with mandatory arrest laws.

Because, for one reason or another, victims don’t always want their abusers arrested.

And no amount of anti-violence education is likely to change that.

Read more in this New York Times guest editorial: The Protection Battered Spouses Don’t Need.