Artikkelen er skrevet av Geir Aas og er publisert i første utgave av tidsskriftet «Nordisk politiforskning».
Domestic violence is especially challenging for the police to deal with precisely because these crimes occur in close relationships. The proximity between the victim and the perpetrator represents a problem for the police at a number of levels. Violent relationships may have been going on for years without anyone knowing about it. In order to make a criminal case the police often have to penetrate a wall of shame, guilt and close ties to the perpetrator. It is also challenging for the police to deal with a tragic, complex and sometimes confusing life story, and simultaneously document and transform it into a written report as a basis for a criminal case. It is well documented that the police experience powerlessness, frustration and despair in dealing with family conflicts, which probably can be traced to lack of knowledge and understanding of this reality. Should the police therefore classify domestic violence as a special field? Domestic violence as a discipline is already specialized to some extent in the police organizations – particularly through the system of family-violence coordinators, domestic violence contacts and specialized investigation teams at some police stations in Norway. In addition the police have also developed some problem-oriented projects like the “Drammen-project” (especially directed against abuse in minority communities) and the SARA-project (Spousal Assault Risk Assessment guide). One danger of further specialization is however that only a few police officers will dear to handle this field. The number of domestic violence incidents reported to the police annually is so large that any police officer must be able to handle them in a satisfactory manner.
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