Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Criminal Justice

Responding to Domestic Incidents

Police officers must consider all domestic incidents as extremely serious. Even if they have safely responded to prior calls involving the same people and/or the same address, officers must be aware that any future calls can still involve danger, unpredictability, and complex fact patterns.

Police officers are expected to use their training, knowledge, and experience to carry out two primary functions at domestic incident scenes:

Police response to domestic incidents should be the same as the response to any other potential crime scene, including the need to:

It is often said that the only thing predictable about domestic incidents is their unpredictability. This highlights the importance of providing comprehensive police training, policies, and procedures.