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Could a therapist help officers accused of domestic violence?

Generally speaking, police officers understand that crimes don’t simply happen in a vacuum. There may be external pressures that lead people to commit crimes, such as economic calamities, lack of emotional support or even inadequate coping skills. It is ironic that these same pressures can affect police officers and even lead to them to commit domestic violence.

We highlighted in a past post how one police department is close to implementing an early warning system of sorts that evaluates unusual officer behavior. We opined that this may be helpful in addressing officers’ issues before they become intractable actions. 

But perhaps the stigma of being identified as a potentially problem officer may be too much for one to take. After all, having a problem (even if it is later resolved) may prevent the officer from moving up through the ranks. Who wants a captain or lieutenant who has a history of emotional weakness?

Since mental and physical toughness is an institutional value, who can an officer talk to who is having such trouble? The notion of talking to an experienced therapist cannot be dismissed out of hand. By their very nature, therapists can help officers navigate some of the triggers that could lead to violent acts and help to find productive ways to solve mentally taxing problems.

This is critical given how most officers know how crimes are committed in the first place.

If you are a police officer charged with or accused of domestic violence, an experienced criminal defense attorney who represents police officers is an excellent resource for additional information. 

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9.3Lisa Victoria Houle
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