Programs & Initiatives | Calling the Police | Arresting Offenders
Police can help domestic violence victims and their families. The more information a victim provides to the police, the better the police are able to help.
When police officers arrive, it is important for the victim to tell the police all that they can about the incident and whether or not abuse has occurred in the past. The victim should also state if s/he is afraid or in pain, even if there are injuries that do not show.
The police want to help. If the officer(s) do not speak the same language as the victim, an interpreter will be located. Officers in some precincts have access to the Language Line program. The police want the victim to speak freely about the incident without being intimidated by the abuser or family members.
The police are required to investigate an incident regardless of who called the police.
The police may interview the victim, the abuser, and any possible witnesses.
Whenever possible, the victim will be asked questions separately from the abuser. This is done to ensure the victim’s safety and to allow the victim to speak freely about the incident.
The police may also ask to see and photograph any injuries sustained by the victim as well as any damage done to the home.
The police will offer medical assistance and can arrange for the victim to be taken to the hospital when necessary.
The police will prepare a report of the incident called a Domestic Incident Report, (DIR). The victim will be asked to make a sworn statement about what happened and sign the DIR. The victim will be given a copy.
The back of the DIR provides a Victim Rights Notice, which explains the victim’s legal rights and includes information on local domestic violence services including the 24-hour, toll-free, all-language New York City Domestic Violence Hotline. Hotline workers provide access to services such as emergency shelter and counseling and are able to speak to victims in their own language. Please call the hotline at 800-621-HOPE (4673) for more information.
The victim will be asked to write a statement about what happened and sign the report. The statement should be written in the language in which the victim feels most comfortable. It is important that the victim understand what is written on the report before signing it. By signing the report, the victim is saying that everything on it is true.
What happens if there is an arrest?