Domestic Violence - You Are Not Alone
Do you think you may be the victim of Domestic Violence? You are not alone. Before you are sure you are a victim, call or come see us. White Plains Community Policing Division has specially trained members that will help you –call 422-6227 or stop by – White Plains Public Safety Building, 77 South Lexington Ave, 2nd floor, White Plains, NY – ask for CASI.
WHAT CAN THE POLICE DO FOR ME?
The police can help you and your family. A lot depends on the information you give to them. It is important to tell the police all that you can about what happened and whether it occurred before. It is important to let us know if you are afraid or in pain, even if you don’t have injuries that show. The police will need to know about anything that is relevant to keeping your family safe and free from violence.
The Victim Service Unit of the Police Bureau can work with you in obtaining services that can help you increase the safety and well being of you and your child.
Through our partnership with the Westchester County Family Justice Center you may be eligible to obtain the free legal services of an attorney that can accompany you into Family Court. You will be assisted in obtaining an Order of Protection and addressing support, custody and visitation issues. The types of relief that are available by way of a Family Court Order of Protection are: orders directing the batterer to vacate the residence, to stay away from the victim, to have no contact or communication with the victim and mandate substance and/or alcohol abuse treatment.
A member of the Victim Service Unit will assist you in understanding how both the criminal justice and family court systems work. You will be able to ask questions about the court process and your options. The Victim Service officer will also help you access other domestic violence service providers that will be able to assist with emergency shelter, court accompaniment, counseling and immigration issues. If you choose to speak with a trained domestic violence advocate you do not have to go to emergency shelter, it is your decision. However, you will be available to think through your situation and options.
You can arrange to have a free security survey of your home to address your immediate safety needs and receive tips to enhance your safety at work or school.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVE?
When the police are called they are required to investigate regardless of whether you, as the victim, requested their services. In order to assist you and your family, the police must interview you, your abuser and others who may have seen or heard the incident. Whenever possible, you will be asked questions separately from the abuser. This is done so that you can speak freely about the incident without intimidation.
The police will take a report of the incident and will ask that you write and sign a statement about what happened. This is called a Domestic Incident Report (“DIR”) and you will be given a copy. The back of the DIR has information that can help you decide how to proceed and how to access services. The police may also ask to see and photograph any injuries that you may have or damage to your residence.
There is a mandatory arrest law in New York State. Therefore, if there is probable cause to believe that a CRIME was committed the police MUST arrest the offender if you and the offender are members of the same family/household and: a felony was committed; certain provisions of an order of protection were violated and a family offense misdemeanor was committed (unless the victim requests otherwise, however, officer may decide incident warrants arrest).
In situations in which two family members accuse each other of committing a family offense misdemeanor, the officer must attempt to identify and arrest the primary physical aggressor after considering the comparative injuries, any threats made, history of the parties, and whether any person acted defensively to protect themselves from injury.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER THE POLICE LEAVE?
An officer from the Victim Service Unit will contact you or you can contact an officer by calling 422-6227.