• Olivia Hinerfeld

The Case for Eliminating the VAWA's Financial Support for Pro-Arrest Domestic Violence Laws

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in print under the title, "Arrested Development: The Case for Eliminating the Violence Against Women Act's Financial Support for Pro-Arrest Domestic Violence Laws" in the The Criminal Law Practitioner Volume XI, Issue III.


I. INTRODUCTION


In 1990, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee—chaired by then-Senator Joe Biden—hosted public hearings on violence against women.[1] Seeking to raise public awareness and foster bipartisan support for his newly-introduced Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), Biden invited a group of domestic violence and sexual assault victims to testify before the committee.[2] In his opening statement, Biden emphasized the urgency of the legislation: “We cannot afford to wait any longer to treat domestic violence as something other than what it is, a serious crime. These are the reasons why I wrote the Violence Against Women Act of 1990 and why I will continue to press for its enactment . . . .”[3] Over the course of two days, victims came forward to describe their experiences with rape and battery.[4] One witness, Tracey Motuzick, shared:


I was the victim of abuse for many years, and in 1983 my husband stabbed me thirteen times and broke my neck while the police were on the scene. I nearly died and I am permanently paralyzed, and physically and mentally scarred for my life. I called the police many times the year before this incident and they took him away several times without arresting him . . . I felt as though [the police] were not taking me seriously because I had no bruises. In fact, one officer told me that they would not arrest him unless they witnessed the assault.[5]


Motuzick’s testimony, taken with the statements of fellow victims and expert witnesses, helped spur the passage of VAWA.[6] On September 13, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed VAWA into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (“1994 Crime Bill”).[7] The enactment of VAWA was a watershed moment, marking the first piece of comprehensive federal legislation designed to eliminate violence against women in the United States.[8] It included vital protections and provisions, including grant funding for victim services, civil redress in unprosecuted cases, and full faith and credit to protection orders issued anywhere in the country.[9] President Biden has frequently described VAWA as his proudest legislative achievement from his thirty-six-year career in the Senate.[10]


But VAWA was not a panacea for gender-based violence.[11] In the ensuing twenty-six years, several provisions of VAWA have resulted in unanticipated negative consequences that undermine their positive impact.[12] Motuzick’s story in particular helped lay the groundwork for one of VAWA’s most damaging provisions: financial incentives for states to enact mandatory arrest laws.[13] Mandatory arrest laws provide that a police officer must arrest if he or she finds probable cause for a domestic violence offense.[14] Today, twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have enacted mandatory arrest laws,[15] and the majority of police departments have implemented pro-arrest policies.[16] Although one of the initial motivations behind passing these laws was to deter recidivism,[17] in reality they have endangered domestic violence victims, exacerbated mass incarceration, and have largely failed to deter repeat offenders.[18]

In this Note, I will demonstrate that mandatory arrest laws have failed to protect many domestic violence victims and have significantly increased the U.S. prison population. To counter these undesirable consequences, I recommend several federal, state, and local actions to more effectively combat domestic violence.[19] In Part One, I will chronicle the history of mandatory arrest laws in the United States, focusing on changes wrought by VAWA. I will also survey the three main types of arrest laws that U.S. jurisdictions have enacted to address domestic violence. In Part Two, I will critique the impact of mandatory arrest laws on victims, perpetrators, and children growing up in violent households. I focus on mandatory arrest laws, rather than pro-arrest statutes more broadly, as the evidence more clearly demonstrates the shortcomings of mandatory arrest laws in the twenty-three jurisdictions that continue to employ them. In Part Three, I will briefly discuss the inadequacies of preferred arrest laws—the main pro-arrest alternative to mandatory arrest laws. Finally, in Part Four, I will suggest a path forward that centers on amending VAWA to eliminate financial incentives for pro-arrest laws and instead investing resources in emergency housing for victims and abusive partners.


II. A BRIEF HISTORY OF MANDATORY ARREST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS


For hundreds of years, society viewed domestic violence as a private family matter.[20] Government actors were reluctant to intervene in the affairs between a husband and wife.[21] Only recently has public opinion shifted in favor of recognizing domestic violence as a crime.[22] In the mid-1970s, women’s activists established the battered women’s movement, drawing attention to the plight of the millions of women beaten by their partners each year.[23] States and localities explored legislative reforms, with a particular concentration on policing and prosecution strategies.[24] It was in this context that mandatory arrest arose as a solution. In this section, I will outline the rise of mandatory arrest laws before, during, and after the enactment of VAWA.


A. Before VAWA’s Enactment: The Duluth Model and the Sherman Study


The story of mandatory arrest laws begins in Duluth, Minnesota in 1980.[25] In an effort to reform the criminal justice response to domestic violence in the community, several activists came together to found Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (“DAIP”).[26] The Program partnered with eleven local agencies to establish police training, prosecutorial and judicial guidelines, support services for victims, and counseling for batterers, collectively known today as the “Duluth Model.”[27] Under the advisement of DAIP, Duluth enacted the nation’s first mandatory arrest policy for misdemeanor assaults in 1981.[28] Activists immediately touted the law’s success, arguing that it shifted the perception of domestic violence from a personal problem to a criminal one.[29]


Mandatory arrest laws, however, did not receive widespread attention until 1984 when the results of the landmark Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment were published.[30] After receiving a grant from the National Institute of Justice (“NIJ”), renowned criminologist Lawrence Sherman conducted an experiment with the Minneapolis Police Department from 1981 to 1982 to study the deterrent effects of police responses to domestic violence (the “Sherman Study”).[31] For six months, misdemeanor domestic violence cases were assigned one of three treatments: “arrest,”[32]“send,”[33] or “advise.”[34] Following an incident, police officers stayed in touch with parties for a six-month period to measure the frequency and seriousness of any continued domestic violence.[35] In total, the Sherman Study tracked thirty-four police officers and 205 cases.[36] The experiment ultimately revealed that arrest had the strongest deterrent effect on recidivism, though Sherman cautioned against drawing hasty conclusions given the small sample size.[37] In response, the NIJ funded more robust experiments in six other cities: Miami, Atlanta, Omaha, Milwaukee, and Charlotte.[38] Results of the follow-up studies were mixed, with half mirroring the outcome in Minneapolis and half suggesting that arrest actually increased domestic violence.[39]


Nevertheless, the original Sherman Study made an immediate and lasting impact.[40] State and local legislatures wasted little time in drafting their own statutes.[41] By 1992, at least half of states had enacted some form of pro-arrest domestic violence statute, and fourteen states and the District of Columbia had enacted mandatory arrest laws.[42] Even as jurisdictions rushed to enact mandatory arrest laws, researchers began to sound the alarm about their inefficacy. Sherman himself quickly became one of the most vocal detractors, arguing that “mandatory arrest [made about] as much sense as fighting fire with gasoline.”[43] But the damage was done. States were eager to demonstrate that they were taking domestic violence seriously,[44] and two years later, significant developments at the national level would inspire a surge of new pro-arrest policies.


B. The Passage of VAWA: The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson as a Turning Point


After the initial rush to enact mandatory arrest laws subsided, legislative efforts to address domestic violence slowed down as many mandatory arrest bills languished in state legislatures for years.[45] All this changed in the summer of 1994[46] when Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, were stabbed to death outside her condominium.[47] Her violent death and the subsequent arrest of her husband, O.J. Simpson, dominated the national news cycle for months and prompted state and local politicians to return their attention to domestic violence legislation.[48]


Only weeks later, state legislatures received another push to enact new laws from Congress. On September 13, 1994—three months after Brown Simpson’s murder—President Bill Clinton signed VAWA into law as part of the 1994 Crime Bill.[49] Building on the momentum of the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment and its progeny, the legislation lent national support to mandatory arrest laws by providing financial incentives to jurisdictions that enacted them.[50] Specifically, the Act made jurisdictions that “implement[ed] mandatory arrest or pro-arrest programs and policies in police departments, including mandatory arrest programs and policies for protection order violations” eligible for millions in federal grant funding.[51]


Taken together, Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder and VAWA’s pro-arrest provisions catalyzed a wave of new mandatory arrest statutes and sent a clear signal to the fifteen jurisdictions with pre-existing mandatory arrest statutes that they were good law.[52] In the following year, mandatory arrest laws were enacted in New York and Mississippi,[53] and five other states followed closely behind.


C. Evolution of VAWA: Shift Towards Pro-Arrest Language


Despite a steady increase in criticism from academics and activists about the questionable efficacy of mandatory laws, VAWA was renewed in 2000 and 2005, preserving the provisions related to mandatory arrest in their original form.[54] Not until 2013—nearly twenty years after the original enactment of VAWA—did Congress make any adjustments. After a lengthy legislative battle over VAWA provisions concerning protections for Native Americans, LGBTQ individuals, and undocumented immigrants[55]—and nearly three years after the law expired—Congress passed the 2013 reauthorization bill.[56] Where before VAWA offered “States, Indian tribal governments, or units of local government” access to federal grant money for enacting laws that “encourage[d] or mandate[d] arrests of domestic violence offenders,”[57] the 2013 reauthorization bill removed references to mandatory arrest.[58] In spite of progress on mandatory arrest provisions, the law maintained financial incentives for jurisdictions with pro-arrest policies.[59]


Today, the current version of the bill floundering in Congress includes similar pro-arrest language, providing federal grant funding to jurisdictions that implement policies and procedures that “encourage arrests of offenders.”[60]Notably, the 2021 reauthorization bill goes one step further than the 2013 legislation by retitling the section “Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies” as “Grants to Encourage Improvements and Alternatives to the Criminal Justice Response.”[61] This change represents a growing recognition at the federal level that arrest is not the only possible criminal justice response to domestic violence. However, the statute itself maintains the provisions promising grant funding to pro-arrest jurisdictions.[62]


D. Where Are We Now? The Emergence of Three Types of State Laws


To date, at least twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws mandating arrest when officers have probable cause to believe that a domestic violence incident has occurred.[63] Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of states mandate arrest when officers have probable cause to believe there has been a violation of a restraining order.[64]But mandatory arrest laws are not the only legislative fix for encouraging police response to domestic violence cases. Recognizing that mandatory arrest laws had led to a sharp increase in the arrests of women involved in domestic violence incidents,[65] some jurisdictions searched for alternative approaches. In the wake of the Sherman Study and the enactment of VAWA, states chose one of three types of domestic violence arrest laws: mandatory arrest, preferred arrest, or discretionary arrest.[66]


At least six states have enacted “preferred arrest” laws for domestic violence cases,[67] which strongly recommend rather than require officers to make an arrest in a domestic violence incident.[68] A characteristic example is the Montana preferred arrest statute, which provides that “[a]rrest is the preferred response in partner or family member assault cases . . .”[69] Preferred arrest laws seek to avoid the problem of dual arrests—situations in which both parties are arrested[70]—by providing law enforcement with greater discretion.[71] Yet preferred arrest laws pose many of the same problems as mandatory arrest laws.[72] States with mandatory arrest and preferred arrest (i.e. “pro-arrest”) laws report significantly higher rates of arrests for domestic violence than states with discretionary laws.[73] Although increasing arrest rates in domestic violence incidents is the obvious goal of pro-arrest policies, these increases have devastating downstream consequences for victims, perpetrators, and their children.[74]


The remaining U.S. jurisdictions grant police officers broad discretion to respond to domestic violence incidents as they deem appropriate.[75] These laws are typically called “discretionary arrest” statutes.[76] An emblematic example is Indiana’s domestic violence statute, which states that “[a] law enforcement officer may arrest a person when the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed a domestic battery . . . .”[77] In recent years, researchers have increasingly argued in favor of discretionary arrest laws, as they grant autonomy to victims to advocate in favor of or against the arrest of their abusers.[78]


Although jurisdictions across the United States have experimented with various police responses to domestic violence, current federal and state law reveals an undeniable policy preference for pro-arrest laws over discretionary arrest statutes.


III. The Case Against Mandatory Arrest Laws


Since the 1990s, the United States has experienced a decrease in domestic violence incidents.[79] This drop is frequently attributed to the impact of mandatory arrest laws and other VAWA provisions,[80] but in reality the decrease corresponds with a dramatic overall national decline in violent crime.[81] There is mounting evidence that mandatory arrest laws do not effectively protect domestic violence victims.[82] Similar evidence also weighs against the efficacy of preferred arrest laws;[83] however, I primarily focus on mandatory arrest policies because there is substantially more research and evidence demonstrating their shortcomings. This may be in part because nearly four times as many jurisdictions have adopted mandatory arrest laws as preferred arrest laws.[84] In this section, I will demonstrate how mandatory arrest laws fail both victims and perpetrators, and ultimately set up their children to relive cycles of abuse.


A. Mandatory Arrest Laws Endanger Victims


When jurisdictions first began implementing mandatory arrest laws, they were buoyed by the promise of deterring repeat offenders and protecting victims. Despite any benefits they may confer, mandatory arrest laws harm the overall victim population by increasing the number of arrests of women,[85] disempowering victims in the aftermath of a domestic violence incident,[86] and disproportionately ensnaring Black and Brown victims in the criminal justice system.[87]


1. Mandatory Arrests Increase the Number of Victims Arrested


First, mandatory arrest laws correlate with a significant increase in dual arrests and arrests of women.[88]Researchers have posited several theories for this phenomenon, but common sense dictates that pro-arrest policies will inevitably lead to more arrests of everyone involved.[89] What is less obvious is the disproportionate impact of mandatory arrest laws on victims.[90] For example, arrest statistics in California reveal that the enactment of the state’s mandatory arrest policy increased the arrests of men by sixty percent while simultaneously increasing the arrests of women by a shocking 400 percent.[91] Similarly, a study in Kenosha, Wisconsin, uncovered a twelve-fold increase in the arrests of women relative to before the mandatory arrest law went into effect.[92]


In response to the concerning rise in dual arrests, many states passed “primary aggressor” laws to ensure that police officers appropriately determined who the “real” offender was and only arrested that party.[93] If an officer has probable cause to believe that the primary aggressor harmed the other party, then mandatory arrest jurisdictions require the officer to arrest that person.[94] However, many domestic violence victims believe that their abusive partners will take advantage of this regime by accusing them of being the primary aggressor.[95] Thus, it is unsurprising that many victims knowingly fear calling the police will result in their own arrest.[96]


The possibility of victim arrest has a devastating impact on domestic violence victims. The threat of arrest makes victims less likely to call for help,[97] which may contribute to an increase in intimate partner homicide.[98] Even absent conviction, a single arrest on a victim’s record can have serious consequences.[99] Lingering arrest records can ruin chances to secure employment, loans, and housing.[100] These consequences are even more severe for victims who share children with their abusive partners, as a criminal record could cause a mother to face a loss of custody.[101] Taken together, the impacts of an arrest can lead to higher rates of poverty and criminality.[102] For a domestic violence victim trying to stake out her independence, the lasting effects of an arrest can make leaving an abuser almost impossible.[103]In other words, mandatory arrest laws can have the exact opposite of their desired effect by trapping women in dangerous relationships for fear of their own arrest.


2. Mandatory Arrest Laws Limit Victims’ Autonomy


Second, mandatory arrest laws deny victims agency by stripping away their role in the decision to arrest.[104]Given that many relationships characterized by domestic violence involve a dynamic in which abusers exert power and control over their victims,[105] mandatory arrest laws function to further disempower victims by dismissing their preferences.[106] Even if victims do not personally fear arrest, many refuse to seek emergency help because they do not want to see their partners arrested—whether out of love, fear, or dependency.[107] Domestic violence victims are frequently reliant on their abusers for housing and financial support.[108] If calling for help will definitively result in an arrest, then a victim’s housing and financial needs may make her less likely to seek emergency support.[109] Relatedly, a victim may refuse to call for help if she knows that a police response will ultimately subject her partner to entanglement with the criminal justice system.[110]


Some researchers posit that removing choice is a desirable outcome for victims because it may limit retaliatory violence by offenders.[111] However, this theory is not firmly rooted in evidence.[112] As previously discussed, mandatory arrest laws are associated with increases in intimate partner homicide[113] and have questionable deterrent effects on revictimization.[114] Law professor Aya Gruber recounts from her days as a public defender, “I observed government actors systematically ignore women’s desires to stay out of court, express disdain for ambivalent victims, and even infantilize victims to justify mandatory policies while simultaneously prosecuting the victims in other contexts.”[115] The overcriminalization of domestic violence disempowers victims, leaving police with little to no discretion to consider their wishes.[116] Put plainly: mandatory arrest laws do not deter violence, they deter reports of violence.


3. Mandatory Arrest Policies Increase Suffering for Minority Victims


Third, mandatory arrest laws disproportionately harm women of color who are more likely to be victims of crime[117] and more likely to be arrested during a domestic violence incident.[118] According to the Department of Justice, Black women experience domestic violence at a rate thirty-five percent higher than white women,[119] but are less likely to seek out social or medical services due to entrenched distrust of institutional actors.[120] These laws “put minority women at disproportionate risk of future violence, homelessness, financial ruin, deportation, and their own incarceration,”[121] intensifying inequalities in the American criminal justice system at a time when Black adults are nearly six times as likely to be incarcerated as whites.[122] Undocumented victims also face the unique fear that seeking help could result in the deportation of a family member or partner.[123]


Lawrence Sherman, author of the seminal Sherman Study, has spoken out against the racialized impacts of mandatory arrest laws. In 2015, Sherman followed up with the 1,125 victims involved in the 1988 Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment and made the disturbing finding that victims were sixty-four percent more likely to have died if their partners were arrested and jailed than if their partners were warned and allowed to stay at home.[124] The overall sixty-four-percent difference between the arrest and warned group was almost entirely concentrated among the experiment’s Black victims, with arrest nearly doubling the death rate among the 529 Black domestic violence victims in the experiment.[125] Expounding upon the alarming correlation between arrest and premature death, Sherman noted that the Milwaukee Experiment provided clear evidence that Black victims of domestic violence were “disproportionately likely to die after arrests relative to white victims.”[126] The racialized impacts of mandatory arrest laws on minority domestic violence victims highlight the imperative of sunsetting these policies.


B. Mandatory Arrest Laws Exacerbate Mass Incarceration


Though more readily apparent, the harmful effects of mandatory arrest laws on abusive partners merit standalone discussion. At a time when Americans increasingly support dismantling mass incarceration,[127] few studies consider the long-term impacts of mandatory arrest on both victims and perpetrators. Despite a recent emphasis on releasing nonviolent drug offenders,[128] meaningful reductions in the prison population cannot be achieved without a substantial decline in prison time for people convicted of violent crimes.[129] Although arrest can serve as a necessary tool in addressing domestic violence, we should proceed carefully before continuing policies that mandate arrest in situations that do not warrant it. A twenty-first-century approach to combating domestic violence must recognize that “perpetrators suffer when justice is defined only by how many years they must spend in a cage and not by their ability to acknowledge responsibility, take action to repair the harm, and change.”[130]


First and foremost, arrest and conviction do not effectively break the cycle of violence. Studies report increases of intimate partner homicides up to sixty percent in jurisdictions with mandatory arrest.[131] Mandatory arrest policies not only fail to deter future violence,[132] but the resulting increase in incarceration may also drive further offending.[133]U.S. prison facilities are often violent and dehumanizing.[134] Many prisoners experience rampant overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.[135] Prisoners also face high levels of physical and sexual violence at the hands of corrections officers and other prisoners.[136] Few prisoners can seek educational and skill-building opportunities while incarcerated, stunting their ability to rehabilitate and become productive members of society.[137] Unsurprisingly, confinement in these conditions leads to high levels of recidivism.[138] In other words, violence begets violence.


Second, mandatory arrest laws subject more people to the dizzying array of consequences of ensnarement in the criminal justice system.[139] When jurisdictions began to enact mandatory arrest laws, the desired effect was to increase the arrests of abusive partners.[140] By all accounts, states achieved this goal: arrest rates in mandatory arrest jurisdictions are nearly double the rates in states with discretionary arrest laws.[141] As previously mentioned, a single arrest can have devastating effects on a person’s ability to qualify for public housing and benefits, find employment, and maintain financial stability.[142] Studies reveal that employers care less about the specific information conveyed by a criminal record than the fact that its mere existence impugns a candidate’s trustworthiness or employability.[143] The stigma of an arrest can make finding employment a herculean task.[144] And when an arrest leads to conviction, the results are even more severe.[145] In many states, former prisoners lose the right to vote, serve on a jury, seek employment in a variety of fields, and maintain full parental rights.[146] Once released, formerly imprisoned men tend to work more and earn less,[147] and they are ten times more likely to experience homelessness.[148] Arrest and conviction perpetrate long-lasting harms on offenders, and public opinion overwhelmingly supports making the American criminal justice system less punitive. Upholding mandatory arrest laws contravenes the goal of reducing mass incarceration.


C. Mandatory Arrest Laws Do Not Adequately Protect Children


Finally, mandatory arrest laws’ failure to stop domestic violence imposes unfair burdens on the children of victims and perpetrators. Unsurprisingly, children growing up in violent households suffer the economic impacts of their parents’ arrest and conviction—they are more likely to experience hunger, homelessness, and poverty.[149] Yet, children suffer much more than the economic consequences of domestic violence. In homes where domestic abuse occurs, there is a forty-five to sixty percent co-occurring rate of child abuse, which is fifteen times higher than the national average.[150]Compared with other children, those who have witnessed domestic violence experience far greater incidence of learning difficulties, self-harm, bed-wetting, depression and anxiety, and aggressive and antisocial behaviors.[151] As previously mentioned, mandatory arrest laws are not effective at deterring recidivism.[152] Thus, one of the most disturbing effects of these laws is to continue the cycle of violence[153] as children who grow up in violent households are more likely to perpetuate or experience violence as adults.[154] So, by failing to stop recidivism, mandatory arrest laws not only make victims and perpetrators less safe—they also endanger children who are more likely to grow up and harm or be harmed by intimate partners.


In sum, mandatory arrest laws harm victims, abusive partners, and their children by increasing incarceration rates, recidivism, and future violence.


IV. WHAT ABOUT PREFERRED ARREST LAWS?


This Note is not the first piece of writing to acknowledge the misguided nature of mandatory arrest laws. In recent years, several writers have questioned the flawed assumptions animating the original Sherman Study,[155] the devastating impacts of the 1994 Crime Bill on the U.S. prison population,[156] and the dramatic increase in dual arrests and arrests of women.[157] Some of the most recent scholarship addressing the subject argues in favor of states shifting away from mandatory arrest laws and instead instituting preferred arrest laws.[158] Preferred arrest laws are viewed as a desirable middle ground between harsh mandatory arrest models and hands-off police deference models, as they encourage officers to arrest when there is probable cause to do so while allowing officers to exercise discretion when circumstances weigh against arrest.[159] The most recent draft of the VAWA reauthorization bill reflects this recommendation by changing “mandate arrest of offenders” to “encourage arrest of offenders.”[160]


This reform does not go far enough. Research suggests that the social, economic, and public health outcomes in jurisdictions with preferred arrest laws are substantially similar to those with mandatory arrest laws.[161] In one nationwide study, researchers found that arrest rates in domestic violence cases were ninety-seven percent higher in states with mandatory arrest laws compared to states with discretionary arrest laws and were 177 percent higher in states with preferred arrest laws compared to states with discretionary arrest laws.[162] Although preferred arrest laws do not have the same negative effects on dual arrests as mandatory arrest laws,[163] their resulting increase in arrests similarly grows the prison population without providing abusive partners with rehabilitation to break the cycle of violence.[164] Despite the growth of domestic violence intervention programs in prisons over the years, new research indicates that participants face similar rates of recidivism as nonparticipants.[165] In short, preferred arrest policies pose similar challenges as mandatory arrest policies without getting at the root causes of domestic violence.


V. IF NOT ARREST, THEN WHAT? THREE STEPS TO COMBAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


The United States cannot arrest its way out of a domestic violence crisis.[166] Undoing the damage of forty years of investing in policing and prosecution to eliminate gender-based violence will require a coordinated response at the federal, state, and local levels.


A. President Biden Should Advocate for VAWA Reform


The original enactment of VAWA in 1994 provided institutional support for mandatory arrest laws. It follows that nullifying the harm of mandatory arrest laws includes amending VAWA. In the twenty-seven years since VAWA first became law, its focus on law enforcement and prosecutorial interventions has only increased. At its inception, sixty-two percent of grant funds went to the criminal system; by 2013, over eighty-five percent of grant funds went to policing and punishment.[167] Although VAWA has sat in Senate purgatory for the past three years,[168] President Biden’s ascension to the White House is a bellwether for the successful reauthorization of VAWA in 2021. When Senate Republicans blocked the previous reauthorization of VAWA in 2012 and 2013, then-Vice President Biden entered the fray to get the bill over the finish line.[169] Most significantly, the President has indicated his support for reauthorizing the law next year,[170] especially in light of the effects of COVID-19 on domestic violence victims.[171]


President Biden should seize on the opportunity to propose overdue changes to his landmark legislation. Revising portions of the law that provide financial incentives to states with mandatory arrest laws to support instead preferred arrest laws is a start, but this change does not go far enough. VAWA should eliminate all support for pro-arrest laws and instead redirect grant money to federal housing assistance. Access to safe housing is a key impediment for victims trying to leave their abusive partners,[172] with over half of unhoused women identifying domestic violence as the immediate cause of their homelessness.[173] The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this need into sharp relief,[174] as social distancing measures have required many shelters to reduce their capacity by fifty percent.[175] Opening up millions more in grant funding for housing support would respond directly to one of the direst needs facing domestic violence victims trying to leave their abusive partners safely.


B. State Legislatures Should Repeal Mandatory Arrest Laws


In the meantime, state and local governments should not wait for Congress. Over half of states continue to enforce mandatory and preferred arrest policies.[176] One of the only national calls to eliminate mandatory arrest laws comes from the social media campaign “8 to Abolition,”[177] which emerged in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd in June 2020.[178] Yet, this call has fallen largely on deaf ears—the campaign’s predominant focus on “defunding the police” has sparked controversy and fueled pushback to the campaign’s other proposals.[179] That same month, over forty sexual assault and domestic violence state coalitions published an open letter describing their collective failures to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (“BIPOC”) survivors, leaders, and movements.[180] The letter writers endorsed several proposals, including “decriminaliz[ing] survival” by “address[ing] mandatory arrest.”[181] The writing is on the wall that mandatory arrest laws make victims, perpetrators, and their children less safe, and jurisdictions should not wait for the federal government to withdraw financial incentives to repeal these statutes.


Then, if the federal government provides more grant funding for emergency housing support for domestic violence victims, states should seize the opportunity to spend these funds. One model for states to consider is the Survivor Resilience Fund in Washington, D.C., which helps domestic violence victims achieve housing stability through emergency financial assistance.[182] Established by the District Alliance for Safe Housing (“DASH”) in 2014, the Fund provides flexible grants for rent, security deposits, moving costs, utilities, and any other costs that could threaten a domestic violence victim’s housing stability.[183] Grants ranged from $275 to nearly $9,000 and were provided with minimal conditions on how victims could spend them.[184] A recent evaluation of the initiative determined that ninety-four percent of the grant recipients remained safely housed six months after receiving the funds.[185] Plus, all fifty-five domestic violence victims in the study reported improved quality of life after receiving the funds, and over ninety percent stated that they felt more hopeful about the future.[186] Though more research is needed on flexible funding to determine how best to design these programs, the DASH model provides a promising framework for jurisdictions looking to meet the dire housing needs of domestic violence victims and their children.


C. Municipalities Should Focus on Equipping Victims with Resources


Finally, local communities must recognize that they cannot eliminate domestic violence through arrest alone. Properly enforced discretionary arrest policies have a crucial place in responding to domestic violence emergencies, but arrest should not be the default response. Instead, law enforcement agencies should reexamine the approach of the original Sherman Study through a twenty-first-century lens.[187] The past forty years have made clear that arrest often does not effectively deter domestic violence,[188] but it is worth revisiting the other two treatments in the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment: “send” and “advise.”[189]


When Sherman’s team conducted the experiment, the “send” control group of police officers instructed abusive partners to leave the scene of a domestic violence incident for up to eight hours.[190] Although Sherman did not deem this approach helpful at deterring domestic violence,[191] the treatment was set up for failure. When police officers instructed alleged perpetrators to temporarily vacate the premises, the offenders had nowhere safe to go. Though the need for temporary housing for victims is acute, local communities should consider investing in temporary housing for accused perpetrators that are non-custodial. Rather than incapacitating offenders in jail for a night (or longer) and marking them with a criminal record, communities can instead incapacitate offenders for a day or two in a designated environment for “cooling down.”[192] One benefit of arrest after a domestic violence incident is providing the victim time and space to plan for safety. Furthermore, an arrest allows for violence to deescalate naturally. By providing abusive partners with a non-carceral environment to temporarily separate from the victim, communities can reap the benefits of pro-arrest domestic violence policies without subjecting victims and perpetrators to the negative consequences of an arrest.


Likewise, police officers participating in the Sherman Study were not properly equipped to make use of the “advise” treatment. The researchers instructed first responders to provide advice or mediation to the victim and the perpetrator at the scene of an incident, but police officers often struggle to counsel parties in a domestic violence dispute.[193] Many municipalities have rightly invested in robust domestic violence training for law enforcement, but they should not stop there. Communities must recognize that it is unreasonable to expect police officers to be effective first responders, crime fighters, social workers, investigators, and mediators,[194] and should invest in programs that place highly-trained domestic violence advocates alongside police officers to respond to incidents. One local model to consider is the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s recently-launched Domestic Violence Liaison Program in which citizen volunteers ride along with patrol officers in neighborhoods with a high incidence of domestic violence and provide victims with resources and information while responding to a call.[195] Volunteers receive forty hours of classroom training from D.C. SAFE, the city’s only 24/7 crisis intervention agency for domestic violence.[196] This model takes the pressure off of law enforcement to remember all of the possible support measures a domestic violence victim may need after a dispute and provides both victims and offenders with a neutral resource that is focused on empowerment through information.


Nearly forty years after the Sherman Study, communities should revisit the original treatments and apply the expertise we have gained through decades of domestic violence research.


VI. CONCLUSION


Although mandatory arrest laws were borne out of a good faith effort to support domestic violence victims and deter abusive partners, in reality, they have exacerbated racial inequalities in the criminal justice system, contributed to mass incarceration, and made victims and children less safe. The United States cannot incarcerate its way out of violent crime. Effectively combating domestic violence will require a coordinated response at the federal, state, and local levels. To start, Congress should begin to right twenty-six years of wrongs by making sensible amendments to the landmark VAWA legislation, such as redirecting grant funding for pro-arrest policies to direct housing support. In the meantime, states should not wait for federal action—they should take immediate steps to repeal mandatory arrest statutes. Finally, local law enforcement agencies should eliminate their pro-arrest policies, and local governments should invest in temporary housing for victims and perpetrators and partner with local advocacy organizations to ensure parties receive timely advice following an incident.


For too long, domestic violence was viewed as a private family matter. In the last forty years, that perception has shifted to viewing domestic violence as a serious crime that can only be addressed through robust policing and prosecution. Society must now move past this view and re-envision domestic violence as a community problem that requires an empathetic and multi-faceted community response.

[1] Women and Violence: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 101st Cong. (1990); Violence Against Women: Domestic Violence: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 101st Cong. (1990). [2] See Throughline, NPR (Jan. 16, 2020), https://www.npr.org/transcripts/796735042 (interviewing former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer and “Godmother of the Violence Against Women Act” Victoria Nourse about VAWA). [3] Violence Against Women: Domestic Violence: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 101st Cong. 85 (1990). (statement of Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary). [4] Violence Against Women: Domestic Violence: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 101st Cong. (1990). [5] Id. at 99 (statement of Tracey Motuzick); see also Domestic Violence is Target of Bill, N.Y. Times (Dec. 16, 1990), https://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/16/us/domestic-violence-is-target-of-bill.html (“[Motuzick] recounted in emotional testimony how she was repeatedly beaten and verbally threatened by her husband, who was arrested after he put his fist through the windshield of her car . . . Her husband has been in jail for more than 7 years and will be released in June.”). [6] See Helen Dewar, Senate Gives Up on Healthcare, Passes Crime Bill, Wash. Post (Aug. 26, 1994),https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1994/08/26/senate-gives-up-on-health-care-passes-crime-bill/d988b2c8-da35-4fea-8621-3e5c6ab61845/; Barbara Vobejda, Battered Women’s Cry Relayed Up From Grass Roots, Wash. Post (July 6, 1994), https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1994/07/06/battered-womens-cry-relayed-up-from-grass-roots/709542b9-1ae6-40de-ad37-16feecb6c4d0/ (“Biden met initially with a lukewarm response from women's groups . . . But over the years, opposition has fallen away, women's groups have lined up solidly behind the legislation and Biden has more than 60 cosponsors.”). [7] Crime Bill Signing Ceremony, C-SPAN (Sept. 13, 1994), https://www.c-span.org/video/?60148-1/crime-bill-signing-ceremony. [8] History of VAWA, LegalMomentum, https://www.legalmomentum.org/history-vawa (last visited Nov. 14, 2020). [9] Id. But see United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000) (declaring VAWA’s civil rights remedy unconstitutional). [10] See, e.g., Tara Law, The Violence Against Women Act Was Signed 25 Years Ago. Here’s How the Law Changed American Culture, Time (Sept. 12, 2019), https://time.com/5675029/violence-against-women-act-history-biden/; Lindsay Holst, Vice President Biden: “20 Years Ago Today”, White House (Sept. 13, 2014), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2014/09/13/vice-president-biden-20-years-ago-today. [11] See Kate Pickert, What’s Wrong with the Violence Against Women Act?, Time (Feb. 27, 2013), https://nation.time.com/2013/02/27/whats-wrong-with-the-violence-against-women-act/. See generally Leigh Goodmark, Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence (U.C. Press, 2018) (critiquing the effectiveness of criminalization as anti-domestic violence policy and advocating for substantial changes to VAWA). [12] See Aya Gruber, The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration 148 (U.C. Press, 2020) (“Although often held up as a stunning liberal victory, VAWA was no less carceral than the rest of the Crime Control Bill . . . VAWA’s largest appropriation was grant money to states to encourage ‘more widespread apprehension, prosecution, and adjudication of persons committing violent crimes against women . . . .’”) [hereinafter Gruber]. [13] Dirk Johnson, Abused Women Get Leverage in Connecticut, N.Y. Times (June 15, 1986), https://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/15/weekinreview/abused-women-get-leverage-in-connecticut.html (describing how Tracey Motuzick’s (née Thurman) case led to the passage of a mandatory arrest law in Connecticut, colloquially known as the “Thurman Law”). [14] David Hirschel, et al., Domestic Violence and Mandatory Arrest Laws: To What Extent Do They Influence Police Arrest Decisions?, 98 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 255, 256 (2008) [hereinafter Hirschel, et al.]. [15] See infra note 63. [16] Gruber, supra note 13, at 82. [17] See Lawrence W. Sherman & Richard A. Berk, The Specific Deterrent Effects of Arrest for Domestic Assault, 49 Am. Soc. Rev. 261 (1984) [hereinafter Sherman Study]. [18] See infra Part II. [19] Throughout this Note, I will use “domestic violence” to describe a pattern of behaviors used by an intimate partner to maintain power and control in a relationship. Domestic violence is also frequently referred to in the literature as “intimate partner violence,” “domestic abuse,” or “relationship abuse.” I choose to use “domestic violence” because this is the most commonly-employed term. Abuse Defined, Nat’l Domestic Violence Hotline, https://www.thehotline.org/identify-abuse/understand-relationship-abuse/ (last visited Nov. 14, 2020). For similar reasons, I will use the term “victim” rather than “survivor” when describing people who have experienced domestic violence as this essay focuses on the law-enforcement response to the crime of domestic violence. See Victim or Survivor? RAINN, https://www.rainn.org/articles/key-terms-and-phrases (last visited Nov. 14, 2020). Finally, I will generally use female pronouns and identifiers when referring to victims and male pronouns when referring to perpetrators because domestic violence predominantly impacts individuals who identify as women. National Statistics, Nat’l Coal. Against Domestic Violence, https://ncadv.org/STATISTICS (last visited Nov. 14, 2020). Importantly, however, domestic violence significantly impacts LGBTQIA individuals and the issues same-sex couples face with mandatory arrests are also devastating. See David Hirschel & Philip D. McCormack,Same-Sex Couples and the Police: A 10-Year Study of Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates in Responding to Incidents of Intimate Partner Violence, Violence Against Women (2020) (finding that police are more likely to arrest both members of a same-sex couple than a heterosexual couple when responding to a domestic violence incident). [20] See generally Richard Johnson, Changing Attitudes About Domestic Violence, 50 L. & Order 60 (2002) (presenting a historical overview on the perception of domestic violence within the American criminal justice system). [21] See, e.g., State v. Rhodes, 61 N.C. 453, 453–54 (1868) (holding that a husband had a right to whip his wife with a switch “no larger than his thumb”). The Court added: “The laws of [North Carolina] do not recognize the right of the husband to whip his wife, but our Courts will not interfere to punish him for moderate correction of her, even if there had been no provocation for it.” Id. at 453 (emphasis added). [22] See Rachel Louise Snyder, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us (Bloomsbury, 2019) (dismantling common myths about domestic violence in the United States) [hereinafter Snyder]. [23] See Del Martin, Battered Wives (Volcano Press, 1976) (providing a searing portrait of marital violence in the United States); Amy Lehrner & Nicole E. Allen, Still A Movement After All of These Years?: Current Tensions in the Domestic Violence Movement, 15 Violence Against Women 1 (2009). [24] See Gruber, supra note 13, at 66 (“The battered women’s movement’s carceral turn influenced the larger American carceral turn.”). [25] Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs: Home of the Duluth Model, https://www.theduluthmodel.org/about-us/ (last visited Dec. 25, 2020). [26] Donna M. Welch, Mandatory Arrest of Domestic Abusers: Panacea or Perpetuation of the Problem of Abuse?, 43 DePaul L. Rev. 1133, 1150–51 (1994) [hereinafter Welch]. [27] See Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs: Home of the Duluth Model, https://www.theduluthmodel.org/about-us/ (last visited Dec. 25, 2020); Matthew Wolfe, Can You Cure a Domestic Abuser?, Atlantic (Jan. 17, 2020), https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/01/seeking-cure-domestic-violence/604168/. [28] Welch, supra note 27, at 1150. [29] Welch, supra note 27, at 1152. [30] Sherman Study, supra note 18. [31] Lawrence W. Sherman & Richard R. Berk, The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment, Police Found. Reps. 1, 1 (Apr. 1984). [32] Mandatory arrest of the suspect. Id. at 2. [33] Ordering the offender away from the premises for eight hours. Id. [34] Providing advice and/or mediation to the intimate partners at the premises. Id. [35] Id. [36] Id. at 2–4. [37] Id. at 8; Johanna Niemi-Kiesilainen, The Deterrent Effect of Arrest in Domestic Violence: Differentiating Between Victim and Perpetrator Response, 12 Hastings Women’s L.J. 283, 284–85 (2001); Steve Russell, Shifting Policies & Stampeding Herds, 21 Am. J. Crim. L. 321, 322 (1994) (“To Lawrence Sherman’s everlasting credit, he has cautioned at every opportunity that the Minneapolis experiment was just an initial step in studying a very large and complicated problem.”). [38] See Lawrence W. Sherman, et al., The Variable Effects of Arrest on Criminal Careers: The Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment, 83 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 137 (1992); Richard A. Berk, et al., A Bayesian Analysis of the Colorado Springs Spouse Abuse Experiment, 83 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 170 (1992); David Hirschel, et al., Charlotte Spouse Assault Replication Project: Final Report for the National Institute of Justice(1991); Antony Pate, et al., Spouse Abuse Replication Project in Metro-Dade County, Florida, 1987–1989, NIJ (1991); Franklyn W. Dunford, et al., The Role of Arrest in Domestic Assault: The Omaha Police Experiment, 28 Criminology 183 (1990). [39] See Marion Wanless, Mandatory Arrest: A Step Toward Eradicating Domestic Violence, But is it Enough?, 1996 U. Ill. L. Rev. 533, 555 (1996) (“In Omaha, Milwaukee, and Charlotte . . . arrest actually increased domestic violence among some abusers as compared to suspects who were not arrested.”). [40] Lisa G. Lerman, The Decontextualization of Domestic Violence, 83 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 217, 218 (1991). [41] Crystal Nix, For Police, Domestic Violence is No Longer a Low Priority, N.Y. Times (Dec. 31, 1986), https://www.nytimes.com/1986/12/31/nyregion/for-police-domestic-violence-is-no-longer-a-low-priority.html (describing evolving arrest laws in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey). [42] Joan Zorza, Criminal Law of Misdemeanor Domestic Violence, 1970–1990, 83 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 46, 64 (1992); see also R. Emerson Dobash, Women, Violence & Social Change 169 (Routledge, 1992) (noting that Connecticut, Oregon, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Wisconsin had passed mandatory arrest laws); Nicole M. Montalto, Mandatory Arrest; The District of Columbia’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Amendment Act of 1990, 8 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y 337 (1992). [43] Lawrence W. Sherman, Janell D. Schmidt, & Dennis P. Rogan, Policing Domestic Violence: Experiences and Dilemmas 210 (New York: Free Press, 1992). [44] Deborah Epstein, Procedural Justice: Tempering the State’s Response to Domestic Violence, 43 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1843, 1865 (2002) (“[M]andatory policies represent an important symbolic shift; a declaration that the state no longer condones violence against women.”). [45] Nancy James, Domestic Violence: A History of Arrest Policies and a Survey of Modern Laws, 28 Fam. L.Q. 509, 513 (1994). [46] Maryclaire Dale, O.J. Simpson case helped bring spousal abuse out of shadows, AP (June 12, 2019), https://apnews.com/article/c85957bb9c764313a88659b5837f5245 (writing about the long-term impacts of the O.J. Simpson case and VAWA on the 25th anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder). [47] Sara Rimer, Nicole Brown Simpson: Slain at the Dawn of a Better Life, N.Y. Times (June 23, 1994), https://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/23/us/simpson-case-victim-nicole-brown-simpson-slain-dawn-better-life.html. [48] Charisse Jones, Nicole Simpson, in Death, Lifting Domestic Violence to the Forefront as National Issue, N.Y. Times (Oct. 13, 1995), https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/13/us/nicole-simpson-death-lifting-domestic-violence-forefront-national-issue.html; Barbara Vobejda, Battered Women’s Cry Relayed Up From Grass Roots, Wash. Post (July 6, 1994), https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1994/07/06/battered-womens-cry-relayed-up-from-grass-roots/709542b9-1ae6-40de-ad37-16feecb6c4d0/; see also G. Kristian Miccio, A House Divided: Mandatory Arrest, Domestic Violence, and the Conservatization of the Battered Women’s Movement, 42 Hous. L. Rev. 237, 278–79 (2005) (describing Nicole Brown Simpson’s death as a driver for mandatory arrest laws across the United States). [49] The History of the Violence Against Women Act, Nat’l Ctr. Domestic & Sexual Violence (2009) http://www.ncdsv.org/images/OVW_HistoryVAWA.pdf; Crime Bill Signing Ceremony, C-SPAN (Sept. 13, 1994), https://www.c-span.org/video/?60148-1/crime-bill-signing-ceremony. [50] Violence Against Women Act of 1994, Pub. L. No. 103-322. [51] Violence Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355, 103rd Cong; § 40231 (1994). [52] See Charlotte Alter, How the OJ Simpson Case Helped Fight Domestic Violence, Time (June 12, 2014), https://time.com/2864428/kardashian-oj-simpson-domestic-violence/ (“[T]he growing awareness about the pervasive danger of domestic violence was instrumental to getting [VAWA] passed through Congress in 1994.”); Somini Sengupta, Domestic Violence Law Set to be Renewed, N.Y. Times (June 11, 2001), https://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/11/nyregion/domestic-violence-law-set-to-be-renewed.html. [53] Charisse Jones, Nicole Simpson, in Death, Lifting Domestic Violence to the Forefront as National Issue, N.Y. Times (Oct. 13, 1995), https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/13/us/nicole-simpson-death-lifting-domestic-violence-forefront-national-issue.html. [54] Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 106-386 (2000); Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, Pub. L. No. 109-162, § 102, 199 Stat. 2960, 2975 (2005); see also Kate Pickert, What’s Wrong with the Violence Against Women Act?, Time (Feb. 27, 2013), https://nation.time.com/2013/02/27/whats-wrong-with-the-violence-against-women-act/ (critiquing VAWA’s emphasis on law enforcement as the primary tool to stop domestic violence). [55] Molly Ball, Why Would Anyone Oppose the Violence Against Women Act?, Atlantic (Feb. 12, 2013), https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/02/why-would-anyone-oppose-the-violence-against-women-act/273103/. [56] Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, Pub. L. No. 113-4 (2013). [57] See, e.g., Violence Against Women Act of 1994, Pub. L. No. 103-322. [58] Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, Pub. L. No. 113-4 (2013). [59] Id. [60] Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021, H.R. 1620, 117th Cong. (2021). [61] Id. [62] Id. [63] Alaska Stat. § 18.65.5309(a); Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3601(B); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-6-803.6(1); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a); D.C. Code Ann. § 16-1031; Iowa Code § 236.12(2); Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-2307(b)(1); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 46:2140; Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19-A, § 4012(5); Miss. Code Ann. § 99-3-7(3); Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.085; Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 171.137(1); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(a); N.y. Crim. Proc. Law § 140.10(4)(a); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2935.032(A)(1)(a)(i); Or. Rev. Stat. § 133.055(2)(a); R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-29-3(c)(1); S.C. Code Ann. § 16-25-80(B); S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-3-2; Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.2(2)(a); Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-81.3(B); Wash. Rev. Code § 10.31.100(2)(c); Wis. Stat. § 968.075(2)(a). [64] David Hirschel, et al., Explaining the Prevalence, Context, and Consequences of Dual Arrest in Intimate Partner Violence, Dep’t of Just.(2007), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/218355.pdf. [65] David Hirschel, Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates, Nat’l Crim. Just. Reference Serv. (July 25, 2008), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/222679.pdf. [66] See generally April M. Zeoli, Alexis Norris, & Hannah Brenner, Mandatory, Preferred, or Discretionary: How the Classification of Domestic Violence Warrantless Arrest Laws Impacts Their Estimated Effects on Intimate Partner Homicide, 35 Evaluation Rev. 129 (2011) (evaluating how states choose to distinguish between mandatory, preferred, and discretionary arrest laws for domestic violence) [hereinafter Zeoli]. [67] Ark. Code Ann. § 16-81-113; Cal. Penal Code § 13701(b); Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 209A § 6(7); Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-311(2)(a); N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-10(1); Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-619. [68] David Hirschel, Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates, Nat’l Crim. Just. Reference Serv. (July 25, 2008), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/222679.pdf. [69] Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-311(2)(a) (emphasis added). [70] David Hirschel, Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates, Nat’l Crim. Just. Reference Serv. (July 25, 2008), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/222679.pdf. [71] See David Hirschel, et al., Explaining the Prevalence, Context, and Consequences of Dual Arrest in Intimate Partner Violence, Dep’t of Just.(2007), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/218355.pdf (finding that mandatory arrest laws—but not preferred arrest laws—significantly increased the likelihood of dual arrest). [72] See, e.g., Radha Iyengar, Does the Certainty of Arrest Reduce Domestic Violence? Evidence from Mandatory and Recommended Arrest Laws, 93 J. Pub. Econ. 85 (2009) (finding that mandatory and preferred arrest laws are correlated with increased likelihood of intimate-partner homicide) [hereinafter Iyengar]. [73] David Hirschel, et al., Explaining the Prevalence, Context, and Consequences of Dual Arrest in Intimate Partner Violence, Dep’t of Just.(2007), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/218355.pdf. [74] See infra Part II. [75] See, e.g., Ala. Code § 15-10-3(a)(8); Del. Code Ann. tit. 11 § 1904(a)(4); Fla. Stat. ch. 741.29(3); Ga. Code Ann. § 17-4-20(a); Haw. Rev. Stat. § 709-906(2); Idaho Code § 19-603(6); 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30; Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1(a)(5)(C); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 431.005(2)(a); Md. Code Ann. § 2-204; Mich. Comp. Laws § 764.15a. [76] See, e.g., Zeoli, supra note 67, at 133. [77] Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1(a)(5)(C) (emphasis added). [78] Zeoli, supra note 67, at 133. [79] U.S. Dep’t of Just., FBI, Crime in the United States (1995–2019), https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/publications#Crime-in%20the%20U.S.; U.S. Dep’t of Just., BJS, Nat’l Crime Victimization Surv. (1973–2019), https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245. [80] Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, In U.S., a Decline in Domestic Violence, Christian Sci. Monitor (Aug. 26, 2014), https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Progress-Watch/2014/0826/In-US-a-decline-in-domestic-violence. [81] John Gramlich, Five Facts About Crime in the United States, Pew Rsch. Ctr. (Oct. 17, 2019), https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/10/17/facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/. [82] See Meghan A. Novisky & Robert L. Peralta, When Women Tell: Intimate Partner Violence and the Factors Related to Police Notification, 21 Violence Against Women 65 (2015) (finding that mandatory arrest laws reduce the probability of victims reporting intimate partner violence, rather than reducing the incidence of intimate partner violence) [hereinafter Novisky]; see also Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, The Impact of Arrest on Domestic Violence: Introduction, 36 Am. Behav. Scientist 558 (1993) (contending that arrest for the purposes of deterrence does not always work). [83] Hirschel, et al., supra note 15, at 256. [84] David Hirschel, Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates, Nat’l Crim. Just. Reference Serv. (July 25, 2008), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/222679.pdf. [85] See David Hirschel, Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates, Nat’l Crim. Just. Reference Serv. (July 25, 2008), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/222679.pdf. [86] See Welch, supra note 27, at 1159. [87] See Meda Chesney-Lind, Criminalizing Victimization: The Unintended Consequences of Pro-arrest Policies for Girls and Women, 2 Criminology & Pub. Pol’y 81, 82 (2002). [88] See Leigh Goodmark, Should Domestic Violence Be Decriminalized?, 40 Harv. J. Gender & L. 54, 103 (2017) [hereinafter Decriminalized]. [89] See Hirschel, et al., supra note 15, at 260. [90] Gruber, supra note 13, at 88. [91] Id. [92] Kevin L. Hamberger & Theresa Potente, Counseling Heterosexual Women for Domestic Violence: Implications for Theory and Practice, 9 Violence & Victims 125, 126 (1994). [93] David Hirschel & Lindsay Deveau, The Impact of Primary Aggressor Laws on Single Versus Dual Arrests in Incidents of Intimate Partner Violence, 23 Violence Against Women 1155, 1156–57 (2017) (noting that at least thirty-four states have enacted primary aggressor laws to respond to the increase in dual arrests). [94] See John Hamel, In Dubious Battle: The Politics of Mandatory Arrest and Dominant Aggressor Laws, 2 Partner Abuse 224 (2011). [95] See TK Logan & Rob Valente, Who Will Help Me? Domestic Violence Survivors Speak Out About Law Enforcement Responses, Nat’l Domestic Violence Hotline (2015), https://www.thehotline.org/wp-content/uploads/media/2020/09/NDVH-2015-Law-Enforcement-Survey-Report-2.pdf (surveying women about law enforcement responses to partner abuse and finding that more than half said calling the police would make things worse) [hereinafter TK Logan]. [96] TK Logan, supra note 96 (finding that one in six survey respondents said they were afraid that the police would be violent, would threaten to arrest, or actually arrest them); see also Gruber, supra note 13, at 89 (“The genie could not be put back in the bottle. Officers arrived on the scene to find two injured parties or just an injured male party, decided that neither aggressor was ‘primary,’ and continued to make dual arrests.”). [97] Aya Gruber, How Police Became the Go-to Response to Domestic Violence, Slate (July 7, 2020), https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/policing-domestic-violence-history.html (“The primary deterrent effect of arrest policies, it appears, was deterring women from calling for help.”).. [98] See Iyengar, supra note 73 (hypothesizing that mandatory arrest laws lead to increased homicide due to decreased reporting). [99] See generally Collateral Damage: America’s Failure to Forgive or Forget in the War on Crime, Nat’l Ass’n Crim. Def. Laws. (2014), https://www.nacdl.org/Document/CollateralDamageARoadmaptoRestoreRightsandStatus (discussing the stigma and impacts of arrest or conviction on millions of Americans) [hereinafter Collateral Damage]. [100] Gary Fields & John R. Emshwiller, As Arrest Records Rise, Americans Find Consequences Can Last a Lifetime, Wash. Bus. J. (Aug. 18, 2014), https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-arrest-records-rise-americans-find-consequences-can-last-a-lifetime-1408415402. [101]G. Kristian Miccio, A House Divided: Mandatory Arrest, Domestic Violence, and the Conservatization of the Battered Women’s Movement, 42 Hous. L. Rev. 237, 263 (2005). [102] See Karen Dolan & Jodi L. Carr, The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty, Inst. for Pol’y Stud. (Mar. 18, 2015), https://ips-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IPS-The-Poor-Get-Prison-Final.pdf. [103] Why Do Victims Stay?, Nat’l Coal. Against Domestic Violence, https://ncadv.org/why-do-victims-stay (last visited Nov. 16, 2020). [104] Amy M. Zelcer, Battling Domestic Violence: Replacing Mandatory Arrest Laws with a Trifecta of Preferential Arrest, Officer Education, and Batterer Treatment Programs, 51 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 541, 548 (2014). [105] See Power and Control Wheel, Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs: Home of the Duluth Model, https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheels/ (last visited Dec. 25, 2020). [106] Zeoli, supra note 67, at 133. [107] See Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing, ACLU (Oct. 2015), https://www.aclu.org/report/sexual-assault-domestic-violence-and-policing (concluding that domestic violence victims’ goals do not align with those of the criminal justice system). [108] Nancy Salamone, Domestic Violence and Financial Dependency, Forbes (Sept. 2, 2010), https://www.forbes.com/2010/09/02/women-money-domestic-violence-forbes-woman-net-worth-personal-finance.html?sh=4e8d85a71047. [109] Why Do Victims Stay?, Nat’l Coal. Against Domestic Violence, https://ncadv.org/why-do-victims-stay (last visited Nov. 16, 2020) (identifying the possibility of financial ruin as a barrier to escaping an abusive relationship). [110] See infra Part II.B.2. See generally Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010) (arguing that mass incarceration operates as the “New Jim Crow” and enables government actors to unleash a bevy of discriminatory policies against “criminals,” including measures in housing, education, employment, public benefits, voting rights, and jury duty). [111] See Valli Rajah, Victoria Frye, & Mary Haviland, “Aren’t I a Victim?”: Notes on Identity Challenges Relating to Police Action in a Mandatory Arrest Jurisdiction Violence Against Women, 12 Violence Against Women 897 (2006). [112] See Zeoli, supra note 67, at 134. [113] Iyengar, supra note 73. [114] Zeoli, supra note 67, at 133; Lawrence W. Sherman, et al., The Variable Effects of Arrest on Criminal Careers: The Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment, 83 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 137 (1992). [115] Aya Gruber, A “Neo-Feminist” Assessment of Rape and Domestic Violence Law Reform, 15. J. Gender, Race, & Just. 583, 583–84 (2012). [116] See generally Decriminalized, supra note 89, at 103 (evaluating the impacts of decriminalizing domestic violence). [117] See Asha DuMonthier, Chandra Childers & Jessica Milli, The Status of Black Women in the United States, Inst. Women’s Pol’y Rsch. 1 (2017) (finding black women disproportionately experience violence at home, at school, on the job, and in their neighborhoods). More than forty percent of Black women experience physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, compared with 31.5 percent of all women. Id. at 119. [118] See Mandatory Arrests, Battered Women’s Just. Project, https://www.bwjp.org/our-work/topics/mandatory-arrests.html (last visited Nov. 8, 2020). [119] Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report on the Prevalence, Incidence, & Consequences of Violence Against Women, Dep’