Investigating the Domestic Violence Case [2023]

Course Preview

Course Author(s)

Lt. Mark Wynn - Retired - Wynn Consulting -

Course Summary

Domestic Violence calls are one of the most dangerous calls which any officer must respond to, and they consume approximately at least 30% of an officer’s weekly calls for assistance. Officer should not take these calls casually but seriously. These calls are never “routine”. Research has shown that the first 1-2 minutes upon your arrival can be the most dangerous time period of the call. It has been found through research that these first few minutes are the most dangerous for responding officers, as most officers killed on domestic violence calls died on the approach to the location and half were killed getting out of their car.

This course is designed to provide officers with a comprehensive overview of issues surrounding Domestic Violence. Safety considerations are discussed, instructing students how to act as responding officers while staying safe.  Perpetrators will often use a variety of techniques against both the victim and officer, and these behavioral characteristics are detailed through the Power and Control Wheel.

The course also takes an in-depth look at dating violence and the comparisons between teen, adult and elderly scenarios. Officers will learn how to respond, interview, identify and collect evidence in these situations.  Stalking is addressed, regarding behaviors, mentalities, reactions, as well as laws related to stalking and law enforcement response.

Since domestic violence also relates to children, officers learn procedures for interviewing children, how children are used by batterers and domestic violence’s harmful effects on children. On the opposite end of the spectrum, domestic violence also affects the elderly. In addition, this course describes methods of recognizing risk factors and types of elder abuse, as well as how to respond and report it.  Lastly, civil liability issues are discussed. 

Course Syllabus

  • Module 1 - Investigating the Domestic Violence Case

    • Introduction by Mark Wynn
    • Officer Safety Considerations
    • Analysis of Officers Killed
    • Victim and Witness Safety
    • Role of the Responding Officer and Methods of Gaining Entry
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 2 - Threat Assessment

    • Introduction by Mark Wynn
    • Statistical Information and Importance of Threat Assessment
    • Factors That Do NOT Cause Domestic Violence
    • Profile of Domestic Murders
    • Safety Planning
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 3 - Recognizing and Responding to Elderly Abuse

    • Introduction by Mark Wynn
    • Elderly Abuse Statistics
    • Why Elderly Victims May Not Report - Types of Abuse
    • Signs and Symptoms of Elderly Abuse
    • Abuse Hotline For Elderly Abuse
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 4 - The Power and Control Wheel

    • Introduction To The Power and Control Wheel by Mark Wynn
    • Power and Control Wheel
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 5 - Dating and Relationship Violence

    • Introduction by Mark Wynn
    • What is Dating Violence?
    • Why Are Teens at Risk?
    • Characteristics of Adult Dating Violence
    • Types of Evidence and How to Collect It
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 6 - Avoiding Dual Arrest and Officer Manipulation

    • What is a Dual Arrest?
    • Why Dual Arrests are Ineffective in DV Cases
    • Determining the Predominant Aggressor
    • Self Defense in Domestic Violence Cases
    • Arrest Considerations
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 7 - Investigating the Strangulation Case

    • Who are the Victims of Domestic or Dating Violence Strangulation?
    • Indicators of Lethality, Types of Strangulation, Physiological Damage
    • Signs of Strangulation
    • Internal Strangulation Injuries
    • Interviewing
    • Identifying and Collecting Evidence
    • Documenting the Strangulation Case
    • Module Assessment
  • Module 8 - Stalking and Counter-Stalking

    • What is Stalking?
    • Stalking Behaviors: Psychological Controls
    • The Stalker's Response
    • Federal Laws and Stalking
    • Advice for Victim
    • Module Assessment