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Czerwińska-Jakimiuk, Ewa F. Woman as a victim of domestic violence.

Published in journal "Police activity", 2014-1 in rubric "The police and protection of human rights", pages 5-21.

Resume: The topicality of this article concerns domestic violence. The main goal of the study was content-analysis of the official police documents blue cards. The studies took place in 2010 in Poland (Crakow) in two police departments, and over 60 cards were analyzed. The studies showed that the women, who were victims of domestic violence, usually suffered from both psychological and physical violence, and in some families similar incidents took place before. The typical emotions, which were shown by the victims during the police intervention was crying and fear. The violent situations mostly concerned arguments between spouses (partners) and intoxication of the offender. Finally, the article discusses the function for the blue card intervention procedure, its possible limitations, and the most typical disorders (behavior/psychological/emotional) of the victims of the violence, then the author makes the proposal for the further studies in this sphere. The main goal of empiric studies was understanding and content-analysis of the secondary sources official documents. The author analyzed the documents concerning blue card police interventions. The choice of the situations and circumstances was random. The studies took place in 2010 in Krakow in two police departments Police Department N. IV (ul. Krolewska, 2-4) and Police Department N. VII (Zlota Jesień,11). Additionally, 60 blue cards were analyzed. As a result, it should be stated that the studies are fragmented, and analysis of their contents in blue card remains topical. It should be pointed out that according to some specialists, the blue card intervention procedure may serve as a source of psychological support for a victim of domestic violence, and it also may be of value as evidence. Additionally, it serves the following functions: standardizing police notes of intervention, information for the victims, allowing the police to keep in touch with both the victim and the abuser, formation of the possibility for the coordination of institutional activities and organization of persons responsible for the assistance to the violence victims, allowing to provide more detailed evidence of a threat of violence. Speaking of practice, there are some doubts on whether this procedure is possible to apply in order to fight domestic violence. First of all, it should be noted that some victims never inform the police or other institutions of the fact of aggressive and violent behavior. It may be due to several factors, such as shame and fear of revenge of an abuser, fear and helplessness, passive dependency functioning style, and, finally, by economic dependency on an abuser and lack of trust in the institutions providing assistance to the victims. Additionally, since domestic violence is a long-term matter, and it is related to deprivation and frustration of biological and psychological needs of a victim, it can be characterized as a complicated crisis situation, having the qualities of overburdening, threat, difficulty, painful situation. The victims of such violence have various disorders, such as the learned helplessness, PTSD, codependency. In order to reveal close connection between a victim and an abuser, implicating victimization and dependency on an abuser, there is need to turn to the violence cycles, or the so-called Stockholm syndrome concept. The authors who pay attention to the frequent manifestations of so-called traumatic link (D.G. Dutton, S.L. Painter), or the type of connection with paradoxical gratitude (F. Ochberg), when the situation is influenced by demonstration of force and advantage, as well as control over life or health of a victim, who is helpless and absolutely dependent on an abuser. It should also be remembered that both the violence itself, and the intervention of the police are related to the cultural and social context, which includes myths and stereotypes regarding female victims of violence, violence itself and the abusers. The functioning of these stereotypes and myths considerably complicates the true reactions of a victim, her family, acquaintances or persons providing official aid, and they also may have a significant influence upon the police intervention. As a result, it may cause the victim to be unwilling or unable to explicate violence, search for help, and it also implicates the further victimization process. If one is to speak of the further studies in this sphere, it is worth to establish the following: whether the procedure of Blue card intervention is in fact used as evidence in court in criminal cases (such as abuse of family members) and divorce cases; whether this procedure is related to the feeling of support and growing feeling of control for the victims of family violence; what is the aspect of preliminary influence of this procedure towards the abusers; how efficiently the victim uses forms of official support, whether the victim participates in psychological educational classes, support groups and therapy.

Keywords: domestic violence, woman, victim, abuser, blue card procedure, content-analysis, behavior/ emotional disorders, blue card functions, blue card limitations, police statistics.

DOI: 10.7256/2222-1964.2014.1.10735

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