Introduction to Habitual DV Offenders

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Law enforcement officers may struggle with arrest decisions in domestic violence cases where “mutual combatants” are involved. Historically, much of the confusion has been a result of wording options, such as “primary aggressor” vs a “predominate aggressor.”

Primary refers to who started the dispute, or who was the one to first offend. Predominate indicates who escalated the violence, who is most likely to be an imminent threat.

The predominate aggressor approach is lethality oriented and considered to be best practice in the law enforcement arrest determination process involving domestic violence cases.


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