Domestic Violence Press Release

Mandatory Arrest Must be Handcuffed, Group Says


Contact: Teri Stoddard, 301-801-0608,

WASHINGTON / January 31, 2011 –  Calling mandatory arrest “injurious” and “lethal,” Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is today calling on the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to institute a Defective Policy Recall to remove the practice of arresting persons accused of domestic violence without solid evidence or probable cause.

The SAVE letter to the Judiciary Committees cites a 2007 Harvard University study that found mandatory arrest increases partner homicides by nearly 60%. This translates into about 600 persons killed each year. According to Radha Iyengar, author of the Harvard study, the reason mandatory arrest backfires is that such policies “discourage victims from calling for help.”

An earlier study of mandatory arrest in Milwaukee concluded, “mandatory arrest prevents 2,504 acts of violence against primarily white women at the price of 5,409 acts of violence against primarily black women.”

“Although mandatory arrest makes for a good ‘get-tough-on-crime’ sound-bite, the bitter reality for victims is that it places their lives at risk,” explains Claudia Cornell, Psy.D., SAVE spokesperson. “Considering the heavy-handed practice is costing us two deaths a day, there’s no excuse to delay implementing alternatives to arrest for lower level aggression.”

Mandatory prosecution policies are also found to be harmful. According to research by Laura Dugan of the University of Maryland, such “no-drop” policies double white women’s risk of homicide. About two-thirds of prosecutors adhere to mandatory policies for allegations of domestic violence.

Each year the federal government spends $56 million under the Violence Against Women Act to promote mandatory arrest and no-drop prosecution. Even though the federal law removed its endorsement of mandatory arrest in 2005, none of the states with such laws have repealed these policies.

The over-criminalization of partner conflicts detracts from law enforcement efforts. Last November Adyan Sanchez of Bradenton, Fla. was arrested for tossing tamales at her boyfriend. In May, 73-year-old Theresa Collier of Largo, Fla. spent 24 hours in jail for slapping her foul-mouthed granddaughter on the face.

SAVE is a victim advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence: .

Press Release Special Report

Most Abuse Programs Slice and Dice the Truth

Contact: Teri Stoddard, 301-801-0608,

WASHINGTON / January 18, 2011 – The majority of domestic violence education programs supported by the federal government do not provide a truthful depiction of the problem of partner abuse, according to a report released today. The document, “Most DV Educational Programs Lack Accuracy, Balance, and Truthfulness” concludes that nine out of 10 training, education, and public awareness programs fail to meet minimum standards of objectivity.

The report is issued by Stop Abusive and Environments (SAVE), a victim advocacy group working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence. The full report can viewed here:

The SAVE report highlights a Centers for Disease Control survey that shows teenage girls are more likely than boys to be perpetrators of dating violence. But the Department of Justice inexplicably uses the CDC survey to justify the need to “engage men and youth in preventing crimes of violence against women,” according to the DoJ website.

More worrisome are training programs for judges that downplay the existence of female aggression and short-circuit legal protections. At one New Jersey seminar, judges were instructed, “Your job is not to become concerned about all the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating as you grant a restraining order.”

“The report documents a long-standing and deeply-entrenched distortion of the truth,” explains Claudia Cornell, Psy.D. SAVE director. “How can we hope to bring an end to partner abuse when most agencies are educating the public with biased and inaccurate information?”

SAVE has established an accreditation program to assure the accuracy of domestic violence training, education, and public awareness (TEPA) activities. More information about the TEPA Accreditation Program can be seen here:

Christina Hoff-Somers, author of Who Stole Feminism? will be the keynote presenter at a January 27 press conference to explore the documented distortions of abuse education programs. Designed to commemorate the Super Bowl Hoax, the event will take place 12:00 – 1:30pm at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002. Media representatives can register here: .

Each year the federal government spends $76 million for domestic violence training, education, and public awareness programs. Few of these programs adhere to standards to ensure their information is accurate and valid.