The Code of Silence: Officer-Involved Domestic Violence


Mark Wynn, a 20-year veteran of the Nashville Police Department and national expert on the subject of family violence, narrates this film.  Two survivors of domestic violence share their experiences of being battered by husbands who were police officers.  They emphasize the need for law enforcement agencies to adopt a model policy establishing procedures for handling acts of domestic violence committed by police officers.

Sue is still very afraid of her husband even though they have been divorced for 20 years.  He regularly put loaded guns in her face and followed her wherever she went.  On one occasion he put her hands around a knife and tried to force her to stab him.  He told her he knew all the attorneys and judges and there was nothing she could do.  She didn’t realize she was a victim of domestic violence until she decided to become a police officer and attended training on the subject.  

Dottie is a 25-year veteran of law enforcement and serves as Deputy Chief of her department.  Her husband used their careers in law enforcement as a means to try to get her to engage him physically.  She thought if she reported him she would be perceived as weak and would lose her job.  But one time he battered her so severely she called 911 and his agency responded.  The officers made no reports of the incident and swore each other to secrecy.  He left the relationship and she filed for divorce.  He became enraged when his agency served him divorce papers.  He went to the house with the intent to kill her, but she escaped out the back door.   She was in uniform and his squad car was parked in the driveway and she yelled for the neighbor to call the police. 

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