One of the hottest topics in domestic violence and policing, and policing generally, is the use of body cameras by law enforcement.

The use of body cameras by law enforcement has become increasingly debated as the public demand for police accountability is on the rise, and technology enhancements offer new opportunities for better data capture. However, the application of body-worn cameras in policing presents issues unique to domestic violence cases.

Against this backdrop, the Battered Women's Justice Project releases a thought-provoking paper, Police Body Cameras in Domestic and Sexual Assault Investigations: Considerations and Unanswered Questions that addresses and tackles some of these issues. Legal and Policy Advisor Sandra Tibbetts Murphy raises concerns from the field and details the ways in which the widespread use of body cameras could implicate many safety and privacy concerns for victims.

"This paper identifies and addresses the various issues – those known and unresolved – that may arise when law enforcement equipped with body cameras respond to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including issues of privacy and confidentiality, witness intimidation, possible evidentiary challenges when using body camera footage in trial, and unintended consequences such access and use may create for victims..."

Two New Military-Related Resources

BWJP’s Military & Veterans Advocacy Program has two new resources available to download: the Military-Related Victim Resource Card and the Military-Related Victim Information Handout. The two-page Resource Card answers common questions asked by military-related victims and lists online and telephonic resources for military personnel, veterans, and their family members. The longer Information Handout expands on the Resource Card and provides specifics on combat-related conditions that may interact with intimate partner violence.

Colorado’s Differentiated DV Offender Treatment Aims to Address Offender Risks, Needs and Responsivity

This newly released Promising Practice describes Colorado's domestic violence offender treatment program. Colorado uses an assessment tool, the Domestic Violence Risk and Needs Assessment, (currently being validated) to determine the level of risk posed by a domestic violence offender. The tool gives initial recommendations for treatment planning, and an assessment of the offender's potential responsivity to treatment. All programming is intended to increase victim safety and reduce offender abuse and recidivism, and avoids a "one-size-fits-all" model.