80 percent of police efforts attributed to domestic violence

Domestic violence disputes are some of the most dangerous calls to which Fuerza Pública officers respond, Such calls also are time consuming.

Some 80 percent of calls made to the Fuerza Pública are domestic-violence related said Mario Zamora Cordero, minister of security. From January 2011 to October 2011 there were 39,561 incidents reported to 911 that involved aggression toward women, according to information from the Sistema de Emergencias 9-1-1 in Costa Rica.

The same data shows that in 2010 alone there were 46,207 calls of aggression toward women. Statistics show that the numbers have increased so far this year. The judicial bulletins report the sentencing of men who have abused their female partners. The Ministerio Público’s press office sends out daily releases and there usually is at least one case of domestic violence.

“On many occasions the police show up to the scene of the attack, but there are no papers signed to make the complaint,” said Gerardo García Murillo, spokesperson for Sistema de Emergencias 9-1-1.
Domestic calls are some of the more dangerous because there is so much passion between the man and woman, so these aggressions are mostly emotional, said Ileana Mora Valverde, the only female psychologist for the Judicial Investigation Organization.

She said the blowup can start with something so minor like a glass or plate breaking. The woman begins to yell at the man, and then he can’t control his temper, so the situation escalates to violence, she said.

And from there sometimes the person can’t control their actions and drags others into the quarrel.

On Dec. 2 a police officer responded to a domestic violence call made to 911 and got his left arm cut off with a machete by the enraged man. This is the most recent case of an officer getting hurt in the line of duty with a domestic violence call.

Reynaldo García Picado, the injured officer, had been with Fuerza Publica for 24 years.

Every time an officer responds to a domestic violence call they are likely to spend at least five hours on the case, said Zamora. This includes the investigation.

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