I was wondering the accuracy of this claim:

Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, ... in contrast to 10% of families in the general population... A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24% ..., indicating that domestic violence is 2-4 times more common among police families than American families in general.


The studies cited seem to be from the early 90's.

The only information I could find were a couple of news articles discussing this same website's claim:

  • I wouldn't be surprise to discover that people with very stressful jobs (like being a police officer) are more likely to snap than people with less stressful jobs. If true, this is proof that we need to offer more support overwork less the people on the police forces.
    – T. Sar
    Oct 20, 2019 at 12:38
  • 9
    @T.Sar Or people with a tendency towards violence choose a profession in which they can live out that dream. How do you decide which of these extreme positions is now true?
    – FooTheBar
    Oct 21, 2019 at 7:03
  • 3
    @FooTheBar My position isn't extreme. The police is overworked, is poorly paid, and have one of the most stressful jobs possible. Financial stress, for example is correlated to domestic violence, as is emotional stress, substance abuse, among others. I'm not saying by any means that DV is excusable, but it is something that is way more complicated than "choosing a job that allows you to follow violent dreams".
    – T. Sar
    Oct 21, 2019 at 10:55
  • 1
    @FooTheBar So, answering your question "how we decide wich position is now true?", I say - In the Skeptics manner, of course: with Citations!
    – T. Sar
    Oct 21, 2019 at 11:04
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    @FooTheBar I tried to find it but wasn't so lucky. I found and a couple of article with some remotely related issues (paramedics being more prone to suicide than the general population, for example). My guess is that police violence -> domestic violence is a easy link to think about, so it is more researched than other professions and domestic violence. My second link however explains that blue-collar and poorly paid jobs are more often linked to domestic violence than other jobs with a better financial situation. Further education also seems to reduce the chance for DV.
    – T. Sar
    Oct 21, 2019 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


According to Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: The Mediating Factors Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 6 , Article 9 (2018):

Various new studies have provided researchers with more valid and credible data regarding the relationship between factors of the workplace, and violence in police families. This data is collected through an unbiased manner and is more credible. Multiple small studies done regarding correctional workers residing in the state of Florida utilize the McCreary and Thompson questionnaire created in 2006. This method provides participants with specific questions, and their answers are graded on a one (no stress) to seven (high stress) scale (Summerlin et al., 2010). The studies found that in the population of correctional officers and police officers, domestic violence occurs at rates 40% greater than the public (2010). A study conducted of 479 officers from other Eastern states found that 60% of the spouses were victims of verbal abuse. This demonstrates that verbal abuse is an existing aspect of martial disputes (Johnson, Todd, & Subramanian, 2005).

Additional studies carried out examined the Baltimore police department between 1997 and 1999. Using proctor administered surveys as the main method, two outside studies found that 40% of police families had experienced partner violence (Johnson, 1991 as cited in Anderson & Lo, 2011). The 1,104 participants of this study were all sworn, full-time law enforcement employees of the Baltimore P.D. Of the 1,104 officers, 9% of them admitted to losing control at home, and potentially engaging in acts of domestic violence against their respective intimate partners (Anderson & Lo, 2011). A significant correlation is visible in police officer family violence because they have more cases of domestic and/or family violence than families of the public. Taken from family violence statistics presented by the U.S Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002, only 11% of reported violence was family violence, a minute statistic when compared to that of police families (BJS, 2005).

The body of research done by Stinson and Liederbach (2012) provides the greatest amount of empirical data on OIDV to date. Their research reviews incidents in which police officers were arrested for criminal offenses that were potential cases of domestic violence. The crimes were collected from newspaper articles available to the public, and only crimes that met a standard of reliability were considered (Stinson & Liederbach, 2012). A 97.7% degree of reliability was established upon simple agreement between two coders across all variables of the study, which is above the considered reliable percentage (Stinson & Liederbach, 2012). The degree of reliability tells us that the cases studied are perceived in a less biased manner, and provide statistically consistent data. In total, 324 cases met the requirements, and were part of the research. Of the 324 cases, 74 occurred in 2005, 116 occurred in 2006, and the remaining 138 occurred in 2007. The significance of the data comes from the fact that 98.8% of the arrests were of off-duty officers. Out of the 312 OIDV victims: 104 were the current spouse of the officer, 71 were a child or stepchild of the officer, and the remaining were other relatives (2012).

Where "Summerlin" is Summerlin, Z., Oehme, K., Stern N., & Valentine, C. (2010). Disparate levels of stress in police and correctional officers: Preliminary evidence from a pilot study on domestic violence. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 20(6), 762-777.

  • "Martial disputes" should be "marital disputes", right?
    – user21930
    Oct 25, 2019 at 7:08
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    @EikePierstorff probably, error is in the original text
    – DavePhD
    Oct 25, 2019 at 16:54
  • There was this movie "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" where we had both :-)
    – gnasher729
    Oct 27, 2019 at 14:29

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