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The benefits of increasing women's numbers and influence in policing go far beyond improving police responses to violence against women, though that improvement alone would more than justify the cause.
Every progressive goal for improving police services, whether that be ending police brutality, promoting community policing, reducing community complaints, or reducing lawsuits, is well proven to be enhanced by increasing women's presence in policing.
It's not just that police officers are overwhelmingly male.
They are males who have been selected according to outdated patriarchal standards, trained in military style academies, and then employed in the insular, hyper-male enclaves of police departments where anti-women biases are deeply embedded in the history, policies, and structures.
Police have enormous unchecked discretion in making these decisions, and victims have no reliable means for holding the officers to account.
Raising the stakes even higher is the fact that when police do fail to respond properly, as too often happens, there is nowhere else for her to turn.
It is an outrage that these pivotal powers over women's lives everywhere remain in the hands of one of the most male dominated and sexist institutions in the world.Also noted was the fact that physical strength has not been shown to predict either general police effectiveness or the ability to handle dangerous situations successfully.Female officers can help implement community-oriented policing.An officer can choose to free the woman from the violence by fully investigating and enforcing the laws.Or, the officer can choose to lock her tighter into the violence by refusing to properly investigate and by withholding their critical policing powers.
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How police respond to violence against women is pivotal to women's freedom around the world.