In this hour we define the many ways in which people experience intimate partner violence and abuse, as well as the power and control tactics that abusers use. Our guest, Dave Thomas previously of the Montgomery County Police Department, describes the police response to domestic violence calls and what needs to change in their training so their responses are more appropriate and effective. We look at the role that socialization and violence in the media has on this issue, as well as the impact of having a firearm in the home. We explore the why it is so difficult to leave an abusive relationship and how to assess for lethality. Also described is the impact that abusive power and control has on the victim and on children in addition resources and guidance for safely leaving these kinds of relationships.
Dave retired from the Montgomery County Police Department in 2000 after 15 years of Service. His final assignment was the founding of their Domestic Violence Unit. He was also responsible for the department’s curriculum and policy development for domestic violence training and related issues. Dave was the 2nd highest decorated officer in the history of the department, receiving both the silver and bronze medals of valor as well as the Women’s Alliance of Maryland DV Advocacy Award, the Montgomery County Executive’s Award, Johns Hopkins University Martin Luther King Jr. Community Services Award, and honored at the White House as a Champion of Change. Dave is involved in DV curriculum and policy development, technical assistance, and training at the state, federal, and international levels. Presently, Dave serves as the Program Administrator of the Domestic Violence Education Program as well as a faculty member in the Division of Public Safety Leadership at Johns Hopkins University.