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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse - emotional, physical or sexual - used by one person against another in an intimate relationship.  Domestic violence can occur in any relationship to anyone. 

If you fear for your life or are in immediate danger, dial 911 now. 

The Arvada Police Department Victim Services Unit is able to provide you with emotional support, resources and information about domestic violence. Please call 720-898-6740 to reach Victim Services.

Domestic violence is one of the most requested calls for police service.  It can also be one of the most difficult to assess.  When officers arrive at the scene, it may be difficult to know who is telling the truth, especially if there are no obvious injuries, or if both parties have injuries.  Parties may be intoxicated, further complicating the officer's ability to assess the incident.  If injuries are obvious and officers, through their investigation, can determine who is the perpetrator, then the officers will make an arrest.

Police officers can only arrest for physical and/or sexual abuse.  Emotional abuse must contain a threat of physical violence for it to be a crime.  If the perpetrator is demeaning the victim by name-calling or other shaming accusations, but does not contain a threat of violence, it is not against the law. 

Escalation of Abuse

Domestic violence can be cyclical.  The abuse generally escalates in the following order. Steps 5-9 often indicate past abuse, even if there was no prior police contact. Verbal and emotional abuse is always present and sexual abuse is common.

  1. Throwing things, punching walls
  2. Pushing, shoving, grabbing, throwing things at the victim
  3. Slapping with an open hand
  4. Kicking or biting
  5. Hitting with a closed fist
  6. Pinning victim to the floor or wall, repeated kicks or punches
  7. Attempted strangulation
  8. Threatening with a weapon
  9. Assault with a weapon

The Arvada Police Department addresses domestic violence crime at the root level by using a multifaceted approach. This approach addresses the crime of domestic violence in all of its elements, including

  • how officers respond to the incident and deal with each domestic call,
  • the interaction between victims and advocates of Victim Outreach Information, 
  • oversight of these complex cases by the Domestic Violence Detective.