In 2008, 66 year old Baerbel Roznowski sought a protection order to keep herself safe from her estranged boyfriend, Chan Kim, who had a history of violence. A court issued the order, which said that Kim must stay away from Roznowski and her home and stop contacting her. The order included instructions for law enforcement explaining that Kim did not speak English well and would need an interpreter to fully understand what was happening, and that Kim would likely react violently against Roznowski when he received news that they would be separated. Unfortunately, the police officer who brought the order to Kim didn't bother to read these instructions. He gave the order to him at Roznowski's home, did not bring an interpreter, and left them together without ensuring that they were safely separated. Just hours later, Baerbel Roznowski was dead. Her boyfriend had stabbed her 18 times, murdering her in her own home.
This tragic loss is just one example of a widespread and serious
problem. Police in the United States frequently do not take domestic
violence seriously. Gender-based violence, and domestic violence in
particular, are often viewed as less serious crimes, with law
enforcement believing that disputes can be resolved with no or minimal
police intervention, even in situations where there is a protection
order in place. This perception is more than just inaccurate; it is
discriminatory against women, results in negligent behavior by law
enforcement, and can end in serious injury, or even death.