Why do couples fight?Anyone who listens to a police scanner knows that law enforcement officers respond to domestic-type situations on a regular basis. This may beg the questions, “Why does it happen?” “What are people fighting about?”
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Anyone who listens to a police scanner knows that law enforcement officers respond to domestic-type situations on a regular basis.
This may beg the questions, “Why does it happen?” “What are people fighting about?”
To find out, the newspaper took a look at domestic calls for the months of October and November.
The statistics may come as a surprise.
Tom Egan, Douglas County communications supervisor, was asked to do a query for domestic calls for both months and came up with nearly 50 calls – 24 in October and 23 in November.
When asked if he thought there were any contributing factors to why domestic situations happen, Egan turned around and asked a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy, who replied, “Alcohol and/or drugs seem to be a factor in domestic situations.”
However, Egan was quick to note that the use of alcohol may not always be indicated on a report if no arrest or charges were made.
In the 47 domestic calls looked at during October and November, alcohol was listed in the report six times – or 13 percent.
Both Egan and the deputy felt that alcohol was a factor more often in domestic situations where an individual is arrested, adding that it would probably be closer to 75 percent of the time.
When alcohol is involved, Egan said it can intensify the situation and make it worse.
So what happens when a domestic situation happens? In more than a third of the domestic cases examined, one or more of the parties involved was arrested as a result – 16 of the 47 cases or 34 percent.
As to whom is doing the fighting, Egan said oftentimes it is between a man and a woman, whether that be a husband and wife or a boyfriend and girlfriend.
In the 47 recent cases, 29 involved either a boyfriend and girlfriend or a husband and a wife. That’s 73 percent of the time.
In the other cases, 17 percent (eight of the 47 situations), a parent and a child were involved in the domestic dispute and in less than 10 percent of the cases – only three – it was two siblings squabbling.
Egan commented on the fact that there are many times that domestic calls come from a third party – someone hears a situation in a hotel room, witnesses it in a parking lot or the person reporting it hears people arguing in a neighboring apartment.
Out of the 47 reports for October and November, third-party calls accounted for 17 percent (eight calls).
The October cases
Here is a brief snapshot of the cases in October:
•A 33-year-old male was beating up his mother and destroying her house. He was arrested.
•A female, who was intoxicated, got mad at her boyfriend because he would not buy her more beer. She hit him and pushed their television off its stand. She was arrested.
•A female was having a verbal argument with a male. Drugs and alcohol were involved. She was issued a citation for drug paraphernalia.
•A husband and a wife were having a verbal argument over the phone. All parties calmed down after an officer arrived on scene.
•A mother and a daughter were having a verbal dispute. All parties calmed down when law enforcement got involved.
•A boyfriend and a girlfriend were arguing; he was throwing stuff around. He was mailed a citation for disorderly conduct.
•A girlfriend tried to run her boyfriend over with a car. She was arrested.
•A husband and wife were arguing. He pushed her. She pushed him. They were both arrested.
•A female and a male were arguing in a vehicle. He dropped her off in the woods. He was arrested, as well as another party who was involved.
•A male and female were arguing. He pushed her. She punched him. No one was arrested.
•Two brothers were verbally arguing. All parties calmed down; no one was arrested.
The November cases
Here is a brief snapshot of the cases from November:
•A third party call reported a female and male arguing at a local hotel. All parties calmed down. No one was arrested.
•A husband and a wife were having a verbal argument in a car.
•A foster child hit his foster mom and was being verbally abusive. The child was transported to the juvenile detention center in Moorhead.
•A 24-year-old male was having a verbal argument with his parents. He was transported to the emergency room and then to detox.
•A girlfriend reported that her boyfriend was drunk and was threatening her.
•A boyfriend was beating up on his girlfriend. He was arrested for domestic abuse and interfering with a 911 call.
•A man and woman were having an argument at a local hotel. One of the parties took off on foot, but was arrested later.
•A girlfriend was punched in the back by her boyfriend. Prior to officers arriving on scene, the boyfriend took off. He was later arrested and taken into custody.