Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Facts

Domestic violence has the highest rate of repeat victimization of any crime.

On average two women per week are killed by a male partner or former partner; nearly half of all female murder victims are killed by a partner or ex-partner; About 30 men are killed by a female partner or former partner each year, of which some number are related to self defense following a history of abuse. But figures show that domestic violence is predominantly violence by men against women.

Among women, risks of domestic violence do not differ significantly by ethnic origin. People in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities experience domestic violence in a similar proportion to the rest of the population (about one in four) and. More than a third of children in a violent home are aware of the abuse - that figure increases to 50% if the violence is repeated. Children may attempt to stop the violence and so put themselves at risk. Domestic violence occurs across society regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography.

Victim Impact

The impact of domestic violence on its victims is profound:

  • Domestic violence causes lasting damage to its victim's physical and mental health (More than 50% of women who seek mental health services have had violent or abusive experiences) affecting their ability to work, to support themselves, to maintain self-confidence and to move on and build a new life
  • Domestic violence is a major cause of homelessness, accounting for about 16% of homeless shelter placements
  • Growing up in a household with domestic violence can have a negative impact on, among other things, academic achievement and the likelihood of school attendance

Wellesley Police Domestic Violence Information

Officer Kathy Poirier is the Wellesley Police Officer assigned to handle and follow up on all domestic violence related incidents. 

Officer Kathy Poirier was appointed the Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer in 2016. This position has been emphasized due to the recognition of the growing problem of domestic violence and the need for a specialized position to address it. The Wellesley Police Department takes any report of domestic violence very seriously, and conducts a thorough investigation and follow up.


The Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer position concentrates on monitoring domestic violence incidents and following up with victims and families in these domestic situations. When Officer Poirier was appointed as the Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer, she attended various training with different organizations, including R.EA.C.H., a local organization that aids victims and families of domestic violence. 

Officer Poirier was fortunate to not only receive training in domestic violence and be made aware of the rising number of incidents, but to work directly with victims, or more commonly referred to as “survivors” of domestic violence. Her training continues with the latest classes and also involves networking with a variety of services and organizations to help aid victims and families.

Assistance Offered

Upon appointment, Officer Poirier reviews incidents of domestic violence that had occurred in the past several months in Wellesley. The purpose of this was to speak to victims of prior incidents and to offer any aid or services that they might need. Also, it was pertinent to let them know that they had a particular officer that they could go to, if for no other purpose than to ask questions or find out what their resources are.

Other officers report any occurrences of domestic violence that may occur while she is not working. The officers submit a copy of their report to her and email any other information they may find helpful or pertinent when contacting the victims.

Officer Poirier has also received anonymous phone calls from victims and /or their family members looking for information, services and what resources are available to them. People are welcome to contact her via email, telephone or by making an appointment. No one is ever required to give their name or any personal information. As Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer, she is here to offer any aid and information to anyone who would like it.