Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors
In 1979 NLSLA sued the City of Los Angeles in an effort to change the way police officers responded to domestic violence calls. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Lula Mae Thomas, had called the police each of the 15 times her husband assaulted her between 1972 and 1979, but was largely ignored. Instead of protecting women from their attackers, police officers routinely discouraged them from pressing charges, told them it was a family matter, and encouraged them to ‘reconcile’ with their abuser. The case forced the LAPD to implement new policies and accept its responsibility to protect victims. It also mandated extensive training for officers that the department has since embraced and institutionalized in its LAPD Training Academy Curriculum.