New York City police have been ordered to run criminal background checks on domestic abuse victims, The New York Post reported on Friday.

According to a March 5 memo obtained by the newspaper, Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski has directed detectives to run background checks on both the accuser and the alleged perpetrator in domestic violence cases. If victims are found to have outstanding warrants, police are ordered to arrest them.

The new policy is already drawing criticism from victims' advocates.

"You're arresting the victim? That is crazy," said attorney Marilyn Chinitz. "That is very, very frightening. It would absolutely dissuade people. They would not report a crime because they would fear getting locked up."

Chinitz also said the policy would also endanger children living in abusive households.

"It would empower the perpetrator, and there's going to be more domestic violence as a consequence," she said.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

[h/t Gothamist]