Two police officers respond to a domestic violence complaint at a house. This isn't the first time they have responded to such a complaint, they have come to this house at least half a dozen times before. However, Joyce, the abused, was never willing to file a complaint when they arrived, preventing them from doing anything no matter how much they would like to.
They expected another fruitless visit, but this one is different. The moment the door is opened they can see Joyce's face looks horribly bruised, far worse than any previous visit. Unlike in the past, no excuse about falling down steps or accidental collisions with walls is made. Joyce clearly tells the police what happened, says that it's getting worse, and begs the officers for their protection.
However, the police do not arrest the husband, or even warn him. They don't take any action to protect his wife from him either, not even suggesting a domestic abuse shelter or other resources to her. In fact, they act as if they have little sympathy for her or her situation at all.
Why aren't they helping the woman?
Some hints to narrow down possibilities. I think this puzzle could likely be solved without them though.
The abuse really happened, an the police believe Joyce about it.
The police aren't afraid of provoking the abuser or making things worse on Joyce by acting.
The police have the authority to act on the charges.
The Abuser is Joyce's spouse, not some third party.
the Police are sympathetic to Joyce and want to help.
the police ultimately manage to protect Joyce