Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Victims who do not cooperate with law enforcement in domestic violence incidents
by Stahl, Anne L., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2007, 203; 3300576
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examined extralegal factors that predicted the likelihood of victim non-cooperation in domestic violence incidents and whether the type of arrest policy influenced the odds of non-cooperation when the nature of the victim/offender relationship and the type of domestic assault were considered. National Incident Based Reporting System data (2003) was used to investigate whether there was evidence contained in the incident level data routinely reported by law enforcement that would reliably predict whether a victim would be unwilling to cooperate with police in an incident of domestic violence. The multivariate analyses used incident characteristics as predictors of victim non-cooperation with the police at the scene, including offender demographics, number of offenders, presence of a weapon, incident location, number of victims, victim demographics, victim injury, victim's relationship to the offender, and incident clearance method. The victim’s domestic relationship to the offender was characterized as a family relationship (related by blood or marriage) or an intimate relationship. Logistic regression was employed to determine whether there was evidence contained in the that would reliably predict that a victim would be unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement and whether that evidence was influenced by the restrictiveness of the domestic violence arrest policy. The major finding of this study was that the victim's relationship to the offender played a central role in determining the likelihood of non-cooperation. The odds of a victim not cooperating with police increased significantly if the victim was an intimate partner versus a family member; these odds increased with the restrictiveness of the arrest policy. For incidents involving domestic violence, states typically use civil code to define the victim's relationship to the offender and criminal code to define the offense. The current trend among states' amending constitutions in order to define legally recognized civil relationships could affect whether or not domestic violence laws will apply to unmarried individuals in intimate relationships. Changes resulting in the legal exclusion of intimate victims from the protections of domestic violence legislation in a state may affect victim decision making, perhaps reducing the number of such incidents that come to the attention of law enforcement.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of Pittsburgh
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 69/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public administration, Families & family life, Personal relationships, Sociology, Welfare
Keywords: Domestic violence, Family, Intimate, Intimate partner violence, Law enforcement, Noncooperation, Policy, Violence
Publication Number: 3300576
ISBN: 978-0-549-45117-4
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