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Fatal and Non-Fatal Intimate Partner and Family Violence Against Older Women: An Exploration of Age and Police Response to Inform Research, Policy and Practice

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $195,135)

This project seeks to provide much-needed research on police response to fatal and non-fatal intimate partner violence (IPV) and FV against older women. While substantial bodies of work address DV and elder abuse, little is known about older women who experience IPV or FV, especially reports to police, officer actions, and arrests in these cases. This study is important as the older adult population continues to grow and diversify. An open issue is how the intersection of age, gender, race, and ethnicity might affect who calls the police and the responses they receive. Gaining this information can provide useful insights to inform police training and CJ policy to improve immediate services and longer-term perceptions of procedural justice for these victims. Four main sets of research questions guide this exploratory study. The first provides an initial understanding of rates and characteristics of IPV and FV against older women. The second set explores patterns of police reporting and actions in these cases. The third focuses on arrests and considers how arrests may be affected by victim characteristics and variations in police resources and policies concerning victims and older adults. The final set explores whether police response varies by victim-offender relationship or victim age. This project uses recent years of three existing data collections to answer these questions: National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Planned analyses include contingency tables and binary logistic regression models. Each data collection will be analyzed separately. In addition to interpreting the findings individually, they will be considered together using a complementary approach to obtain a broader understanding of the underlying issues that could be gained from considering each dataset in isolation. The expected products include those requested under this solicitation (archiving requisite materials and providing a final research report). Scholarly products will focus on peer-reviewed journal articles to present specific findings of police response from each data collection and comparisons of findings across datasets. This project also will use the findings to generate a formal research plan to guide future work. Another goal of this project is to ensure the findings are accessible to practitioners and policymakers. This aim will be accomplished by collaborating with a practitioner-based advisory panel and executing a multi-prong dissemination plan using trade press articles, practitioner-oriented conference presentations, blog posts, and factsheets with infographics.

Date Created: October 21, 2021