Focusing on reports made in 2004 from communities served primarily by Alaska State Troopers, this study reviewed a final sample of 1,281 cases reported to State Troopers with an assault charge that involved domestic violence.
The most common assault charges (81 percent) were for fourth-degree assaults, and fewer charges were brought for third-degree through first-degree felony assaults. Although information was not available for every suspect or every victim, just over 75 percent of the suspects were male, and 24 percent were female. Victim ages ranged from under 1 year to 84 years old. The average age of suspects (33) was similar to the average age of victims (32). Eighty-six percent of the incidents occurred between suspects and victims of the same race. Over one-third of female victims (35 percent) and 27 percent of male victims used alcohol prior to the assault. Just over 1 percent of the suspects had an existing domestic violence protection order filed against them by the victim at the time of the offense. The victim’s or suspect’s children under the age of 18 were witnesses to 43 percent of the incidents. Mandatory arrest in domestic violence cases has been in effect in Alaska since 1996. Most of the cases (96 percent) were closed and referred for prosecution, including cases that were closed by arrest (79 percent), as well as those closed and referred (13 percent). The remaining cases were closed after investigation (2 percent) or closed as unfounded (2 percent) in cases where a suspect was not arrested. Sixty-eight percent of the cases referred for prosecution were accepted, and 54 percent resulted in a conviction. 13 tables and 1 figure