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Engaging With Criminal Prosecution: The Victim's Perspective

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2011
17 pages
This study examined the compelling personal barriers that women who experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) face when engaging with the criminal prosecution of an abusive partner.
Despite more than a decade of policies that encourage prosecutors to proceed without the victim's input or actions in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV), prosecutors still often rely on the victim's participation to move a case forward. The purpose of this study was to identify the barriers and motivators influencing female IPV victims' engagement with the criminal justice system and their preferences regarding prosecution. Findings from focus groups with women who had experienced police response to IPV revealed that women wanted the violence to end but faced numerous barriers to engaging with the criminal prosecution process. The dominant voice favored police and prosecutors taking action toward prosecution without depending solely or heavily on the victim's active participation. (Published Abstract) Tables and references

Date Published: January 1, 2011