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Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2009
106 pages
Publication Series
Intended for criminal justice practitioners who deal with domestic violence, this publication reviews research on domestic violence - including its perpetrators and victims; the impact of current responses; and the implications of the research for responses to domestic violence by law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges.
An overview of domestic violence reports on the prevalence of nonfatal domestic violence; the percentage of police calls that involve domestic violence; the time of day when domestic violence occurs; and the prevalence of stalking, sexual assaults, fatalities, and multiple forms of abuse against the same victim in the context of domestic violence. This is followed by a chapter on research findings pertinent to the reporting of domestic violence to the police and police arrests in such cases. A chapter on research relevant to perpetrator characteristics addresses gender, age, criminal history, drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness/personality traits, reoffending, risk for other criminal behavior, and risk factors. A chapter on victim characteristics addresses whether victim characteristics and actions are important factors in assessing the likelihood of abuse, the prevalence of victim alcohol/drug abuse, victims' behavioral responses to abuse, and whether male victims differ from female victims. Another chapter reports on the findings of research related to prosecutorial response to domestic violence cases. Among the topics addressed are the current level of domestic-violence prosecution across the country, whether most domestic violence arrest cases can be successfully prosecuted in court, whether aggressive prosecution or harsh sentences increase the demand for trials, whether victims want their abusers prosecuted, factors that promote or discourage victim cooperation, factors in successful prosecutions, and the diversion or discharge of "first" offenders. Remaining sections focus on research relevant to judicial responses and research on the effectiveness of various types of intervention programs. 228 references

Date Published: June 1, 2009