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Predicting Police Endorsement of Myths Surrounding Intimate Partner Violence

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Dated: 2020
Date Published

This study assessed police endorsement of the mythology of intimate partner violence (IPV) and identified predictors of these myths, filling a gap in existing literature.


Police endorsement of IPV myths may adversely influence police responses when survivors feel stigmatized, invalidated, or blamed; and thus, can limit victim participation and aggravate case attrition. Little research has focused on predictors of police IPV myth endorsement. In addressing this research gap, the current study obtained 523 survey responses from police personnel at a large, urban police department in one of the most populous and diverse U.S. cities. The survey assessed IPV myth endorsement and identified predictors of IPV myths. Univariate results demonstrated relatively low IPV myth endorsement. A multivariate ordinary least squares regression revealed that male officers who had increased trauma misconceptions and decreased perceptions of preparedness in responding to IPV cases were significantly associated with increased IPV myth endorsement. Future research should continue to examine police IPV myth endorsement in smaller, rural agencies and those departments with homogenous populations. Implications include the targeted hiring of women to increase representation and decrease collective myth endorsement. Augmented training to dismantle IPV myths and affirm trauma response may transform the culture of police agencies over time. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020