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Victim Satisfaction With the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
212265
Date Published
Author(s)
Gerald T. Hotaling, Eve S. Buzawa, Janine Zweig, Martha R. Burt, Ashley Van Ness
Publication Series
NIJ Journal
Annotation
This article reports on research concerning how victims’ satisfaction with the criminal justice system impacts on future decisions to call police for help in domestic violence cases.
Abstract
Recent research funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) suggests that battered women may be so dissatisfied with their experiences with the criminal justice system that they do not call police during subsequent violent events. The findings indicated that battered women benefited most when they felt in control of their cases and when the criminal justice system and nonprofit and community-based organizations coordinated their efforts. As such, it is recommended that the criminal justice system engage in collaborative partnerships with community and nonprofit organizations to assist battered women. Researchers who interviewed 353 victims of domestic violence in Massachusetts found that 17 percent of victims were dissatisfied with the criminal justice response to their case. Comparative analysis indicated that victims who expressed dissatisfaction with the criminal justice system were more likely to have experienced serious abuse and to have experienced both sexual and severe physical abuse before the age of 18 years. In another study of 118 battered women who had contacted the criminal justice system for help, 49 percent claimed to have been revictimized yet only 22 percent reported the revictimization to the police. Notes
Date Created: November 14, 2006