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When Abuse Happens Again: Women's Reasons for Not Reporting New Incidents of Intimate Partner Abuse to Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Women & Criminal Justice Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: April - June 2013 Pages: 99-120
Date Published
April 2013
22 pages
This study examined why victims of intimate partner violence do not contact police when they have formerly been involved with the criminal legal system.
Although most women abused by intimate partners experience a patterned behavior of abuse (by either the same or new partners), little is known about their decisionmaking regarding whether to call the police for subsequent abuse. The current study found that 90 percent of women who had encountered the criminal legal system for previous intimate partner abuse victimizations did not contact the police for some or all recurrences. Qualitative analysis was conducted among a sample of 102 women regarding their reasons for not re-engaging the legal system for subsequent victimizations. The results suggested five overall reasons as to why women involved with the criminal legal system choose not to engage the system again. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.

Date Published: April 1, 2013