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NCJ Number: NCJ 198319   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Public Opinion About Domestic Violence
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Bonnie E. Carlson ; Alissa Pollitz Worden
Corporate Author: State University of New York at Albany
School of Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 02/2001
Page Count: 187
  Annotation: This study examined public beliefs about the causes of violence, the extent and accuracy of knowledge about laws regarding domestic violence, views about appropriate criminal justice responses to domestic violence cases, and perceptions of community criminal justice practices.
Abstract: A survey of 1,200 respondents in 6 communities examined variations in these beliefs and tested hypotheses about the influence of respondents' social background and experiences, as well as community context, on beliefs and opinions. The study found that a significant proportion of respondents held women responsible for violence against them. This was reflected in beliefs that victims can and should end violence by exiting abusive relationships, that women's behavior provokes violence, and/or that women initiate physical conflicts. The intensity of victim-blaming was associated with beliefs about the appropriateness of victim-oriented interventions as well as legal actions directed against perpetrators. Policymakers should be attentive to this correlation, inasmuch as negative attitudes about victims may justify opposition to programs aimed at reducing victimization. Further, findings suggest that people's views about what should be done in response to domestic violence correlate with what they believe police actually do. Most peoples preferences for effective interventions are not being implemented. Generally, the public is not resistant to the criminalization of many aggressive behaviors. The public apparently favors a more protective and interventionist role for the courts than they have historically adopted. There is apparently little need to convince the public that domestic violence is a common problem, that it is illegal, or that it requires police intervention. The public may, however, be misinformed about the difficulties women face in exiting a violent relationship. Extensive tables and 57 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Public Opinion of the Police ; Public Opinion of Crime ; NIJ final report
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 98-WT-VX-0018
Sale Source: State University of New York at Albany
School of Criminal Justice
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
United States of America
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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