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NCJ Number: 122320 Find in a Library
Title: Police Attitudes in Assigning Responsibility for Wife Abuse
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1989)  Pages:369-388
Author(s): F Lavoie; M Jacob; J Hardy; G Martin
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 20
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prevailing myths concerning wife abuse generally tend to blame the victim. The present study examines the degree of responsibility assigned by police officers to the wife, the husband, as well as the couple's socioeconomic situation in cases of wife abuse.
Abstract: The officer's position (neutral versus supportive) adopted toward the woman is also investigated. The influence of eight characteristics related either to the spouses or to the situation of violence on both the officer's position and the attribution of responsibility is analyzed. The characteristics are: couple's socioeconomic status, type of household, drinking by husband, alleged antagonism on the part of the wife, ambivalence of wife to press charges, type of abuse, history of assault, and violence toward children. The results are based on answers to case vignettes provided by 235 municipal police officers. The data were analyzed by performing a multivariate analysis of variance. Results indicate the type of abuse to be the characteristic with the greatest impact on police attitudes. While the husband is systematically considered more responsible than the wife, police officers always consider the wife somewhat responsible, particularly when there is alleged antagonism by the women and when threats of violence are present. 4 tables, 31 references. (Publisher abstract)
Main Term(s): Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Abused women; Attribution theory; Police attitudes
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