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NCJ Number: 221045 Find in a Library
Title: Air Force Commanders' Disciplinary Decisions on Spouse Abuse Cases
Journal: Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma  Volume:15  Issue:1  Dated:2007  Pages:75-91
Author(s): Lisa Sayegh; Dianne F. Harrison
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A total of 624 Air Force squadron commanders were surveyed in order to determine how their perceived role and operations priorities affected their disciplinary decisions on two spouse-abuse scenarios included on the questionnaire.
Abstract: The study found that the lack of significant difference in disciplinary responses between the vignettes, one depicting mild-moderate abuse and the other severe abuse, suggests that commanders may not recognize spouse abuse as a criminal act and fail to respond accordingly. Many commanders reported they would refer the offender/couple to the chaplain as well as to the Family Advocacy Program. Commanders who ascribed to the mentor-parental role believed their role in spouse-abuse cases included being closely involved in responding from an administrative/disciplinary position, rather than delegating the response decision to a subordinate. The mentor-parental role also reflected a commander's belief that she/he should prioritize this job responsibility on a par with routine operational duties. This role perception stemmed from the belief that it was the commander's duty to shape the character of his or her troops toward moral and law-abiding behavior. On the other hand, commanders who espoused their supervisory role focused on being an operational mission leader, which did not include involving themselves in their troops' personal lives. Many commanders responded to the open-ended item by stating that any consequence decided would be partially determined by both past abuse history and any previous disciplinary sanctions. This suggests the importance of maintaining complete and accurate records on spouse-abuse incidents. Out of a total of 624 surveys mailed, 336 surveys were returned. One vignette described a case of mild-moderate abuse, and the other presented a case of severe spousal abuse. 4 tables and 34 references
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Case processing; Discipline; Domestic assault; Military crime; US Air Force
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