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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221953 Find in a Library
Title: Reporting Assaults Against Juveniles to the Police: Barriers and Catalysts
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:February 2003  Pages:103-128
Author(s): David Finkelhor; Janis Wolak
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the Two-Stage Model of Police Reporting for crimes against juveniles and examined some of the factors that explain both the recognition of victimizations as crimes and their subsequent reporting to police.
Abstract: Interviews with a national sample of families with a juvenile assault victim confirmed that a complex mix of considerations influenced the decision to report the assault of a juvenile to the police. Almost no family reporting occurred without first deciding whether what happened to the juvenile was a crime, thus supporting the model of a two-stage process. Under the two-Stage Model of Police reporting, there is an initial "Recognition Stage" after the victimization. In this stage, the victim or victim's family interprets the episode to be or not to be a crime. Then, if the event is interpreted to be a crime, the victim or family weighs the benefits and costs of reporting it to the police. This is called the "Consideration Stage" in the model. In the current research, recognition of an assault on a juvenile was more likely to be recognized as a crime when the victim was an adolescent rather than a preadolescent, when the perpetrator was an adult or involved multiple offenders, there were physical injuries, the victim was female, and when the victim's family had prior experiences with police. In the second stage of the model, actual reporting of the crime to the police was more likely when the perpetrator was an adult, the family had been advised to report the crime to the police, the family had prior experience with the police, the family believed the police would take the incident seriously, and the child was believed to still be in danger from the perpetrator. Reporting was less likely for assaults that occurred at school. 6 tables, 1 figure, and 24 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Crimes against children; Decisionmaking; Offender profiles; Victim profiles
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