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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99587 Find in a Library
Title: Washington State Domestic Violence Act - An Evaluation Project
Journal: Response  Volume:8  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1985)  Pages:13-16
Author(s): S W Crane; P Pahl; J Young; J Shenk; Mork-O'Brien; K Kerston; R Ryan
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the objectives of the Washington State Domestic Violence Act Evaluation Project and presents selected findings from a statewide survey of shelter clients and interviews with police officials, prosecutors, and judges.
Abstract: The project was designed to assess criminal justice system (CJS) compliance with the casehandling procedures specified by the act, familiarize shelter workers and CJS personnel with the act, and improve relations between shelter staff and CJS personnel. The client survey indicated that of 182 battered women, 84 percent were victims of a chargeable crime, but only 66 percent had called the police. Women were more likely to call police when the abuse involved hospitalization and/or injury and when a weapon was not involved. Of CJS personnel interviewed, compliance with the act was highest among police. Although the act permits police to arrest on probable cause grounds, they rarely do so. Factors cited by police as influencing the decision to arrest included witnessing the assault, the presence of bodily injury, and officer discretion. Of police officials interviewed, 85 percent reported taking written reports, 79 percent reported the provision of specific staff training on the act, and 85 percent indicated they would be interested in additional training in this area.
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Domestic assault; Police discretion; Police training; Regulations compliance; State laws; Victim reactions to crime; Washington
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