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The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
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NCJ Number: NCJ 195667     Find in a Library
Title: Forgoing Criminal Justice Assistance: The Non-Reporting of New Incidents of Abuse in a Court Sample of Domestic Violence Victims
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
Author(s): Gerald T. Hotaling ; Eve S. Buzawa
Date Published: 01/2003
Page Count: 43
  Series: NIJ Research Report
  Annotation: This study examined the impact of case processing outcomes in domestic violence incidents on the likelihood of the victim reporting subsequent re-victimization.
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to determine the differences between victims of domestic violence who re-reported further instances of violence to the criminal justice system and those who did not re-report. Since victim reporting is a key component for criminal justice system action, it is important to discover why victims fail to report acts of violence against them, especially if they have reported similar acts of violence in the past. The authors interviewed 118 female victims of domestic violence that were known to them from a previous study of 353 cases of male-to-female domestic violence. Of these 118 victims, 58 reported that they had experienced further acts of violence at the hands of the offender. However, only 26 victims re-reported these acts of violence to the criminal justice system. The main reason offered for not re-reporting acts of violence was that the policy of aggressive law enforcement and court response for domestic violence effectively removed the victim’s sense of control over the proceedings. Thus, the outcome of policies that dismiss victim preferences regarding the handling of the case may work to discourage the future use of the system by victims who either want the system to act more severely with the offender or who want the system to do less. As such, it is victim frustration with the criminal justice system that leads to reluctance to re-report crimes against themselves. The authors make two main suggestions based on these findings. First, the criminal justice system needs to set up new methods to persuade victims to report subsequent victimization to the police and second, new strategies should be developed that make the identification of subsequent re-victimization a community concern rather than the sole responsibility of the victim. References, tables
Main Term(s): Battered wives ; Victim reactions to the Criminal Justice System
Index Term(s): Victimization ; Domestic assault ; Model program adoption ; Criminal justice system analysis ; Criminal justice system effectiveness ; Victim program evaluation ; NIJ grant-related documents ; Massachusetts
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2000-WT-VX-0019
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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