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Explaining Gender Differences in Police Arresting and Charging Behavior in Cases of Spousal Violence

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Family violence is a major social problem that police forces have begun to deal with seriously over the last two decades. Most research and policy on this subject has focused on police action in response to violence against women. This is a study of police arrest and charging behavior in spousal violence cases that include both genders and so allows the analysis of police response to violence against men as well as women. Factors affecting the likelihood of an arrest or charge in spousal violence cases are analyzed using a two-year sample of spousal violence police cases (N = 2,935) from a medium-sized Canadian city. The explanatory variables include marital status, intoxication, degree of injury to the man or woman, use of a weapon and a whether the event was a repeat call to the same address. Results indicate differential effects of intoxication, use of a weapon, and injury by gender on both arresting and charging.
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Keywords: ARREST; ASSAULT; CHARGE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; GENDER; POLICE BEHAVIOR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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  • Partner Abuse, a peer-reviewed journal, recognizes that physical and emotional abuse among dating, cohabitating and married partners is as a major public health and social problem in North America and around the world. Its purpose is to advance knowledge, practice and policies through a commitment to rigorous, objective research and evidence-based solutions. In addition to original research papers and literature reviews, the journal welcomes viewpoints and commentaries on the topic of partner abuse, as well as clinical case studies, book reviews and letters to the editor.
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