Help-seeking patterns among women experiencing intimate partner violence: do they forgo the criminal justice system if their adjudication wishes are not met?

Catherine Cerulli, Catherine Kothari, Melissa Dichter, Steve Marcus, Tae Kuen Kim, Jim Wiley, Karin V Rhodes
Violence and Victims 2015, 30 (1): 16-31
Following a criminal case disposition, an intimate partner violence (IPV) victim's willingness to seek future police and prosecutorial assistance may depend on her prior experiences within the system. This longitudinal study examines the relationship between IPV victims' future help-seeking based on past experiences. We hypothesized women would return to the criminal justice system if their adjudication wishes corresponded with prosecutors' actions. Contrary to the hypothesis, results suggest women return to the criminal system and other venues even if prosecutors' actions do not correspond to their earlier stated wishes. This has important policy implications given pro-prosecution protocols that encourage adjudication regardless of a woman's participation.


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