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Intimate Partner Violence: Justice System Response and Public Health Service Utilization in a National Sample

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2009
94 pages
This research on resources of the criminal justice, mental health, and social service systems used by victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) is intended to fill some gaps in previous studies and add new knowledge in this area.
The study identified two main types of unmet needs of which the practitioner community should be aware. First, there are IPV victims and perpetrators who seek help specifically for IPV, but do not find the help they need to prevent revictimization and reoffending. Second, there are those who are victims of IPV who seek help through various social services, but are either not identifying themselves as IPV victims or are not receiving services that focus on IPV. In addition to contacting the police, IPV victims reported using a wide variety of mental health and social services; and they reported that these services were helpful; however, longitudinal analysis of the data indicates that use of these services was generally unrelated to a reduction in IPV in following years. There were a significant number of respondents who reported either perpetrating or being victimized by IPV and who sought help from the health and social services system, but did not specify that these services were for IPV. Data on the sociodemographic profiles for perpetrators and victims differed by the specific types of IPV examined. Types of IPV studied were verbal, psychological, and relational aggression; aggression, threat of violence, and less serious violence; and serious violence. Study data were obtained from the National Youth Survey Family Study, which is a longitudinal, multigenerational, national probability sample. Data pertained to resources used, victim and offender characteristics, the conditions under which they used resources, their satisfaction with the resources, and whether their use led to reduced IPV in subsequent years. 38 tables, 3 figures, 95 references, and appended variables used and questionnaire items

Date Published: March 1, 2009