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Title: Understanding the factors that predict victim retraction in police reported allegations of intimate partner violence
Authors: Smith, Lisa L.
Sleath, E.
First Published: 25-Jan-2016
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Citation: Psychology of Violence, 2016, Doi 10.1037/vio0000035
Abstract: Objective: A large number of victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), who report their victimization to the police, subsequently either retract or disengage from the police investigation. Given that we have a very limited understanding of victim retraction/disengagement in IPV cases, this study addresses this gap by identifying the victim, perpetrator, and offense characteristics that predict retraction/disengagement. Method: Cases of police-reported IPV (n = 524) were analyzed to examine victim, perpetrator, and offense characteristics that may predict retraction or disengagement as well as examining the reasons given for retracting/disengaging from the police investigation. Results: The results indicated a high level of retraction or disengagement from police investigations. Victim and perpetrator characteristics did not predict retraction or disengagement; however, in comparison with cases in which the victims maintain engagement with the case, a number of offense related characteristics (e.g., risk assessment level) did predict retraction and disengagement. Conclusions: Victim retraction and disengagement is a significant issue in the successful prosecution of IPV cases, and the findings suggest that certain offense related characteristics increase the likelihood of victim retraction/disengagement.
DOI Link: 10.1037/vio0000035
ISSN: 2152-0828
eISSN: 2152-081X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © American Psychological Association, 2014. The version associated with this record is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License ( ), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
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