SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Logan, T.K., Shannon, L., & Walker, R. (2006). Police attitudes toward domestic violence offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(10), 1365-1374.

Summary: This article examines the attitudes of police towards various sanctions and treatment for perpetrators of domestic violence compared to perpetrators of other offenses. Using data obtained from a survey, the authors find that police generally favored treatment over punitive actions for domestic violence offenders, except in cases where substance abuse was presented.

Questions to Consider:

1. Under which condition(s) should an offender of domestic violence be given treatment in lieu of, or in combination with, punitive sanctions?

2. Why might officers view sanctions as more appropriate than treatment for offenders of domestic violence that abuse substances compared to offenders who do not abuse substances?

3. How can police use knowledge of attitudes toward crimes and sanctions during recruitment and training?


Article 2: Pattavina, A, Hirschel, D., Buzawa, E., Faggiani, D. & Bentley, H. (2007). A comparison of the police response to heterosexual versus same-sex intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 13(4), 374-394.

Summary: This article examines whether the way in which police respond to incidents of intimate partner violence differs between cases of heterosexual and same-sex couples. The authors find that overall there is little difference in the police response between heterosexual and same-sex couples in instances of intimate partner violence. However, more nuanced differences emerge when examining the gender of same-sex couples. Offense serious is strongly related to the police response in cases involving male same-sex couples while the existence of a mandatory-arrest law if the strongest predictors of the police response in cases involving female same-sex couples.

Questions to Consider:

1. How can police training and recruitment be improved so that all couples, regardless of sexual orientation and gender composition, receive the same police response?

2. In what way(s) can advocacy for the awareness of male same-sex domestic violence be increased?

3. Why might offense serious be more associated with the police response in cases of same-sex domestic violence for men than for women?


Article 3: Hall, D.L. (2005). Domestic violence arrest decision making: The role of suspect availability in the arrest decision. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32(4), 390-411.

Summary: This article examines whether or not the presence or availability of suspects in cases of domestic violence affects whether or not an arrest is made. The author finds that the presence of the suspect at the scene is less predictive of arrest than case characteristics that were related to the seriousness of the offenses. When an offender is not at the scene, the probability of arrest is reduced and offense seriousness has a weaker influence on the decision to arrest.

Questions to Consider:

1. Why might police be reluctant to pursue offenders that are not on scene when responding to an incident of domestic violence?

2. Why might there be jurisdictional differences in the probability of arrest even when agencies operate under a statewide policy of mandatory arrest?

3. How can the pursuit and apprehension of domestic violence perpetrators improve? What policies can be put into place?


Article 4: Lyn Exum, M., Hartman, J.L., Friday, P.C., & Lord, V.B. (2014). Policing domestic violence in the Post-SARP era: The impact of a domestic violence police unit. Crime & Delinquency60(7), 999-1032.

Summary: This article examines the impact of the Charlotte-Macklenburg Police Department’s Domestic Violence unit compared to the impact of a standard patrol on official accounts of recidivism of domestic violence offenders. The domestic violence unit provides victim assistance along with a specialized police response. The authors find that when processed through the department’s domestic violence unit, suspects had significantly lower recidivism rates.

Questions to Consider:

1. Despite its success, the Charlotte domestic violence unit was disbanded due to resource reallocation. What steps can be made to ensure effective interventions remain in operation?

2. In what way(s) can a police department’s domestic violence unit be effective at reducing recidivism?

3. Without a domestic violence unit, how can police be effective at reducing recidivism?


Article 5: Gracia, E., García, F., & Lila, M. (2014). Male police officers’ law enforcement preferences in cases of intimate partner violence versus non-intimate interpersonal violence: Do sexist attitudes and empathy matter? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 41(10), 1195-1213.

Summary: This article examines the preferences of male police officers in incidents of intimate partner violence and non-intimate partner violence. The authors compare various scenarios to examine the influence of police officers’ sexist attitudes and empathy. The authors find that in cases of violence against women, officers tend to prefer a more punitive law enforcement approach regardless of the relationship of those involved in the incident.

Questions to Consider:

1. How might the gender of a victim impact the law enforcement response in cases of domestic violence?

2. Do you expect there to be similarities in attitude, empathy, and law enforcement preferences between male and female officers?

3. Are punitive actions in cases of domestic violence more of a function of the victim’s gender or the acts involved? How might these intersections affect the law enforcement response?