SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Zeoli, A.M., Norris A., & Brenner H. (2011). A summary and analysis of warrantless arrest statutes for domestic violence in the United States. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(14), 2811-2833.

Summary: This article discusses the differences in warrantless arrest statutes for domestic violence in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The authors discuss that research has been limited to the description of such statutes as being discretionary, preferred, or mandatory. The present study extends the description by exploring the statutes for each state and discussing them according in terms of five common elements which are then analyzed to assess their influence on the arrest of alleged domestic violence offenders.

Questions to Consider:

1. How might the language of states’ arrest statutes affect who/when an arrest of alleged domestic violence offenders is carried out?

2. What are some possible reasons for statewide variation in arrest in cases of alleged domestic violence? Why might these differences exist even when states operate under similar policies?

3. Should states operate under similar (or identical) domestic violence legislation? Why or why not? How would this impact the police response?


Article 2: Meyer-Emerick, N. (2002). Policy makers, practitioners, citizens: Perceptions of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Administration & Society, 33(6), 629-666.

Summary: This article examines the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) using three theoretical perspectives. VAWA policy makers, practitioners and service providers, the public, and survivors and perpetrators of intimate partner violence were surveyed in order to examine perceptions of the legislation. The author finds that each group has its own perception of the legislation and suggests the redefining and dissemination of information concerning violence against women by the state.

Questions to Consider:

1. Why might each group have a different perspective regarding the VAWA legislation? Should it be expected to have a consistent impact across groups? Why or why not?

2. How can the issue of violence against women be redefined and better communicated to more effectively formulate policy?

3. If the state is limited in its response to social problems, what institution(s) should bear the responsibility?


Article 3: Conyers Jr., J. (2007). The 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Why Congress acted to expand protections to immigrant victims. Violence Against Women13(5), 457-468.

Summary: This article gives a summary of the history of involvement by Congress in the formation of the Violence Against Women Act’s (VAWA) protections of immigrant victims of violence against women, including domestic violence. The history of the legal protections in the act, as well as recent developments in the reauthorization of the VAWA 2005 act are discussed insofar as they relate to the protections afforded specifically to immigrant victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.

Questions to Consider:

1. Why might the VAWA 2005 require additional provisions for immigrant victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women?

2. What barriers could have led to the six years between VAWA 1994 and the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 that provided protections to battered immigrants abused by U.S. citizens?

3. What legislation changes do you envision in future VAWA reauthorizations or supplemental acts to protect additional groups of violence against women?


Article 4: Boba, R. & Lilley, D. (2009). Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding: A nationwide assessment of effects on rape and assault. Violence Against Women, 15(2), 168-185.

Summary: This article examines the effects of the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to assess its effects on violent crime. Using longitudinal data from 1996 to 2002, the authors find that the allocation of VAWA funding was associated with reductions in both rape and assault, even when controlling for other factors that may have explained the decline of violent crime. The authors suggest that funding should continue and additional research should determine which programs are most effective in the reduction of crime.

Questions to Consider:

1. In which way(s) might the VAWA have led to the reduction of violent crime, specifically rape and assault?

2. How can VAWA grants be used alternatively to address violent crime?

3. Why might VAWA grants be associated with the reduction of rape and assault but not other UCR Part I crimes?