|Although many communities have adopted pro-arrest and mandatory arrest policies in family violence cases, these policies seldom dictate arrest in the many situations in which offenders have fled the scene before police arrive. Further, the legal system's responsibilities to domestic violence victims, and victim's roles in legal proceedings, remain ambiguous even after arrests are made. Much research on the criminal justice response to these cases focus on offender behavior; less attention has been given to the choices and decisions that victims face, and the circumstances that guide these decisions. This study will examine two key decisions in which victims play all important if not central, role: the decision to seek arrest on a warrant following police response to an offender absent complaint; and the decision to seek an order of protection following an arrest. Hypotheses predicting these choices will be empirically examined using data from a multi-site study of misdemeanor case processing in New York.
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