Mapping Domestic Violence in a Large City

Laura Wyckoff, Police Foundation
Erin Lane, Police Foundation
Rachel Boba, Police Foundation
Graham Farrell, Police Foundation

Domestic violence was one of the crimes examined in early studies of crime hot-spots. Those studies concentrated upon repeat victimization and repeat calls to the same addresses (subsequently termed hot-dots) rather than the spatial distribution of domestic violence over larger areas. This may reflect an expectation, or hypothesis, that spatial variation is not of particular relevance due to the nature of domestic violence. This study aims to test that hypothesis by examining spatial variation in domestic violence reported to the police in a large city. The extent to which domestic violence clusters in certain neighborhoods and areas is examined in order to determine to what extent the distribution is due to routine activities - more calls expected in densely populated areas, police practices in responding to calls, geographic factors such as victim/suspect residence locations, or type of location, e.g. single family, multi family, or commercial. The implications for the future study of domestic violence and police responses are developed.

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Updated 05/20/2006