Supports of and Barriers to Women's Participation in the Prosecution of Their Batterers

Joanne Belknap, University of Colorado - Boulder
Amy Leisenring, University of Colorado - Boulder
Heather C. Melton, University of Utah
Cris M. Sullivan, Michigan State University
Ruth E. Fleury, University of Delaware

ABSTRACT
The terms "reluctant" and "uncooperative" are applied to battered women more than any other category of victim. Indeed, it is often assumed that battered women will not testify against their batterers or "cooperate" with the police or prosecutors. Unfortunately, little scholarly effort has been made to determine what barriers women face in the prosecution of their domestic violence victimization. Additionally, research has not adequately addressed what supports women to pursue the cases against their intimate abusers. This NIJ funded study involves almost 200 women interviewed 3 times at 6-month intervals after their court cases have closed. The interview schedule included detailed items addressing the women's reported barriers to and support for their participation in the prosecution process.

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Updated 05/20/2006