Domestic Violence Survivors and Satisfaction With the Criminal Justice System Response to Their Cases: What They want, What They Expect, and What They Actually Get

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

ABSTRACT
In the last two decades, most police jurisdictions across the United States have implemented mandatory or pro-arrest policies, and prosecutors in several areas have adopted mandatory ("no-drop") policies regarding the prosecution of these cases. These policies have been shaped by several competing although not mutually exclusive assumptions: for example, (1) that victims want a more penal approach to domestic violence and/or (2) that a more punitive approach to domestic violence will result in greater survivor satisfaction. Despite the significance of these assumptions, we still have little information regarding their accuracy. This is a critical gap in knowlege; without an exploration of it, effective policies and interventions cannot be developed. The current study fills this gap in knowledge by providing important information on what domestic violence survivors want and expect out of the criminal justice system, what response(s) they believe will help them end the violence in their lives, and how these factors ultimately influence their satisfaction with the way the system handles their cases.

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Updated 05/20/2006