Criminal Justice Interventions in Intimate Violence: Impacts on Victims' Family Lives

Hoan N. Bui, University of Tennessee

Research on domestic violence policies and programs has focused on victims' safety as well as victims' cooperation and satisfaction with the criminal justice process in domestic violence cases. One area that has been neglected by the research community is the impact of criminal justice interventions on family relationships. This paper takes an initial step to explore whether current criminal justice interventions can address the needs of abused women for both personal safety and family life. Data obtained from in-depth interviews with 34 abused Vietnamese-American women suggest that criminal justice interventions have some positive effects of on women's safety that are often short lived. Moreover, women's improved safety does not often go hand-in-hand with an improved quality of family lives because emotional abuse, strained family relationships, and family break-ups often follow criminal justice interventions

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Updated 05/20/2006