Predicting Police-Reporting Behavior by Victims of Violence: Controlling for Gender and Victim/Offender Relationship

Ronet Bachman, University of Delaware
Amy Cass, University of Delaware
Peggy S. Plass, James Madison University

While there is a proliferation of research devoted to ascertaining the efficacy of arrest and other formal sanctions in deterring violence, there is still a paucity of research that examines the factors related to the pivotal point at which this formal sanctioning process begins -- on a victim's decision to report the victimization to police. Using National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data for 1995-2001, this paper carefully examines the factors that predict rape, robbery, and assault victim's likelihood of reporting to police. Age, gender and victim-offender-relationship-specific models (e.g. intimate, acquaintance, stranger) are used to determine the factors most salient in predicting whether a victim decides to involve the police.

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Updated 05/20/2006