Chair: Brian Francis

Using crime surveys to understand violence; challenges and new directions

Building: G
Room: 21

Author: Lynch James, University of Maryland

Min Xie, University of Maryland
Title: Understanding the Decision to Seek Victim Services Using the Ncvs
Victimization surveys have played an important role in understanding why crime is reported to the police, but they have not been as influential for understanding why victims use services other than the police or how these two different responses to crime may be interdependent. Some studies on repeat intimate partner violence (IPV) suggest that victim services are more effective in reducing victimization than arrest (Xie and Lynch, 2017). Other studies have shown that the availability of victim services in communities reduces the risk of IPV in those areas (Xie, Lauritsen and Heimer, 2012). Very few studies have sought to understand why some victims in some circumstance use victim services and others do not. This paper examines this question for a broad array of crimes including both property and violent crimes. Conceptual models for understanding the decision to call the police are employed to estimate the use of victim services and then alternative models are employed to determine if they are better able to predict the use of these services. Recommendations are made about how the information content of victimization surveys might change to better understand why some victims use victim services and others do not.
Keywords: Crime Surveys, violent crime, property crime, victim services
Author: Myhill Andy, College of Policing

Title: Measuring Domestic Violence and Coercive Control
This paper addresses recent debates concerning the measurement of domestic violence. Specifically, it considers Walby and colleagues’ concept of ‘domestic violent crime’ and its compatibility or otherwise with the concept of ‘coercive control’. I support the notion of more accurate measurement of the frequency and severity of acts of physical violence between intimate partners and family members, but question the extent to which criminal codes and the primacy of physical injury reflects accurately the level of harm and culpability in some cases of abuse. I suggest that measuring coercive control is not incompatible with the domestic violent crime approach, and that capturing the non-physical coercive context of some physically violent acts is crucial to accurate measurement of both prevalence and harm.
Keywords: Coercive control, domestic violence, crime surveys
Author: Rezey Maribeth, Loyola University Chicago

Title: Trends in Intimate Partner Violence by Marital Status: Understanding How Victim Characteristics Vary in Women’S Risk Profiles
Previous research has found marital status to be a significant correlate of risk for violent victimization for women, especially risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). In particular, several studies have found that separated women have the highest risk for IPV, while married or widowed women have the lowest risk for IPV. Recent analyses have also found that the status of being separated had the strongest effect on separated women’s risk for IPV compared to various other individual-level risk factors. This study assesses the relative influence of individual-level characteristics on the probability of IPV for women of different marital status categories (i.e., never married, married, separated, divorced, and widowed). Using the 1995-2015 National Crime Victimization Surveys, this study accounts for the confounding effects of change in marital status and IPV and examines whether women’s risk for IPV over time is more a function of their marital status or their possession of characteristics known to be correlated with risk for victimization. Results show that variation exists across marital status categories with respect to women’s risk for IPV and the relative influence of individual-level characteristics on women’s risk for IPV and this variation is consistent from 1995-2015.
Keywords: IPV, domestic violence, marital status, crime surveys
Author: Walby Sylvia, Lancaster University

Jude Towers, Lancaster University; Brian Francis, Lancaster University
Title: Recent Trends in Violence in England and Wales; a Gender Based Approach Taking Full Account of High-Frequency Victimisations
The UK Office of National Statistics has stated that both violence and domestic violence as assessed by the Crime Survey of England and Wales continue to decrease over time. However, earlier work by us (Walby, Towers, Francis, 2015) taking data up to 2014 has determined that violent victimisations for physical domestic violence and for violence against women have both been increasing since 2008. Our approach counts the full reported counts of violent victimisations in a year, compared to the ONS methodology of only counting the first five victimisations in a series event. We report on the increasing importance of including all repetitive victimisations in understanding interpersonal violence and show that including such victimisations affects women disproportionately and changes trend patterns. We finish by discussing why the recent proposed ONS improvement to the methodology of counting high frequency victims does not go far enough.
Keywords: gender-based violence; high frequency victimisation, repetition, crime surveys
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