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The Association between Homicide Risk and Intimate Partner Violence Arrest

NCJ Number
Policing-a Journal of Policy and Practice Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: 2020 Pages: 228-242
A. Ward-Lasher; et al
Date Published
15 pages

This study examined police officer decisions to make an arrest in intimate partner violence (IPV) cases in a jurisdiction with a discretionary arrest policy that uses risk assessment at the scene of a domestic violence incident. 


Police-involved victims of IPV were interviewed at two time-points. Of the 266 cases, the offender was arrested in 105 (39.5 percent) cases. In a logistic regression model, physical violence was the strongest predictor of arrest while risk for homicide was not predictive. Upon examination of the factors that predicted further violence, there was a linear relationship between risk of homicide and the severity and frequency of future violence. Arrest and physical violence at the index offense were not associated with violence at follow-up. The use of risk assessment by law enforcement officers may assist with criminal justice decision-making and referral to appropriate interventions. (publisher abstract modified)