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Policing Domestic Violence: Does Officer Gender Matter?

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 6 Dated: December 2007 Pages: 581-595
Ivan Y. Sun
Date Published
December 2007
15 pages
The purpose of this research study was to assess whether female and male officers responded to domestic violence differently.
Study findings include: (1) female officers do both “difference” and “sameness” in policing domestic violence; (2) female officers were more likely than male officers to initiate assistance to citizens, but nondistinguishable in terms of the level of force in their control actions during conflict settlement; (3) female officers’ styles and strategies of policing domestic violence are manifested in their supportive actions that consonant with the feminine traits and values of nurturing and caring; and (4) female and male officers do not differ in the overall exercise of control actions as well as in taking the most coercive actions, such as physical restraint and arrest. The research study behind these findings was designed to answer the question: Does gender make a difference in police responses to domestic violence? In answering this question, the study used data collected by a large-scale observational project to assess both female and male officers’ supportive and control actions toward citizens in handling domestic conflicts and disputes. Tables, references