The Decision to End Abusive Relationships: The Role of Offender Characteristics
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Criminal Justice and Behavior
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Much research has focused on the ways in which various community and criminal justice agencies attempt to intervene to break the cycle of domestic violence. Ultimately, this is the victim’s decision, yet few researchers have attempted to identify the factors involved in the decision to end an abusive relationship. In particular, researchers have tended to ignore the role offender characteristics may play in this decision. This study, based on interview data collected from domestic violence victims by members of an innovative community-based victim assistance program, suggests that these factors are important. Logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the most important predictors of women attempting to end abusive relationships were (a) when offenders kept weapons in the home and (b) when there had been a formal criminal justice response (i.e., arrest, prosecution) to the violence.