Findings published from national study on police charging practices in IPV cases

April 09, 2014

Myrna Dawson, Director, and Tina Hotton, Research Associate, at the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, recently published their findings in the first national-level, multivariate study in Canada examining police charging practices in cases of intimate partner violence. Using data from the 2008 Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, Dawson and Hotton examined the impact of several key legal and extra-legal factors on the probability of charges being recommended by police. Results show that, while the majority of cases were cleared by charge, the proportion of cases cleared varied across the country. Further, the majority of legal and extra-legal variables examined were significantly associated with the decision to lay a charge across the jurisdictions examined, including the presence of victim injury, multiple victims, offense type as well as gender of the victim and the victim-accused relationship. Priorities for future research are more precise examinations of the role played by gender and relationship state as well as an investigation of the community context in which police decisions are made. More information about the study and results can be found online at http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/23/0022427814523787.full.pdf+html.