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Responding to Domestic Violence

Responding to Domestic Violence
The Integration of Criminal Justice and Human Services

Fifth Edition

472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

A fresh look at the response to domestic violence in the United States today.


This new edition of the bestselling Responding to Domestic Violence explores the response to domestic violence today, not only by the criminal justice system, but also by public and non-profit social service and health care agencies. After providing a brief theoretical overview of the causes of domestic violence and its prevalence in our society, the authors cover such key topics as barriers to intervention, variations in arrest practices, the role of state and federal legislation, and case prosecution. Focusing on both victims and offenders, the book includes unique chapters on models for judicial intervention, domestic violence and health, and children and domestic violence. In addition, this edition provides an in-depth discussion of the concept of coercive control in domestic violence and its importance in understanding victim needs. Finally, this volume includes international perspectives in order to broaden the reader's understanding of alternative responses to the problem of domestic violence.

CHAPTER 1. Introduction
Purpose and Overview

The Domestic Violence Revolution: Taking Stock

Is the Domestic Violence Revolution a Success?

The Challenges Before Us

Challenges to a Criminal Justice Approach

The Evolution of this Text

Organization of this Edition

PART I. What is Domestic Violence?
CHAPTER 2. Defining the Problem
The Nature and Extent of Domestic Violence

Controversies of Definitions

Domestic Violence Offenses

Who are the Victims

The Impact of Domestic Violence

Psychological and Quality of Life Effects on Victims

Monetary Costs

Domestic Violence in the Workplace

The Impact on Children and Adolescents

The Specialized Problem of Stalking in Relationships

CHAPTER 3. Matters of History, Faith, and Society
Historic Attitudes on Domestic Violence

The Continuing Importance of History

The Religious Basis for Abuse

The Social Critique Perspective on History and Religion

CHAPTER 4. Theoretical Explanations for Domestic Violence
The Complexity of Analyzing Intimate partner Abuse

Individual Focused Theories of Violence

Who is Most at Risk of Battering?

Biological and Psychological-Based Theories

Is Substance Abuse the Linkage Among Sociobiological, Psychological, and Sociological Theories

Are Certain Families Violent?

Is Domestic Violence an Intergenerational Problem?

Sociodemographic Correlates of Violence and Underserved Populations

Coercive Control

PART II: The Criminal Justice Response
CHAPTER 5. Selective Screening: Barriers to Intervention
Victim Case Screening

The Police Response

Prosecutorial Screening Prior to Adjudication

Prosecutorial Autonomy

Case Attrition by Victims: Self-Doubts and the Complexity of Motivation

A Judicial Annoyance: Handling Battling Families

The Decision to Access Victim Services

CHAPTER 6. The Impetus for Change
Political Pressure

The Role of Research in Promoting Change

The Evolution of Research Supporting the Primacy of Arrest

The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment

The Replication Studies

Legal Liability as an Agent for Change

CHAPTER 7. Policing Domestic Violence
How Do Police Decide Whether to Review

Key Situational and Incident Characteristics

Victim Specific Variables in the Decision to Arrest

Offender Specific Variables in the Decision to Arrest

Variations Within Police Departments

Community Characteristics

The Controversy over Mandatory Arrest

Arrests and Minority Populations: A Special Case?

The Role of Victim Satisfaction in Reporting Re-Victimization

The Increase in Dual Arrests

Is a Uniform Arrest Policy Justified in the Context of Victim Needs?

The Limitations of Police Arrests in Response to Stalking

CHAPTER 8. Prosecuting Domestic Violence
The Varied Reasons for Case Attrition

The Changing Prosecutorial Response

Victims Charged With Child Endangerment

The Likelihood of Conviction

Are there Effective Alternatives to Mandatory Prosecution?

CHAPTER 9. The Role of Restraining Orders
The Role of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

The Process of Obtaining Protective Orders

The Explosive Growth of Restraining Orders

The Early Use of Restraining Orders: The Massachusetts Experience

Potential Advantages of Protective Orders

Why Protective Orders are Not Always Granted

The Limitations of Protective Orders

The Complex Problem of Restraining Order Violation

Is There a “Best Practice” for Obtaining and Enforcing Restraining Orders?

CHAPTER 10. The Judicial Response
The Process of Measuring Judicial Change

The Impact of Judicial Activism: Analysis of a Case Study

Case Disposition at Trial: Variability in Judicial Sentencing Patterns

Sentencing Patterns for Domestic Compared With Non–Domestic Violence Offenders

Domestic Violence Courts: The Focus on Victim Needs and Offender Accountability

The Variety of Domestic Violence Courts

Innovations in New York State

PART III. The Societal Response
CHAPTER 11. Mandated Institutional Change
State Domestic Violence Related Laws

Statutes and Policies Mandating or Preferring Arrest

State Antistalking and Cyber Stalking Statutes

The Federal Legislative Response

The Affordable Care Act

Future Legislation

International Legal Reform and Human Rights

The Context for a Broader Response to Woman Abuse

Do Organizational Policies Mediate the Impact of Mandatory and Presumptive Arrest Statutes?

CHAPTER 12. Community Based and Court Sponsored Diversions
Restorative Justice Approaches

Domestic Violence Mediation Programs

Family Group Conferencing and Peacemaking Circles

Peacemaking Circles

Batterer Intervention Programs

CHAPTER 13. Domestic Violence, Health, and the Health System Response
The Role of Health Services

The Need for and Use of Health Services by Battered Women

The Markers of Partner Violence in the Health System

The Sexual Nature of Partner Violence and Abuse

The Secondary Consequences of Abuse

Explaining the Secondary Health Problems Associated with Partner Abuse

Populations at Special Risk

Defining Woman Battering in the Health Setting

Measuring Partner Abuse: Prevalence and Incidence

Medical Neglect

Reforming the Health System

The Major Challenges Ahead

CHAPTER 14. Domestic Violence, Children, and the Institutional Response
Domestic Violence and Children’s Well-Being

Indirect Effects of Exposure to Domestic Violence on Children

The Limits of the Research and Future Direction

The Child Welfare System

The Family Court Response

CHAPTER 15. Conclusion: Towards the Prevention of Domestic Violence: Challenges and Opportunities
Our Many Successes

The Problem of High Risk Offenders

The Use of Risk Assessment Tools

What are the Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide (IPH)

Using Risk Assessments to Target High Risk Offenders

Are Several Risk Profiles Needed?

Implementing Risk Reduction Strategies



Instructors Resource Site
Calling all instructors! It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title! Then, you pick and choose from this list, depending on what each site offers.

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:
  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online courses.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content and features.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide student interpretation. Combine cutting-edge academic journal scholarship with the topics in your course for a robust classroom experience.
Student Study Site
The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation.

The best text on domestic violence I have found from the criminal justice perspective.

Rebecca Alvarez
Social and Behavioral Sciences, New Mexico Highlands University
June 22, 2021

I was extremely surprised that it did not cover safety planning. The term wasn't even in the index. Great resource but not for future practitioners. Could be used as a supplement.

Professor Kiva T Harper
Social Work , University Of Texas-Arlington
August 10, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 13

Eve S. Buzawa

Eve Buzawa, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita in the School of Criminology & Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She served as Chair of the School from 1995 – 2013, and Director of the School from September, 2013-June, 2016 when she retired. Dr. Buzawa received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rochester and her Master's and Doctoral degrees from the School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University. Dr. Buzawa has authored and edited numerous books, journal articles, and monographs in the field of domestic violence.  She has also served as a Principal Investigator on several federally funded... More About Author

Carl G. Buzawa

Carl G. Buzawa is an attorney in private practice. Currently, he is Senior Vice President—Contracts, Legal, and Compliance at Textron Systems. He received his BA from the University of Rochester, his MA from the University of Michigan, and his JD from Harvard Law School. With Eve S. Buzawa, he is the coauthor of numerous books and articles on the topic of domestic violence. More About Author

Evan D. Stark

Evan Stark is a sociologist, forensic social worker and award-winning researcher with an international reputation for his innovative work on the legal, policy and health dimensions of interpersonal violence, including its effects on children. Dr. Stark’s award-winning book, Coercive Control: The Entrapment of Women in Personal Life (Oxford, 2007), was named the outstanding social science book published in 2007 by the Association of American Publishers and influenced the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe to expand their definitions of domestic violence to include coercive control.  With a Ph.D......University, he is... More About Author