One in 4 Domestic Violence Victims ‘Will Not Call” Police

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A survey of female victims of partner violence has found that 25 percent of them would not call law enforcement for assistance. The survey, published today by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, included women who had already reported a domestic violence incident to police but said they would not call them in the future.

More than half of the respondents–including those who did not oppose calling authorities for help—agreed with a survey statement that reaching out to law enforcement “would make things worse.” Two thirds said they were afraid the police would not believe them, or do nothing.

The survey represents answers from 637 women who have experienced abuse by a partner.The average age of participants was 30 years, and 56% were white. Hispanics comprised 15% of the survey respondents, and African Americans represented 11%.

About half of the women said they had called police to report an incident.

Survey participants who had called police reported the following:

* 50 percent were unsure about whether they would call in the future;

* 1 in 3 women said they felt less safe after calling police ;

* 43 percent of women said they believed police discriminated against them due to their gender, socio-economic status and race/ethnicity, among other factors.

The study concludes that more training of law enforcement is needed to ensure the process is transparent, that domestic violence victims are given a voice, and that they are treated with respect.

The full report is available HERE.

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