247610 Police-reported intimate partner violence: Using qualitative data to quantify severity

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 12:30 PM

Sherry Lipsky, PhD, MPH , School of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Meg Cristofalo, MSW, MPA , School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Sarah Reed, MPH, MSW, LICSW , Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Program, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Raul Caetano, MD, PhD , Dallas Regional Campus, University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Dallas, TX
Peter Roy-Byrne, MD , School of Medicine. Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background The main objective of this study was to examine the association between offense charges against the perpetrator and victim narratives in police-reported intimate partner violence (IPV) incidents in Dallas, Texas. Methods IPV incidents in 2004 were selected in which the male perpetrator was a non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black or Hispanic resident of Dallas (N=4508). Offense charges were prioritized in descending order: sexual assault, aggravated assault, simple assault, kidnapping, robbery, and intimidation. ATLAS.ti 6 was used to systematically classify textual data from the victim narratives, based on the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS), then categorized in descending order of priority: sexual (severe, minor), physical (severe, minor), and psychological (severe, minor) assault. Offense and CTS categories were also modified to test the ‘interrater agreement'. Results Most incidents involved hands/feet as weapons, either minor or no injury, and simple assault charges. Little agreement (kappa =.17) emerged between modified offense and CTS categories. The greatest disparity occurred among simple assault cases (n=3613); 64% were categorized as severe physical assault per the CTS. One-half of offenses not recorded (n=234) involved severe physical, 24% minor physical, and 16% severe psychological assault. The majority (90%) of aggravated assault charges (n=319), however, were coded as severe physical, 74% of intimidation charges (n=290) were coded severe psychological; and 88% of sexual assault charges (n=40) were confirmed with the CTS coding. Conclusions Police data are an important source for IPV surveillance, but it is critical to include an analysis of victim narratives to better elucidate the severity of IPV events.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the characteristics of police-reported intimate partner violence. 2. Explain the disparities between qualitative and quantitative police data in relation to incident severity.

Keywords: Violence, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed this study, analyzed the quantitative data, supervised the qualitative data collection, and have several years experience in intimate partner violence research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.