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Tracking Repeat Victimisation After Domestic Abuse Cases Are Heard With and Without Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) in an English Magistrate’s Court

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Ross, John 
Sebire, Jaqueline 
Strang, Heather 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:sec jats:titleResearch Question</jats:title> jats:pDo cases heard in a specialist domestic abuse (SDA) court on days when Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) are present to engage with victims, compared to cases heard on days when no IDVAs are present, result in more convictions, or less frequency or severity of repeat victimisation?</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleData</jats:title> jats:pThis analysis included all 559 trials in one SDA court from June 2016 to December 2018, including 514 unique victims. IDVAs were present on the starting day of 84% of the trials, leaving 16% (90) cases to start on days when no IDVAs were present.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleMethods</jats:title> jats:pThe treatment and comparison cases were compared for similarity of 23 characteristics, with only one difference of over 20%. The analysis proceeded as appropriate for a Level 4 (Sherman et al., Preventing crime: What works, what doesn’t, what’s promising: A report to the United States Congress, National Institute of Justice, 1997) quasi-experimental comparison between the treatment and comparison cases.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleFindings</jats:title> jats:pIPA trials in the IDVA treatment group were 12% less likely than those in the comparison group to result in a conviction (RR=0.88, 95% CI 0.74-1.05). Trials in the IDVA treatment group had a 96% higher risk of being followed by a repeat domestic abuse incident in the 18 months after trial than trials in the no-IDVA comparison group (jats:italicRR</jats:italic> = 1.96, 95% jats:italicCI</jats:italic> 1.19–3.23). Treatment group victims experienced a mean harm score for repeat victimisation in the 18 months post-trial eight times higher than the comparison group (80 compared with ten).</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleConclusions</jats:title> jats:pThe provision of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors in a specialist domestic abuse court was clearly correlated with higher rates of repeat victimisation, as well as higher levels of harm in repeat offences and lower rates of conviction. This correlation could well be causal, but only a randomised controlled trial can rule out that possibility.</jats:p> </jats:sec>



48 Law and Legal Studies, 4805 Legal Systems, 4402 Criminology, 44 Human Society, Violence Research, Clinical Trials and Supportive Activities, Clinical Research, Mental health, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC