Victims arrested for domestic violence: unintended consequences of arrest policies Academic Article uri icon


  • Domestic violence is a major social problem. In the United States, the failure of communities and police departments to intervene resulted in a push to implement pro- and mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence. These policies have led to an unexpected increase in the number of victim arrests. Competing explanations have been offered. This paper describes the development of a system dynamics model of victim arrests. Results of model structure analysis suggest that these policies may have created or strengthened a crossover mechanism that shifts the risk of arrests in domestic violence cases from aggressors to victims. Model analysis also demonstrates how the changing role of cooperation between advocates and police can help explain the trends in victim arrests. Implications for research and policy are discussed. 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Hovmand, P. S., Ford, D. N., Flom, I., & Kyriakakis, S.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Hovmand, Peter S||Ford, David N||Flom, Ingrid||Kyriakakis, Stavroula

publication date

  • January 2009