Start Gender and contextual factors in adolescent dating violence

Gender and contextual factors in adolescent dating violence

Other reasons for not reporting are shame and embarrassment (Kidd and Chayet, 1984, Sabina and Ho, 2014, Seimer, 2004).

Different researchers report that they have not found an impact of victim-offender relationship on reporting of crime to the police.

It has been suggested that victims who know the offender balance their needs for protection on the one hand and for privacy and fear of retaliation on the other hand in their decision whether or not to report (Felson et al., 2002, Tarling and Morris, 2010).

Regardless of the ambiguity on whether violence committed by an acquaintance is more prone to underreporting or not, it is safe to conclude that many violent crimes are not known to the authorities and that this is potentially problematic (for instance, it affects prosecution and resource allocation, Skogan, 1984).

It is, therefore, critical to understand why individuals are unwilling to report violence (Kidd and Chayet, 1984). Victims might avoid going to the police because of previous negative experiences with the police, including unsatisfactory police treatment and performance (Kidd and Chayet, 1984, Ruback et al., 2008, Smith, A., 2001).

Meanwhile, it has also been pointed out that even national CVS tend to underestimate domestic violence because of victims’ embarrassment to report the abuse to an interviewer and violent incidents not being labelled as a crime by the victim (Wells and Rankin, 1995).

In addition, repeat victimization, which is particularly important in partner violence, is not fully appreciated due to capping of the number of incidents that can be recorded in CVS (Nazaretian and Merolla, 2013).

Moreover, victims of domestic violence have been found to use disclosure to the police as a tool for negotiation with the offender and to stop the aggression (Wemmers and Cousineau, 2005).

However, following a review of 45 studies into college DV specifically, Sabina and Ho conclude that rates of reporting to police varied from 0% for sexual coercion, date rape, and DV to 12.9% for forced sexual assault (Sabina and Ho, 2014).

For instance, the International Crime Victim Survey reveals that only one third of assaults and 15% of sexual assault are reported to the police (van Dijk et al., 2007).

It was long assumed that intra-acquaintance offenses would be more likely to be underreported but this hypothesis does not seem to hold entirely (Skogan, 1977).

The initiative to edit a special issue on hidden victims is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on teen dating violence (DV).