Intimate Partner Violence in the Military: an Investigation of Reporting Crimes to Law Enforcement Officials

  • Patricia BeckerEmail author
  • Ronet Bachman
Original Article


Although awareness of intimate partner violence (IPV) has increased, acknowledging that American military members and their families are particularly vulnerable to these forms of violence has been relatively recent. While scholars have shown that victims of IPV are unlikely to report their victimizations to the police (Venema Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(5), 872–899, 2016), virtually no attempts have been made to explore reporting crimes to the police by those in the military and/or victimized by someone in the military. In this paper, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data from 1992 to 2016 were used to examine whether incidents of intimate partner violence were less likely to be reported to the police if either the victim and/or offender were active duty military personnel. To ascertain whether military status affected decisions to report for other violent crimes, models predicting the probability of reporting to the police for robbery victimizations were also examined. This research revealed that a military connection significantly decreased the likelihood of IPV being reported compared to the civilian population, however, military status had no effect on the likelihood of robbery victimizations being reported. Results support the contention that the military culture may reduce the likelihood that IPV victimizations will be reported to police compared to their civilian counterparts. Because this was not true for robbery victimizations, policies directed at reducing the reluctance of IPV victims to seek justice through law enforcement channels are needed along with continued efforts to prevent IPV in the military specifically, and within the nation generally.


Intimate partner violence Police reporting Military Victimization 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology & Criminal JusticeUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology & Criminal JusticeUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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