Shifting the Service Referral Paradigm Using Community-Based Second Responders: Examining Weapon Use in Intimate Partner Violence

Abstract

To address a rise in intimate partner violence (IPV) related homicides, Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) partnered with Women Helping Women (WHW), a community, gender-based violence prevention organization to create the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT). Second responders are sent out to the scene of IPV police calls to better address the needs of survivors and connect them with services. The aim of this study is to assess how calls involving weapons differed from those that did not. The sample included 1253 calls from August 2018 to January 2020, which were then categorized by whether or not the incident included a weapon. A series of bivariate analyses were conducted to assess for differences between groups in perpetrator and survivor characteristics, harm incurred, criminal justice responses, and referrals for services. There were significant differences in perpetrator characteristics between weapon involvement groups. Perpetrators in the weapon involvement group were more likely to have access to weapons; history of physical violence, verbal or mental abuse; substance abuse problems, and mental illness. Black women were disproportionately more likely to have a weapon used on them. The criminal justice system did not differ significantly in their response to cases involving weapons. However, survivors of weapons related cases were overall more likely to receive service referrals. Findings suggest a need for community-based second responder programs to partner with police departments to address the multitude of needs for survivors given the lethality of these incidents.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    The NCVS includes firearms, knives, weapon type unknown, and “other weapon” in estimates of violent victimization involving a weapon.

  2. 2.

    We received IRB approval for this study in October 2018, which included a signed letter of support outlining a data sharing agreement with WHW.

  3. 3.

    Excluded cases were missing data on several variables used in analyses.

  4. 4.

    Write in options coded as firearm included any write-ins that indicating “firearm”, “gun”, and “pistol” (i.e., “.22 gun”, “handgun”).

  5. 5.

    CPD uses the terms intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence (DV) interchangeably, terminology used in the data is reflective of the legal terms used by WHW and CPD.

  6. 6.

    Juris Monitors are pretrial electronic monitoring within Hamilton County Courts that will alert survivor and police if the perpetrator comes within two miles of survivor’s home or work.

References

  1. Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Basile, K.C., Walters, M.L., Chen, J., & Merrick, M.T. (2014). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization- National Intimate Partner and sexual violence survey, United States 2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention morbidity and mortality weekly report. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6308.pdf

  2. Bonomi, A. E., Trabert, B., Anderson, M. L., Kernic, M. A., & Holt, V. L. (2014). Intimate partner violence and neighborhood income. Violence Against Women, 20, 42–58. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801213520580.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Brookbank, S. (2017). A quarter of Cincinnati homicides are linked to domestic violence. Program aims to fix that. Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved from: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/12/09/quarter-homicides-cincinnati-linked-domestic-violence-program-wants-fix/836129001/

  4. Campbell, J. C., Webster, D. W., & Glass, N. (2009). The danger assessment: Validation of a lethality risk assessment instrument for intimate partner femicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(4), 653–674. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260508317180.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Coker, A. L., Davis, K. E., Arias, I., Desai, S., Sanderson, M., Brandt, H. M., & Smith, P. H. (2002). Physical and mental health effects of intimate partner violence for men and women. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 23(4), 260–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Goodson, A., Garza, A. D., Franklin, C. A., Updegrove, A. H., & Bouffard, L. A. (2020). Perceptions of victim advocates and predictors of service referral among law enforcement personnel. Feminist Criminology., 15, 611–633. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557085120939658.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Herd, P., & Moynihan, D. P. (2019). Administrative burden: Policymaking by other means. Russell Sage Foundation.

  8. Howard, L. M., Trevillion, K., & Agnew-Davies, R. (2010). Domestic violence and mental health. International Review of Psychiatry, 22(5), 525–534.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Knight, C., & Saker, A. (2020, April 23). 6 local women have been fatally shot during the stay-at-home order – More than all of 2019. Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved from: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2020/04/23/more-cincinnati-women-have-been-fatally-shot-april-than-all-2019/2997391001/

  10. Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. (2019). Domestic Violence Report: 2018 Domestic Violence Incidents by County and Agency. Retrieved from: https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Reports/Domestic-Violence-Reports/Domestic-Violence-Reports-2018

  11. Petrosky, E., Blair, J. M., Betz, C. J., Fowler, K. A., Jack, S. P. D., & Lyons, B. H. (2017). Racial and ethnic differences in homicides of adult women and the role of intimate partner violence — United States, 2003–2014. Bonomi, 741–746. Doi:https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6628a1.

  12. Smith, S. G., Zhang, X., Basile, K. C., Merrick, M. T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., & Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner and sexual violence survey (NISVS): 2015 data brief – Updated release. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  13. Rubenstein, B.Y., Wojcik, M.L., Petkus, A., Anderson, V.A., Fisher, B.S., & Wilcox, P. (2020) DVERT evaluation report: Findings July 2018–January 2020. Submitted to Women Helping Women and Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services Law Enforcement. https://services.dps.ohio.gov/OCCS/Pages/Public/Reports/DVERT%20FINAL%20REPORT%204.10.20.pdf

  14. Sorenson, S. B., & Wiebe, D. J. (2004). Weapons in the lives of battered women. American Journal of Public Health, 94(8), 1412–1417. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.94.8.1412.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Sorenson, S. B., & Schut, R. A. (2018). Nonfatal gun use in intimate partner violence: A systematic review of literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 19(4), 431–442. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838016668589.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Spencer, C. M., & Stith, S. M. (2020). Risk factors for male perpetration and female victimization of intimate partner homicide: A meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(3), 527–540. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838018781101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Truman, J.L., & Morgan, R.E. (2014). Nonfatal domestic violence, 2003–2012. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.

  18. Velopulos, C. G., Carmichael, H., Zakrison, T. L., & Crandall, M. (2019). Comparison of male and female victims of intimate partner homicide and bidirectionality – An analysis of the national violent death reporting system. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 87(2), 336–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Wojcik, M.L.T., Rubenstein, B.Y., Petkus, A.A., Racadio, A., Anderson, V.R., Fisher, B.S., Wilcox, P., & Bleser, A. (2021). Coming together in the fight against intimate partner violence: Lessons learned from a researcher practitioner collaboration evaluating Cincinnati’s Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT). Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice (in press).

  20. Zeoli, A. M., Manlinski, R., & Turchan, B. (2016). Risks and targeted interventions: Firearms in intimate partner violence. Epidemiologic Reviews, 6(38), 125–139. https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxv007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank everyone at Women Helping Women (WHW), all of the DVERT advocates, and Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) who have given their time and support to this partnership and allowed us to take part in evaluating this program.

Funding

This work was supported in part by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Batya Y. Rubenstein.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, we have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rubenstein, B.Y., Wojcik, M.L.T., Anderson, V.R. et al. Shifting the Service Referral Paradigm Using Community-Based Second Responders: Examining Weapon Use in Intimate Partner Violence. J Fam Viol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00246-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Intimate partner homicide
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Community-based partnerships
  • Firearms
  • Weapon use
  • Second responders