Preventing repeat victimization is an area of criminology that has shown particular promise in recent years. Based on the premise that persons once victimized are at higher risk than others for future victimization, British officials developed successful programs that focus crime prevention efforts on victims. Of all crimes, family violence may have the highest repeat rate, especially in the first weeks after an incident is reported to the police. Accordingly, New York City officials developed an intervention program to reduce repeat incidents of family abuse. Three field experiments conducted during the 1990s evaluated whether or not this program, targeted at public housing residents who reported family violence to the police, reduced the rate of subsequent victimization. The findings produced within each study were not consistent across the studies; rather, these three experiments, separately analyzed, produce varying results. Since the composition of the samples varied across studies, however, one possible explanation is that this program has different effects within different populations. This paper reports outcomes from a series of analyses of pooled data from these three studies to address the inconsistencies. The results indicate that the intervention brought about greater reporting of subsequent abuse both to authorities and to research interviewers. The results are invariant across the three studies, indicating that greater reporting of abuse is not idiosyncratic to one particular population, and are consistent across the nature and source of outcome measures. These findings suggest the need for careful monitoring by the advocates and agencies that operate these types of programs and among those designing and testing future programs.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
Anderson, D., Chenery, S. & Pease, K. (1995). Crime Detection and Prevention Series Paper 58: Biting Back: Tackling Repeat Burglary and Car crime. 1995. Home Office, Police Research Group. Retrieved from http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/prgpdfs/cdp58bf.pdf.
Angrist, J. D. (2005). Instrumental variables methods in experimental criminology research: What, Why, and How? Cambridge, MA: Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Angrist, J. D. & Hahn, J. (2004). When to control for covariates? Panel, asymptotics for estimates of treatment effects. The Review of Economics and Statistics 86(1), 58–72.
Armitage, P. (1996). The design and analysis for clinical trials. In S. Ghosh & C. R. Rao (Eds.), Design and Analysis of Experiments vol. 13 (pp. 1–30). Handbook of Statistics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Banyard, V. L., Williams, L. M. and Siegel, J. A. (2002). Retraumatization among adult women sexually abused in childhood: Exploratory analysis in a prospective study. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 11(3), 19–48.
Blettner, M., Sauerbrei, W., Schlehofer, B., Scheuchenpflug, T. & Friedenreich, C. (1999). Traditional reviews, meta-analyses and pooled analyses in epidemiology. International Journal of Epidemiology 28(1), 1–9.
Bowers, K. J., Hirschfield, A. & Johnson, S. D. (1998). Victimization revisited: A case study of non-residential repeat burglary in Merseyside. British Journal of Criminology (London) 38(3), 429–452.
Bravata, D. M. & Olkin, I. (2001). Simple pooling versus combining in meta analysis. Evaluation and the Health Profession 24(2), 218–230.
Breipohl, A., Albrecht, P., Allan, R., Asgarpoor, S., Bhavaraju, M. & Billinton R., et al. (1995). Pooling generating unit data for improved estimates of performance indices. Transactions on Power Systems 10(4), 1912–1918.
Budd, T. (1999). Burglary of domestic dwellings: Findings from the British Crime Survey. London, UK: Home Office.
Canada Solicitor General (1988). Multiple victimization: Canadian urban victimization survey bulletin (Tech. Rep. No. 10). Ottawa: Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Collins, P. H. (1998). Fighting words: Black women and the search for justice. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press.
Davis, R. C. & Maxwell, C. D. (2002). Preventing Repeat Incidents of Family Violence: A Reanalysis of Data from Three Field Tests (Final Report Submitted to National Institute of Justice (2000-WT-VX-0007)). New York City: Vera Institute of Justice.
Davis, R. C. & Medina, J. (2001). Results from an elder abuse prevention experiment in New York City (NIJ Research in Brief). Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
Davis, R. C. & Smith, B. E. (1994a). Teaching victims crime prevention skills: Can individuals lower their risk of crime? Criminal Justice Review 19, 56–68.
Davis, R. C. & Smith, B. E. (1994b). The effects of victim impact statements on sentencing decisions: A test in an urban setting. Justice Quarterly 11, 453–470.
Davis, R. C. & Taylor, B. G. (1997). A proactive response to family violence: The results of randomized experiment. Criminology 35(2), 307–333.
Davis, R. C., Median, J. & Avitabile, N. (2000). Reducing repeat incidents of elder abuse: Results of a randomized Experiment, Final Report (Final Report Submitted to the National Institute of Justice for Grant No. 95-IJ-CX-0061 No. NCJ 189086). New York City, NY: Victim Services Research (56).
Dugan, L., Nagin, D. S. & Rosenfeld, R. (1999). Explaining the decline in intimate partner homicide. Homicide Studies 3, 187–214.
Dutton, D. G. (1995). The domestic assault of women: Psychological and Criminal Justice Perspectives. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Ellingworth, D., Osborn, D. R., Trickett, A. & Pease, K. (1995). Lifestyle and prior victimization: A logit analysis of crime risk. Quantitative Criminology Group, Manchester, UK.
Fagan, J. A. (1989). Cessation of family violence: Deterrence and dissuasion. In L. Ohlin & M. Tonry (Eds.), Family Violence vol. 11. (pp. 377–425). Crime and Justice: A Review of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Farrell, G. (1995). Preventing repeat victimization. In M. Tonry & D. P. Farrington (Eds.), Building a safer society: Strategic approaches to crime prevention (pp. 468–534). Crime and justice: A review of research, 19. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Farrell, G. & Buckley, A. (1999). Evaluation of a UK police domestic violence unit using repeat victimization as a performance indicator. The Howard Journal 38(1), 42–53.
Farrell, G. & Pease, K. (1993). Once bitten, twice bitten: Repeat victimization and its implications for crime prevention (Crime Prevention Unit Paper No. 46). London, UK: Home Office.
Farrell, G., Hobbs, L., Edmonds, A. & Laycock, G. (2000). RV snapshot: UK policing and repeat victimisation. London, UK: Home Office.
Farrington, D. P. (1987). Early precursors of frequent offending. In J. Q. Wilson & G. C. Loury (Eds.), Families, Schools, and Delinquency Prevention vol. III (pp. 27–50). From Children to Citizens. New York, NY: Springer.
Feld, S. L. & Straus, M. A. (1989). Escalation and desistance of wife assault in marriage. Criminology 27(1), 141–161.
Ford, D. A. (1991). Prosecution as a victim power source: A note on empowering women in violent conjugal relationships. Law and Society Review 25, 313–334.
Gabor, T., & Mata, F. (2004). Victimization and repeat victimization over the life span: A predictive study and implications for policy. International Review of Victimilogy 10(3), 193–221.
Gartin, P. R. (1995). Dealing with design failures in randomized field experiments: Analytic issues regarding the evaluation of treatment effects. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 32(4), 425–445.
Gelber, R.D., & Zelen, M. (1986). Planning and reporting of clinical trials. In P. Calabresi, P. S. Schein & S. A. Rosenberg (Eds.), Medical oncology (pp. 406–425). New York, NY: Macmillian Publishing Company.
Gold, S. R., Sinclair, B. B., & Balge, K. A. (1999). Risk of sexual revictimization: A theoretical model. Aggression and Violent Behavior 4(4), 457–470.
Hall, J. A., Tickle-Degnen, L., Rosenthal, R., & Mosteller, F. (1994). Hypotheses and problems in research synthesis. In H. Copper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The Handbook of Research Synthesis (pp. 17–28). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Harrell, A. (1991). Evaluation of court–ordered treatment for domestic violence offenders (Final Report Supported by the State Justice Institute (#90-12l-E-089), Under Subcontract from the Institute for Social Analysis). Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
Harris, L., and Associates. (1979). A Survey of Spousal Abuse Against Women in Kentucky. New York: Harris and Associates.
Hart, B. (1992). State codes on domestic violence: Analysis, commentary, and recommendations. Reno, NV: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Hindelang, M., Gottfredson, M., & Garafolo, J. (1978). Victims of personal crime: An empirical foundation for a theory of personal victimization. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Company.
Holland, P. W. (1986). Statistics and causal inference. Journal of the American Statistical Association 81, 945–970.
Kelly, L., Bindel, J., & Burton, S. (1999). Domestic violence matters: An evaluation of a development project. (Research Findings No. 91). London, UK: Home Office.
Lane, E., Lucera, J., & Boba, R. (2002). Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Community Policing/Domestic Violence Test Site Project: Inter-agency response to domestic violence in a medium sized city (Prepared for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Police Services for Grant No. 98DVWXK015). Washington, DC: Police Foundation (91).
Langan, P. A., & Innes, C. A. (1986). Preventing Domestic Violence against Women (Special Report). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Laub, J. H., & Sampson, R. J. (2001). Understanding desistance from crime. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and Justice: A Review of Research vol. 28 (pp. 1–69). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Lauritsen, J. L., & Davis-Quinet, K. F. (1995). Repeat victimization among adolescents and young adults. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 11, 143–166.
Litton, R. A. (2000). Criminological research and the insurance industry. Security Journal 13(2), 31–48.
Lloyd, S., Farrell, G., & Pease, K. (1994). Preventing repeated domestic violence: A demonstration project on Merseyside (Crime Prevention Unit Paper, Police Research Group No. 49). London, UK: Home Office (28).
Maxwell, C. D. (1998). The specific deterrent effect of arrest on aggression between intimates and spouses. Doctoral dissertation, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey.
Maxwell, C. D., Garner, J. H., & Fagan, J. A. (2002). Research, policy and theory: The preventive effects of arrest on intimate partner violence. Criminology and Public Policy 2(1), 51–80.
McCord, J. (2003). Cures that harm: Unanticipated outcomes of crime prevention program. In D. Weisburd, A. Petrosion, & C. M. Lum (Eds.), The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science [Special issue]. Assessing Systematic Evidence in Crime and Justice: Methodological Concerns and Empirical Outcomes 587, 16–30.
Menard, S. (2000). The ‘normality’ of repeat victimization from adolescence through early adulthood. Justice Quarterly 17(3), 543–574.
Messman-Moore, T. L., & Long, P. J. (2000). Child sexual abuse and revictimization in the form of adult sexual abuse, adult physical abuse, and adult psychological maltreatment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 15(5), 489–502.
Muehlenhard, C. L., Highby, B. J., & Lee, R. S., et al. (1998). The sexual revictimization of women and men sexually abused as children: A review of the literature. Annual Review of Sex Research 9, 177–223.
National Board for Crime Prevention. (1994). Wise after the event: tackling repeat victimization. London, UK: Home Office.
Pagelow, M. D. (1981). Women-battering: Victims and their experiences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Pease, K. (1998). Repeat victimization: Taking stock (Crime Detection and Prevention Series No. Paper 90). London, UK: Home Office (48).
Pease, K., & Laycock, G. (1996). Revictimization: reducing the heat on hot victims. Washington DC: US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
Pillemer, K. A., & Finkelhor, D. (1998). The prevalence of elder abuse: A random sample survey. The Gerontologist 28(1), 51–57.
Quigley, B. M., & Leonard, K. E. (1996). Desistance of husband aggression in the early years of marriage. Violence and Victims 11(4), 355–370.
Robinson, M. B. (1998). Burglary revictimization: The time period of heightened risk. British Journal of Criminology 38(1), 78–87.
Rubin, D. B. (1974). Estimating causal effects of treatments inrandomized and nonrandomized studies. Journal of Educational Psychology 66, 688–701.
Shaw, M., & Pease, K. (2000). Research on repeat victimization in Scotland (Final Report). Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Central Research Unit.
Sherman, L. W. (1992). Policing domestic violence: Experiments and dilemmas. New York: Free Press.
Sorenson, S. B., Siegel, J. M., Golding, J. M., & Stein, J. A. (1991). Repeat sexual victimization. Violence and Victims 6(4), 299–301.
Sparks, R. F. (1981). Multiple victimization: Evidence, theory, and future research. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 72, 762–778.
Straus, M. (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The conflict tactics scale. Journal of Marriage and the Family 41, 75–88.
Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (Editors). (1990). Physical violence in American families: Risk factors and adaptations to violence in 8,145 families. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.
Taioli, E., & Bonassi, S. (2002). Methodological issues in pooled analysis of biomarker studies. Mutat Res 512(1), 85–92.
Tolman, R., & Weisz, A. (1995). Coordinated community intervention for domestic violence: The effects of arrest and prosecution on recidivism of woman abuse perpetrators. Crime and Delinquency 41(4), 481–495.
Trickett, A., Osborne, D., Seymour, J., & Pease, K. (1992). What is different about high crime areas? British Journal of Criminology 32, 81–90.
Walker, L. E. (1979). The battered women. New York: Harper and Row.
Weisel, D. L., Clarke, R. V., & Stedman, J. R. (1999). Final Report submitted to the National Institute of Justice for grant no 96-IJ-CX-0042 (Tech. Rep. No. NCJ 193808). Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) (171).
Weisz, A. N., Canales-Portalatin, D., & Nahan, N. (2004). Evaluating a victim advocacy within a team approach. In B. Fisher (Ed.), Violence Against Women and Family Violence: Developments in Research, Practice, and Policy vol. NCJ 199718 (pp. 3(1–8)). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
Whitehead, P., & Gray, P. (1998). Pulling the plug on computer theft (Police Research Series Paper No. 101). London, UK: Home Office.
Wilt, G. M., Bannon, J. D., Breedlove, R. K., Sandker, D. M., Sawtell, R. K., & Kennish, J. W. (1977). Domestic violence and the police: Studies in Detroit and Kansas City. Police Foundation.
About this article
Cite this article
Davis, R.C., Maxwell, C.D. & Taylor, B. Preventing repeat incidents of family violence: analysis of data from three field experiments. J Exp Criminol 2, 183–210 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-006-9002-0