Research Methodology Assignment

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  • Topic: Seat belt legislation, Domestic violence, Crash test dummy
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Integrative Project for Public Safety
Research Methodology Assignment
Althea Houston
June 2, 2013
Dr. Joe Pascarella

Research Methodology
A United Nations report entitled “Violence Against Women: Global Costs and Consequences” states that up to 6 out of every 10 women worldwide experience physical or sexual assault and violence in their lifetime. The World Bank found that women and girls between the ages of 16 and 44 are in more danger from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war and malaria. This report stated that the economic costs of violence against women are substantial. In the United States there is an estimated cost of $1.8 billion in productivity and earnings attributed to domestic violence (Committee on Foreign Relations).

This research will examine measures that have been taken to stop domestic violence and propose new methods that may prove effective. Mandatory arrest policies and no drop prosecution are two methods that have been used to stop violence against women. These efforts began in 1962 at the urging of feminist advocacy groups. Mandatory arrest and no drop policies remove officer discretion when responding to a domestic violence situation. If probable cause is noted the officer must arrest the batterer and the prosecutor can bring legal action if he or she feels it is warranted even if the victim declines prosecution and is uncooperative. This overly optimistic view of prosecution ignores the continued access that the batterer often has to his victim during the pending trial, the reality that most offenders plead guilty to the charges to get probation, and the fact that jailed batterers usually receive relatively short sentences. Given the reality that even aggressive prosecution will likely yield only a mild, if any, punishment, there are many reasons why a victim might be far safer by not aligning herself with the state (Han). The author of this article and others this research will examine concludes that these measures have not been as effective as hoped and that victims may actually be in more danger when these measures are used.

Another measure that has been tried to curtail domestic violence is batterer intervention programs. These are usually mandated by the courts after a batterer has been arrested for domestic violence. Some programs may last up to 52 weeks and others may be as short as 26 weeks or less. The programs are mostly based upon the Duluth Model of power and control (Carson). These intervention programs attempt to prevent repeat domestic abuse by educating the batterer – typically male – to better understand gender equality and constructive anger management. Although they vary in some key aspects, these programs are widely implemented in U.S. jurisdictions. California law, for example, sets as a condition of probation or parole for individuals convicted of domestic abuse the completion of a batterer’s program that lasts at least one year and includes two hours or more of class time per week. According to the authors of a systematic review sponsored by the Campbell Collaborative, there is not enough evidence to establish that batterer intervention programs effectively reduce recidivism (NPO). In fact research has shown that many of the participants do not complete the programs with little or no consequences imposed by the court.

This research proposes a large scale public health advertising campaign such as those used to combat drunk driving and smoking. Also the campaign to promote seat belt use with its subsequent penalties may be an effective way to combat violence against women. As a methodology each public health campaign will be examined and its effectiveness evaluated.

The campaign against drunk driving began in 1980. A mother, Sue LeBrun-Green, who lost her child in an accident caused by a drunk driver, began the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This organization started with...
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