Situational ambiguity and gendered patterns of arrest for intimate partner violence

Alesha Durfee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Using data from the 2005 National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), this analysis focuses on the impacts that domestic violence mandatory arrest policies have on arrest outcomes in "situationally ambiguous" cases: cases where both the female and male partners have been identified by police as both a victim and an offender. Results indicate that although officers arrest male partners more frequently than female partners, after controlling for incident and individual factors, mandatory arrest policies disproportionately affect women. Furthermore, correlates of arrest differ for male-only arrests versus female-only arrests. These findings are discussed in the context of changing legal responses to domestic violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-84
Number of pages21
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • arrest
  • domestic violence
  • mandatory arrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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