Individuals – Stover et al. (2009)

Study Reference:

Stover, C. S., Poole, G., & Marans, S. (2009). The domestic violence home-visit intervention: Impact on police-reported incidents of repeat violence over 12 months. Violence and Victims, 24(5), 591–606.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Individuals; Focused, Reactive; Moderately Rigorous; No Evidence of Effect

What police practice or strategy was examined?

This study evaluated the effects of the domestic violence home-visit intervention (DVHVI) on police reported incidents of repeat violence in New Haven, CT from September 1, 2004 to October 1, 2005. Officers identified incidents of domestic violence. Cases assigned to the intervention group had to involve interpersonal violence, have a female victim or dual arrest, and victims must live within one of the five policing districts where the program is implemented. Officers were paired with an advocate and visited households within 72 hours of the domestic incidents. During the home-visit, the DVHVI team provided services that focused on safety, legal advocacy, psychoeducation, and crisis mental health. The duration and number of home-visits was dependent on the victims.

How was the intervention evaluated?

A retrospective cohort study was used to evaluate whether the intervention impacted domestic violence recidivism within 12 months of the initial incident. Cases were included in the study if there was a female victim and male perpetrator intimate partner, and if an arrest, summons, or warrant was issued. Cases were grouped based on the dosage of intervention received (high dosage, low dosage, no contact, or control). Analysis of covariance and logistic regressions were used to examine the outcomes.

What were the key findings?

Roughly 28% of women were victims of a subsequent police-reported incident during the 12-month follow-up. The majority (63%) of these violent events were nonphysical (e.g., threatening). Results indicate that those individuals that received more than 20 minutes of the intervention (high dosage) were 2.2 times more likely to call the police for a subsequent incident in the 12-month follow-up period. The low dosage intervention group did not differ significantly from the control group. There were also no group differences in time to recidivism. No service components provided by DVHVI were associated with recidivism.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

The authors note that the increase in police-reported incidents may be a direct result from the increase in trust between victims and police. As a result, it is challenging to assess whether these increases in recidivism reflect backfire effects or better engagement with victims. Future work should combine police data with interview data of victims to better understand the extent to which follow-up programs are associated with more future violence vs. more reporting. The authors also report the success of engaging Hispanic women with Spanish-speaking, Hispanic advocates, who were able to more effectively connect with these victims.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?