Police Recognition of the Links Between Spouse Abuse and Child Abuse

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This study investigated the links between referrals to police child protection units (CPUs) and domestic violence units (DVUs) during November 1994 in one police force in an urban area of England. DVU files and CPU files were analysed and cross-referenced by investigating types, severity, and frequency of abuse; and a umber of background factors. The rate of overlap (families with files at both units) was 21.6%, although 46.3% of child protection files indicated the presence of domestic violence in the family home. The severity of maltreatment and the extent of injury for both spouse abuse and child maltreatment were significantly related to police response, with greater use of cautions or charges in more severe cases. Families with records in both units showed a higher number of prior referrals relating to both spouse abuse and child maltreatment. In addition, these cases showed greater severity of domestic violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-147
JournalChild Maltreatment
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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