Domestic violence cases involving children: Effects of an evidence-based prosecution approach

Abigail Gewirtz, Robert R Weidner, Holly Miller, Keri Zehm

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10 Scopus citations


This article reports findings from the evaluation of a city-county criminal prosecution unit for domestic violence involving children. Data from 446 cases prosecuted in the first 2 years of the Joint Prosecution Unit (JPU) were compared to a matched group of 446 domestic abuse cases prosecuted by both the city and county attorneys' offices in the 2 years prior to inception of the JPU. Results of the comparisons indicated that fewer cases were declined or dismissed by the new unit, and that cases were prosecuted at a significantly more stringent level. Multinomial logistic regression analysis indicated that child and weapon factors were associated with increased likelihood of a more serious (i.e., felony) plea for the new prosecution unit, relative to the comparison group. Results are presented in the context of addressing the difficulties inherent in the prosecution of domestic abuse and in light of the increasing awareness of the detrimental effects of domestic violence on children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Children
  • Domestic violence
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence-based prosecution


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