Who do young adult victims of physical assault talk to about their experiences? 

Author(s)Thomson, Rob and John Langley
Title Who do young adult victims of physical assault talk to about their experiences?
Source Journal of Community Psychology,2004, Vol. 32, No.4, pp479-488
Date 2004
Document type Journal article
Coverage New Zealand
Summary In this study the authors explore why young adult victims of physical assault report or not report to police. Participants in the study were part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a longitudinal study of approximately 1000 New Zealanders born in 1972 and 1973. Of the participants in the larger study, 30% women and 49% men provided details to the interviewer about an assault. It was found that women were more likely to seek help than men were and both men and women were more likely to seek help from family and friends than the police. Reasons for choosing to report to police included fear of future violence, wanting the offender caught and assaults that have caused injuries needing medical treatment or assaults with a weapon involved. The most common reasons for not reporting to police was considering the assault as too trivial or a personal matter that they could deal with by themselves. It was also found that not only were victims unlikely to report the assault to the police, they were unlikely to talk to anyone at all. In this study 63% of the participants spoke about the assault for the first time during the survey.
Keywords Assault; reporting to police; longitudinal study.
Topic Criminal Justice System