Victim cooperation and the prosecution of domestic violence in a specialized court

Author(s) Dawson, Myrna and Dinovitzer, Ronit
Title Victim cooperation and the prosecution of domestic violence in a specialized court
Source Justice Quarterly, Vol 18, No 3, September 2001
Date 2001
Document type Journal article
Coverage Toronto, Canada
Summary This article discusses the role of victim cooperation in the prosecution of domestic violence cases, by examining case files from a specialised domestic violence court in Toronto, Canada. The study examined whether the prosecutor's perceptions of a victim's willingness to cooperate increased the likelihood that a case will be prosecuted. The authors determined whether a victim had cooperated be examining notes and assessments from the files in the offices of the prosecutor and the VWAP. The data showed that approximately 55 percent of all victims cooperated with the prosecution. Victim cooperation was found to be a significant predictor of prosecution. In this sample, when victims cooperated, prosecutors were seven times more likely to pursue charges, even after other factors were taken into consideration. The findings demonstrate the importance of victim/witness programs for victim cooperation. Another significant finding was that the availability of videotaped statements exerts a positive influence on the interaction between prosecutors and victims
Keywords Domestic violence; witness support
Topic Domestic violence