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Research Projects - Domestic Violence at the Top of New England

Domestic Violence at the Top of New England: An Analysis Based on Law Enforcement Incident Reports from Aroostook County, Maine

Authors: Carolyn Ball and Kenneth Nichols, Assoc. Profs. of Public Administration

New England Journal of Public Policy (2003)

Although domestic violence is an issue regularly discussed in magazines, newspapers and elsewhere, many law enforcement agencies including many in New England do not have the capacity to track these incidents and the relationship between the victim and the offender. Through an analysis of law enforcement data from Maine’s Aroostook County in 1997 and 1998, this article analyzes the problem of domestic violence in rural, northern Maine from a law enforcement perspective.

Among the findings:

  • The reported severity of physical injury is low.
  • The victim’s contact with the police is unlikely to be the first incident of domestic violence.
  • The number of male victims of domestic abuse is higher than in self-reported data.
  • Intoxication (alcohol/drugs) on the part of one or both parties stands higher than intoxication in the general population.
  • After data analysis, training and policy implications are discussed.

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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469