Domestic Violence Arrests in New Jersey, 1983-2011

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New Jersey police have published crime statistics covering domestic violence annually since 1983. These statistics show that domestic violence arrests as a share of all arrests for interpersonal violence rose from 13% in 1983 to 67% in 2001. New Jersey’s domestic violence arrest share has remained about 67% since 2001.

In New Jersey, the share of men among police-designated victims of domestic violence has risen since 1983. In 1983, the share of men victims among police-designated victims of domestic violence was 15%. By 2007, the share of men victims had risen to 24%. Across the U.S., men suffering domestic violence injuries account for 40% of domestic-violence-related visits to hospital emergency departments. Relative to medical evidence of serious injury from violent victimization, criminal justice system action against violence is biased toward women victims. New Jersey’s rising share of police-designated domestic-violence victims who are men occurred despite the enactment of laws and policies gender-profiling men for arrest for domestic violence. New Jersey’s rising share of police-designated men victims probably resulted from domestic-violence arrest for a broader range of acts. Sweeping into the criminal justice system a broader range of acts is associated with an decline in the share of men per woman incarcerated in prison and jails across the U.S.

New Jersey, like most other states, has established a special report that police officers file for domestic violence incidents. That report includes information on the victim, the offender, and the incident. The report describes the relationship between the victim and offender; whether drugs or alcohol was involved in the incident; the nature of the victim’s injuries, if any; the nature of weapons used, if any; known or reported history of domestic violence among the parties; and whether a restraining order was implicated in the incident. This report is the basis for the domestic-violence statistical tables in the New Jersey state police’s annual report, Crime in New Jersey, Uniform Crime Reports.

The New Jersey domestic-violence statistics are consistent with a national estimate that domestic violence arrests account for 58% of arrests for interpersonal violence. New Jersey domestic-violence crime statistics are particularly valuable because they are available annually and consistently since 1983. New Jersey domestic-violence crime statistics show the rising importance of domestic violence in criminal justice system activity.

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