• Assaults in Domestic Violence Incidents Reported to Alaska State Troopers

      Rivera, Marny; Rosay, André B.; Wood, Darryl S.; Postle, Greg; TePas, Katherine (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-02)
      This study examined 1,281 cases with an assault charge involving domestic violence reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2004, and excluded any cases reported to local or municipal departments. * Eighty-two percent of reports were handled by three detachment areas: 32% in C — “ Western Alaska, 29% in D — “ Interior Alaska, and 22% in B — “ Southcentral Alaska. Troopers received 80% of the reports, while 20% were received by Village Police Officers, Village Public Safety Officers, or Tribal Police Officers. Eighty-one percent of the assault charges were in the fourth degree. Eighty-four percent of assaults were reported within 24 hours, and 89% of victims and 81% of suspects were interviewed on the day of the report. * Seventy-six percent of suspects were male and 24% were female. On average, suspects were 33 years old and victims were 32 years old. The majority of assaults in domestic violence incidents (86%) were intra-racial. Fifty-seven percent of suspects and 32% of victims used alcohol. Overall, alcohol was involved in 59% of domestic violence incidents reported to Troopers. * Most assaults in domestic violence incidents (75%) occurred between victims and suspects who were staying or living together. The most common forms of violence (disclosed by victims and documented by officers) included pushing, grabbing, or shoving the victim (in 48% of incidents), punching the victim (in 29%), and slapping or hitting the victim (in 28%). Weapons such as knives or guns were rarely used. The most common injuries included bruising (for 38% of victims), lacerations or bite marks (for 27%), bloody nose or lips (for 10%), and black or swollen eyes (for 10%). Forty-three percent of incidents occurred in the presence of children. * Eighty percent of cases were referred to the Alaska Department of Law for prosecution, 68% were accepted for prosecution, and 54% resulted in a conviction. Overall conviction rates were slightly lower for female suspects, but conviction rates were generally not affected by victim gender or victim-suspect relationship.