1st Edition

Understanding Victims of Interpersonal Violence A Guide for Investigators and Prosecutors

By Veronique N. Valliere Copyright 2020
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    Understanding Victims of Interpersonal Violence: A Guide for Investigators and Prosecutors provides accessible information for criminal justice personnel "in the trenches" with victims of violence to aid in understanding and explaining their behavior.

    This guide sheds light on interpersonal violence victims’ decisions and actions by providing context and naming factors that commonly impact victim responses. These include internal factors such as culture, religion, shame, and personality, as well as external factors like access to services, support systems, and resources. These factors inhibit or facilitate responses like disclosure, resistance, and participation (or lack thereof) in the prosecution of the offenders. This book also explores the influence of the perpetrator, as well as more deeply examining victim responses that typically offer challenges to investigators and prosecutors; for example, continued contact with the offender, lack of resistance, and issues in disclosure. Finally, the guide provides concrete tools to assist investigators in interviewing and for prosecutors to use during the prosecutorial process.

    This book is designed for investigators, prosecutors, advocates, criminal justice practitioners, and students of these subjects.


    Section 1: Victim Response to Interpersonal Violence

    Chapter 1 – Victim Response to Assault – Is It "Counterintuitive" Behavior?

    Chapter 2 – "I Was in Shock" - Internal Factors Influencing Victim Response

    Chapter 3 - "Where Was I Supposed to Go?" – External Factors that Influence Victim Response and Help Seeking

    Chapter 4 – "I Will Not Be Denied" – Influence of the Offender on Victim Behavior

    Chapter 5 – "I Should Have Kicked His Ass!" – Male Victims of Intimate Violence

    Section 2: Common Types of Victim Responses

    Chapter 6 – "What Was I Supposed to Say?" – Issues in Disclosure of Assault

    Chapter 7 – "But I Love Him" - Continued Contact with the Offender

    Chapter 8 – "Nah, I’m Good" – Understand Victim ResistanceSummary

    Chapter 9 – "Commit to Courage" - Conclusions and Suggestions


    Appendix A – Questions Instead of "Why?"

    Appendix B – Sample Voir Dire Questions

    Appendix C – Interviewing Victims for Sentencing


    Dr. Valliere is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 25 years experience working with violent offenders and their victims. She is recognized as an expert on victim behavior and has testified nationally and internationally. Dr. Valliere has testified before the U.S. Congress and Judiciary Committee regarding sexual assault in the military, as well as consulted with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. She has trained for the national and international agencies and appeared on major television and radio programs speaking on the topic of sexual assault.

    Understanding Victims of Interpersonal Violence holds a unique place in the literature…It combines theories of victim behavior with practical strategies for advocates. While its discussion of theory is not as comprehensive as textbook treatments, it presents the necessary theoretical principles needed for practitioners to understand how to perform their duties.

    Thomas E. McClure, JD MS, Partner Abuse, Volume 11, No 3, 2020                                            

    "This is an academic book written for professionals in the criminal justice system. However, it is far from being a dry tome and…it is something that everyone could benefit from reading. It challenges a lot of our preconceptions about what intimate partner violence looks like and what the perpetrators of all sorts of sexual offences are like. Most of all, it explains why the victims of this sort of attack behave in what may appear to be irrational ways and do things that imply to outsiders that they must be making up stories or actually welcomed the attention at the time. I would definitely recommend this…"

    Judy Ford, Novelist and author of the "Bernie Fazakerley" detective novels

    "In my work as an applied, gender-based violence scholar, I collaborate with practitioners who work with victims of interpersonal violence daily and yet are often perplexed by some of their behaviors. Why do they stay? Why didn’t they report? Why can’t they remember all the details? And the answer is: It’s complicated. This is where Understanding Victims of Interpersonal Violence comes in. This book provides accessible answers to questions like these while at the same time also being well-grounded in research."

    Rachel Lovell, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University