Advancing Gun Policy: Linking Multi-Source Data to Develop Micro-Longitudinal Trajectories of Domestic Violence Offenders’ Gun Use and Impact on Victims

Overview

This study will capture the daily experiences of female domestic violence victims whose partners have guns, with the aim of understanding the impact of exposure to guns used in threatening, coercive, or intimidating ways.

Grant Amount: $2,102,887

Organization: Yale University

Investigators: Tami P. Sullivan, associate professor and director, Family Violence Research, and co-director, Division of Prevention and Community Research, Yale University School of Medicine; Christopher D. Maxwell, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University.

Expected Completion Date: Mid-2022

Project Summary

Purpose

Use a micro-longitudinal study design to capture the daily experiences of female domestic violence victims whose partners possess firearms and produce comprehensive findings for informing effective interventions.

Approach

  • Recruit 445 female domestic violence victims from the community, domestic violence services, and court among those whose partners were arrested for domestic violence.
  • Stratify sample by exposure to firearms and oversample victims exposed to firearms.
  • Collect self-report data daily for 90 days and link with administrative data covering at least 180 days from police, courts, and corrections; health care; and domestic violence services.
  • Use linked data to describe firearm exposure in the context of domestic violence; identify situational factors that precede, co-occur with, and are outcomes of firearm exposure; identify subgroups of victims; and determine the health impact of firearm exposure on victims.
  • Work in collaboration with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Significance

Firearms are used in non-lethal ways to threaten, coerce and intimidate domestic violence victims, but how firearm exposure impacts victims is almost unknown. This work will inform policies and interventions for reducing the use of firearms in this way by domestic violence offenders.

Investigators

  • Tami P Sullivan (principal investigator) is associate professor and director, Family Violence Research, and co-director, Division of Prevention and Community Research, Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Sullivan’s research focuses on factors that affect the well-being of victims of intimate partner violence, with attention to daily processes and micro-longitudinal designs. She collaborates with community partners locally and nationally to study the impact of interventions, including as co-investigator on the U.S. Department of Juice’s Office on Violence Against Women’s Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative.
  • Christopher D. Maxwell (investigator) is a professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University (MSU), and member, MSU Center for Gender in Global Context. Dr. Maxwell’s research interests include testing for the benefits and costs of sanctions and therapeutic treatments for spouse abusers, the impacts of police and court services on victims of domestic violence, and the causes and correlates of violence against intimate partners. With Dr. Sullivan, he is co-investigator on the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative.