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Victim-Informed Prosecution Project: A Quasi-Experiment Test of a Collaborative Model for Cases of Intimate Partner Violence.

Cattaneo, Lauren Bennett
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Violence Against Women. 15(10):1227-1247.

This article addresses the rationale, design, and implementation of the Victim-Informed Prosecution Project (VIP) in Washington, DC, which increased collaboration between prosecution and victim-centered agencies in the prosecution of abusive current or former intimate partners. Although the implementation of the VIP had problems, there was evidence that it increased victims’ perception of having a voice in the prosecution of their cases. Increased contact between victims, advocates, and attorneys handling civil protection orders (CPOs) during the first 3 months of the project, as well as with advocates after 6 months, was related to victim perceptions of having a greater voice in case processing. Among those victims who had contact with prosecutors between 3 and 6 months, as well as among those who reported more than two contacts with prosecutors over the entire 6 months, VIP was associated with greater victim perceived voice. The findings suggest that ongoing contact between the prosecutor and victim may be a necessary element for a model such as VIP in order to have the desired impact. VIP was associated with a greater likelihood of a case being designated a felony, and felonies were more likely to receive ongoing attention from prosecutors. This finding was associated with the efforts of civil lawyers and advocates to bring relevant history and context to bear on prosecutorial decisions. Through collaboration between prosecutors and victim-centered agencies, the rationale for the VIP was to magnify the victim’s perspective and increase the likelihood that the victim’s goals and concerns would determine case outcomes, i.e., victim safety and offender accountability. This article presents data collected in a 12-month evaluation of the VIP. Participants were 142 women recruited from the Domestic Violence Intake Center of the District of Columbia’s Superior Court. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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