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Exploring police attitudes on victims’ delayed reporting and victim blame in technology-facilitated IPV

Chatzisymeonidis, Stavros, Pina, Afroditi (2024) Exploring police attitudes on victims’ delayed reporting and victim blame in technology-facilitated IPV. Crime Science, 13 (1). Article Number 12. ISSN 2193-7680. (doi:10.1186/s40163-024-00213-x) (KAR id:106039)


Background setting: Cyberstalking, now conceptualised as one of the forms of technology-facilitated intimate partner violence (TFIPV), has seen an exponential rise in recent years. TFIPV victims may hesitate and delay reporting cyberstalking to the police for various reasons (e.g., lack of recognition, thinking that it may be a waste of time, hoping it will stop etc.) and thus potentially influence how investigating police officers perceive their credibility and responsibility. This study investigates the recognition of cyberstalking as a crime among police personnel and the potential effect of reporting delays on police officers’ attitudes towards the victims.

Methods: An online survey was conducted with 108 police officers in the UK, who were presented with a vignette illustrating one of three almost identical scenarios, differing only in the time of reporting (after one month, after six months, after 12 months). Subsequently, participants completed a questionnaire that assessed their recognition of the case as cyberstalking and their attitudes towards victims. All police officers had received predetermined police training at various levels. In addition to these police training programmes, a minority of officers (27) had attended the specialised training programme on intimate partner violence, Domestic Abuse (DA) Matters, while the majority (81) had not.

Results: Among the officers who completed the aforementioned special training, all except one recognised the case as cyberstalking; contrastingly, out of 81 officers without such special training 28 expressed uncertainty, whereas three did not recognise it at all. The victim’s delay to report cyberstalking had a significant effect on police officers’ victim blaming levels. The gender of police officers and their police training level were not identified as moderators of the relationship between victim’s delay in cyberstalking reporting and victim blaming.

Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance for enhanced recognition and understanding of cyberstalking among police officers, particularly through specialised training programs. The study underscores the importance of addressing attitudes towards victims with the goal of improving police responses to TFIPV.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/s40163-024-00213-x
Uncontrolled keywords: Reporting delay, Police, Victim blaming attitudes, Cyberstalking recognition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 22 May 2024 13:47 UTC
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 16:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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