Failure of the mandatory domestic violence reporting law to increase medical facility referral to police.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of California's 1994 mandatory domestic violence reporting law on Los Angeles Sheriff's Department dispatches to medical facilities for domestic violence incidents. METHODS: This ecological time-trend study analyzed data from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for the period January 1, 1993, to December 31, 1995. All 26,051 dispatches for domestic violence offenses during the study period were analyzed. The outcome measures were changes in biweekly department dispatches for domestic violence offenses resulting from the implementation of the mandatory domestic violence reporting law adjusted for seasonal variation and the Simpson/Goldman murders. RESULTS: The percentage of biweekly dispatches to medical facilities for domestic violence offenses did not increase in response to the law (beta = -.0072, P = .095). Total domestic violence dispatches increased significantly after the Simpson/Goldman murders but not after passage of the law (beta = 82.7, P < .0001 versus beta = -10.1, P = .2205). CONCLUSION: The mandatory domestic violence reporting law in California did not increase medical personnel reporting of domestic violence situations to the Sheriff's Department during the 2 years after its implementation.
Sachs, CJ; Peek, C; Baraff, LJ; Hasselblad, V
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