Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2015

Capstone Advisor

Prof. Jonathan Hanson

Honors Reader

Prof. Michael Beckstrand

Capstone Major

Political Science

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component



domestic violence, public policy

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social Welfare


This project seeks to answer the question of how policy across the United States impacts domestic violence. Sparked by personal tragedy, I have explored the domestic violence advocacy and legislative sphere for the past four years while at Syracuse University. Through my personal experiences and work in this field, I realized that a comprehensive approach to answer questions about domestic violence is imperative. Because of this, I decided to explore a variety of policies to understand how they interact with domestic violence. With lives lost every year across our nation at the hands of domestic violence, it was very clear to me that this problem needed to be addressed.

To answer my research question, I quantitatively analyzed policies and their relationships with domestic violence. Data on police practices, judicial procedure, civil protective order and Federal funding were collected on all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Despite all of the policies that are in place to eliminate domestic violence, victims are still losing their lives to this problem, whether they seek help or not.

I predicted that with stronger policies, victims can be better protected and as a result, there will be less domestic violence. Through the analysis it was concluded that some of these policies indeed cause domestic violence to occur at lower rates, specifically Federal funding and the programming it provides. This is correlated with less victims served and less hotline calls on average. Additionally, having more domestic violence courts correlated with less homicides on average. These findings have allowed me to conclude that for some policies my hypothesis is valid, but for others, the results are not what I expected. With these results, we can conclude that Federal allocations for programming are vital to fight domestic violence and that domestic violence courts must continue to exist.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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