Characteristics of Household Addresses that Repeatedly Contact 911 to Report Intimate Partner Violence

Debra Houry*, Constance Parramore, Gregory Fayard, Jennifer Thorn, Sheryl Heron, Arthur Kellermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine whether households that generate several 911 calls differ in important ways from those that make a single call and to determine whether households that generate repeat 911 calls for intimate partner violence (IPV) experience more severe violence than those that do not.

Methods: All cases of police-documented IPV were reviewed and linked with their respective 911 calls. Each incident report was reviewed to determine the relationship between the offender and victim, demographic characteristics of the offender and victim, weapon and substance involvement, prior incidents of IPV, and violence severity.

Results: Of the 1,505 IPV addresses identified during the 12-month study interval, 1,010 (67.1%) placed more than one phone call to report IPV. Sixty-nine percent of African American victims, 50.6% of white victims, and 36.8% of Hispanic victims were repeat callers (p < 0.001). There were no differences between addresses that generated repeat calls versus single calls with respect to offender alcohol or drug involvement, presence of children, victim age, or offender age. Sixty-seven percent of households with severe violence and 66.9% of households with minor violence generated repeat 911 calls (p = 0.98). 

Conclusions: Ethnic differences in 911 use for IPV exist between African Americans, whites, and Hispanics. However, unknown societal, economic, or cultural issues could have influenced this finding. Households that repeatedly contacted 911 during the study interval to report IPV were not more likely to experience severe violence than those that placed a single 911 call.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


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