Jami L. Myers

Date of Graduation


Document Type



This study examines state domestic violence policies and their affect on state domestic homicide rates. This research builds on the literature in the area of policy strength and its impact on policy implementers, specifically examining seven of the domestic violence policies recommended by the 1994 and 2000 Violence against Women Acts. Policies were categorized as "coercive," "hortatory," or "catalytic" and data were collected from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Descriptive statistics are used to determine the effectiveness of the policies on the probability that a state would fall above or below the average national domestic homicide rate to test the seven hypotheses regarding policy strength. An index score for the seven policy areas is used to examine the impact of state policy on the domestic homicide rate. The results indicate that for the majority of individual policies the more "coercive" the policy, the greater the probability that the state domestic homicide rate falls below the national average. In addition, the index score indicates the states, with more "coercive" policies have a greater probability of falling below the national average.