UCF Sociologists Collaborate for Prevention


Assistant Professors of UCF sociology Amy Reckdenwald, Ph.D., and Adam Pritchard, Ph.D., have been working with the Brevard County Strangulation Prevention Project (BCSPP) for the last two years. The collaboration is for a project created to improve police response to strangulation in domestic violence cases in Brevard County.

The project has developed and implemented new training for law enforcement and medical personnel on how to recognize and document instances of strangulation in domestic violence. It has also allocated new funding to provide free medical examinations to victims of strangulation.

The long-term goal of the project is increased prevention of strangulation on a national level by replicating coordinated intervention in other communities and changing the criminal justice system’s response to severe forms of domestic violence.

The team running BCSPP includes sociologists at UCF, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, public health practitioners, and local domestic violence shelter advocates. Thus far, a number of publications have been generated from the project. The most recent paper was accepted by “Violence and Victims” and examines the role of 911 dispatchers in the safety response to strangulation victims. Another publication which appears in “Feminist Criminology” estimates the occurrence of strangulation in domestic violence cases in this county and discusses inadequacies of law enforcement training on strangulation. The results highlight the importance of a practitioner-researcher collaborative model in efforts to redress inadequacies in the criminal justice system, hold offenders accountable, and save lives.

Dr. Reckdenwald and sociology doctoral student Shannon Simone are also currently researching injury patterns in homicides followed by perpetrators’ suicides. Their most current research was published in “Homicide Studies.” Their results show support of previous research indicating that most homicide-suicides involve men murdering their female intimate partners. Additionally, results indicate some support for variation in injury across intimacy and relationship status

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