Working toward a symbolic interactionist understanding of information provision by multiple agencies responding to crisis situations, in this paper the authors aim to examine mandated information provision on the part of US law enforcement to survivors of intimate partner violence.
The authors conducted a detailed content analysis of 1,793 documents supplied by local law enforcement agencies from over 700 cities from all 50 US states. Documents were coded within a framework that identified 18 information elements corresponding to four emergent situations commonly found within the survivors’ small world, as well as codes to note level of responsibility expressed by law enforcement and affective tone.
Law enforcement expressed the greatest responsibility for those information elements related to their immediate purview – generally, how to engage with the police themselves in an initial crisis situation. However, information related to community social services, related to “later” survivor situations was included in the documents almost as frequently, but with less expressed direct responsibility.
Agencies providing information to survivors of crisis situations are frequently working within an environment that is bounded by overlapping governmental and private actors who may have different norms, agendas, and priorities. Developing a symbolic interactionist model that allows for the co‐existence of these different approaches, and articulates their interaction, can help IS professionals support these actors who may be struggling with minimal preparation for information interactions.
Westbrook, L. and Finn, J. (2012), "Community information as boundary object: police responsibility for abuse survivors", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 68 No. 6, pp. 806-825. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220411211277055Download as .RIS
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