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Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 21–27 | Cite as

Hostage-Taking in the Context of Domestic Violence: Some Case Examples

  • Vincent B. Van Hasselt
  • John J. Flood
  • Stephen J. Romano
  • Gregory M. Vecchi
  • Nathalie de Fabrique
  • Vincent A. Dalfonzo
Article

Abstract

Initial reports of domestic violence are generally made to law enforcement officers who must respond and intervene. A subset of these episodes involves cases in which the victim, and, in many instances her child(ren), have been taken hostage by her husband or partner. Moreover, there are indications that the number of such incidents is growing. The purpose of this project was twofold: (1) to provide one of the first reports on the prevalence and characteristics of these events, and (2) to more closely analyze domestic crisis (hostage) situations using actual case examples. All information was obtained from the Hostage Barricade Database System (HOBAS) of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit. HOBAS is a postincident information collection tool which stores historical data from law enforcement agencies across the nation on hostage/barricade incidents. An examination of this database yielded different types of domestic hostage-taking acts and outcomes (e.g., tactical vs. negotiated resolutions, survival vs. death/injury of perpetrator and/or victim[s]). Implications of the findings, for future crisis negotiation efforts directed toward nonviolent resolution of these high-risk critical incidents, are discussed.

Keywords

crisis negotiation domestic violence hostage barricaded subject HOBAS 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent B. Van Hasselt
    • 1
    • 4
  • John J. Flood
    • 2
  • Stephen J. Romano
    • 2
  • Gregory M. Vecchi
    • 3
  • Nathalie de Fabrique
    • 1
  • Vincent A. Dalfonzo
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Psychological StudiesNova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale
  2. 2.Crisis Negotiation Unit, Federal Bureau of InvestigationFBI AcademyQuantico
  3. 3.Rapid Deployment/Logistics Unit, Federal Bureau of InvestigationFBI AcademyQuantico
  4. 4.Center for Psychological StudiesNova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale

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