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Boise State conducting crime victims study

“The goal of this is to find out what issues there are for crime victims and try to improve them."

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University is conducting research to learn more about the relationship between crime victims and the local agencies that help them in the aftermath.

The Idaho Crime Victim Survey is a two-year work-in-progress, survey funded by the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance.

Dr. Laura King, an associate professor of criminology at BSU, is leading the research. 

“The goal of the survey is to gather information directly from crime victims in Idaho about the crimes they experienced, the service they received, and their interactions with the criminal justice system,"King said.

She says her team sent the survey to 103 victim service providers in May – places like the Women’s and Children’s Alliance & and the Nampa Family Justice Center, as well as police departments and prosecutors.

“We also have reached out to counseling agencies, hospitals, other medical services, and other social service providers," she said.

King says BSU received almost 90 surveys by Dec. 1, but only 19 responses were complete enough for analysis.

Survey results show that most of the respondents were victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, all of whom were female.

King added that the respondents were split when it came to how they felt about their victims’ rights, such as being notified of updates in ongoing investigations or changes in their case.

“A lot of victims said they weren’t receiving that kind of communication, they were kind of left out in the cold and they weren’t sure what was going on with their case," she said. "Now, that was some victims - others indicated they were able to exercise their rights and were happy with their interactions.”

The  Idaho Crime Victim Survey will go through 2022.

King says the more surveys they receive, the better the data will be to improve some of the issues crime victims face.

“The goal of this is to find out what issues there are for crime victims and try to improve them," she said. “The more agencies are able to share this survey with victims, the larger our survey size will get, and then we can actually use the findings to make recommendations about services in the state.”

For more on the results of the survey, read the report here.

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