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Domestic Violence – theories and implications

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Presentation on theme: "Domestic Violence – theories and implications"— Presentation transcript:

1 Domestic Violence – theories and implications
Wendy Morgan London Metropolitan University Glasgow Caledonian University

2 Overview Reflections of the past in the present
Motives, agendas politics Current theories of IPV/DV Mandatory arrest An alternative lens?

3 DV and History “Domestic violence has deep historical roots and [is] grounded in the inequality between men and women in society at large” (Hague and Malous 1998 pg 69)

4 DV and History The 1970’s were not, however the first time that wife beating had been discovered by the public and taken up as an issue of general concern rather than remaining hidden as a personal tragedy….This has happened at least twice before in the latter part of the 19th century and in the early part of the [20th] century. (Dobash and Dobash 1979, pg 3)

5 DV and History History is relevant (and also relatively current, e.g. societal (including police) response in 70’s and 80’s) Key themes DV is a gender based concern Patriarchal social norms support the use of violence It requires a coordinated community response (Ehrenshaft 2008)

6 The response – intervention policy and strategy
“Duluth Model” Men need to be re-socialised to ensure they accept responsibility Psycho-educational batter programmes are part of a wider response Show that society will not tolerate this behaviour Coordinated community response needed Need to raise awareness Zero tolerance interventions Mandatory arrest policies


8 The controversies “Duluth” model is ideology and not science
Does not consider all forms of violence Intersection of IPV with other forms of violence overlooked Does not consider individual factors Developmental, attachment, personality, Does not address issue of heterogeneity Gender neutral data is discounted Dutton and Corvo, 2006, Ehrenshaft 2008

9 The Gender Issue Much disputed Affected by Ideology Sampling
Definitions Social constructions

10 The Gender Issue “including mutual aggression and female perpetrators under the umbrella of IPV implies that (a) this is a non-gendered phenomenon that affects the health and well-being of men/boys and women/girls similarly at the population level and (b) the etiology and nature of the behaviour are similar regardless of the perpetrator gender. Neither research nor practical external evidence supports such assumptions” Reed et al 2010, pg 349

11 The Gender Issue “Studies continue to be sponsored and produced in the United States that involve analysis and interpretations of IPV data that defy international consensus and substantial empirical data” (emphasis added) Reed et al 2010, pg 349

12 The Gender Issue “…Female violence to the extent to which it is acknowledged at all is deemed to be always self-defensive. These views persist despite survey data showing approximately equal levels of severe violence and injury by gender” (Dutton and Corvo 2006, pg 459)

13 The Gender Issue “[Psycho-educational models] eschew psychological treatment even of empirically established factors supporting habits of intimate abusiveness…..A one size fits all approach based on a contraindicated political model of male domination prevails” Dutton and Corvo 2006 pp 257, 259

14 Johnson Typology Coercive control Situational Violence
Duluth model type abuse (not nesc violent) Underlying core schema Situational Violence Toxic relationships Poor conflict resolution skills Violent resistance As as result of coercive control Mutual Control

15 Intimate partner offender typologies
Severity-frequency of violence Generally Violent Antisocial (GVA) Dysphoric/Borderline (DB) Low level Antisocial (LLA) Family only (FO) Psychopathology

16 Mandatory arrest and DV
“Stemming from the ideological assumption that domestic violence is entirely a political act, mandatory arrest has be perused as a necessary exercise of countervailing power, particularly necessary to overcome the putative patriarchal inclination that may influence police discretion” (Dutton and Corvo

17 Mandatory Arrest The issues Notion of driver of social change
Reaction to civil claims for failure to protect Re-balances power for victim Conflicts with victims desires Wants abuse to stop/attacker removed NOT Jail Financial hardship Shame of court proceedings Does it “work”

18 Mandatory Arrest Works through “deterrence theory”
Specific and general Conflicting evidence (Williams 2005) Those who are more “marginal” can show evidence of escalation of behaviour “Deterrence may be achieved only when potential perpetrators see arrest as having damaging consequences for their relationships with others” (Williams 2005) Individuals tend to respond differently Blanket policy may not help (Burton 2000)

19 An alternative lens? Focus not on prevention of offence but on prevention of harm Helping individual victims stay safe Policy of mandatory arrest conflicts with “help” seeking behaviour May result in increased risk of lethality (dependant upon measurement variable)

20 Concluding Remarks History and DV are intrinsically linked in the current theory literature Notion of Gender based nature of violence Willingness to incorporate other explanations Viewing DV as distinct from other forms of violence Application of mandatory arrest

21 Further information
Violence against Women Prevention Scotland Zero Tolerance trust

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