Flashcards in DV and HBV seminar Deck (17):
What is ‘domestic violence’?
How is it defined by government and criminal justice agencies?
How is it ‘defined’ in the law?
• Home Office definition 2000: “Domestic violence is any violence between current or former partners in an intimate relationship wherever and whenever it occurs. May be physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse”
• Women’s Aid definition: “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse, between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality”
There is no legal definition, so cannot be charged with specifically DV violence
Why are there sociological differences with DV and common assault?
• There are sociological distinctions between non-domestic assault and domestic assault. There is a difference in the nature, and the response of the victims, with domestic violence.
What is secondary victimisation?
• Secondary victimisation can occur within the prosecution process. This is common with crimes where the offender and victim are known to one another or there is an opportunity for witnesses to be intimidated. With domestic violence, prosecution can cause the victim to be subjected to further victimisation as punishment from the offender, for example there may be monetary, economic penalties, or future violent assaults. Therefore it could be argued that prosecution could be counter-productive when it comes to preventing and stopping domestic violence.
What are the components of DV?
- controlling behaviour and emotional abuse (often precedes physical abuse, and goes on longer)
- if perpetrator feels threatened then they often resort to violence to regain control
- financial control
- stopping victim contacting their family
- extremely jealous behaviour
- scrutinise victims actions
- threats to hurt children/pets
- making the victim feel trapped
- damage their confidence so they feel like they cannot leave
- victims have the desire to escape but no support network to help them
What is the anti-arrest position?
Historically the family household was seen as behind closed doors and that it anything within the home is a ‘family matter’ and not one that concerns the police. Domestic violence cases were seen as ‘garbage work’. In the eventuality that the police were called they were told to not make arrests or make any kind of formal intervention, but mediate the situation and separate the two parties. At this point there was a large amount of police discretion and a lack of any standardised formal policy response to domestic crime
What is the victim-choice position? and critique
1990s onwards there was a push for the police to treat domestic crime the same as non-domestic crime. In policing, the arrest and prosecution of offenders was down to the victim’s choice. However, due to the nature of the offence, a large number of the victims chose to take no further action, therefore domestic crimes were hardly ever prevented or investigated to the extent a non-domestic crime would be. However, this approach is criticised for not helping women make the ‘right’ choice, and it also assumes that these victims have free choice
What is the pro-arrest policy? And what are the 4 assumptions this position is based on/root within it?
1993 onwards, there has been a new intervention that all domestic crimes reported will end in arrest and a pro-prosecution to reduce the rates of offending. This is centred round the idea that by removing some victim choice, it will help victims come forward and break out of their abusive relationship, and that this policy is the best thing for victims. However, this is criticised for being naïve as it does not consider the “situational context of that violence”. This approach makes several questionable assumptions: 1) Taking away the choice of victims protects them from reactionary violence from the offender as the police are the ones pursuing it. 2) Symbolic message of arresting and prosecuting domestic offenders as an ‘unacceptable’ ‘crime’. 3) CJS is responsible for and can deter crime. 4) The choice not to cooperate with the police by victims is not true/invalid/illegitimate and therefore are contrary to the interests of the victim
What is the victim empowerment model?
To end violence, the relationship needs to end, and for this to happen the victims need to be empowered to end their abusive relationship. Victims need to be empowered and have a strong sense that they are being supported at every step of the way to be able to get through a prosecution. There should also be a multi-agency approach that doesn’t just push for criminal prosecution, but look at all the different things that might be more beneficial and desired by the victim.
What factors influenced the changes in police response from the anti-arrest position?
1. The women’s liberation movement brought media attention to domestic violence and created the first all-female refuge.
2. New laws mean that victims must be provided with equal opportunities despite their gender, and there have been huge court cases where the police have been sued where this has not been the case
3. More and more criminological research into domestic violence has implicated the way we police and respond to domestic crime
What position on DV do we have at the moment?
What role should victim choice be for DV victims?
- • Arrest shouldn’t be compulsory, but women can choose to arrest and prosecute if they wish too, but there should be a huge amount of available support for the victims, and access to support and assistance with matters such as divorce, child arrangements, civil remedies, prosecutions, etc.
- • Pro-arrest policy should be in place as it allows the women to have some time and space to decide what action they want to take next.
- The offenders when released should be bailed on certain appropriate terms and conditions. In this period of bail, victims should be supported by and assisted by DVOs in order to use the bail time ‘constructively’
- . This DVO support needs to be quick, as evidence shows that repeat victimisation of domestic violence occurs typically 11 days following the initial incident. The victim and DVO need to clearly discuss the “victims needs and desires in relation to the violence, the relationship and ancillary matters”
What are the key differences between HBV and DV from a policing perspective? (8)
1. police involvement brings more shame on HBV victims, therefore even more scared to report
2. With HBV cases, family and community members are more likely to give false statements and false alibis in order to protect the ‘honour’. This makes it more difficult to arrest and prosecution as there may be a lack of substantial evidence
3. A participant from the Bristol University Study said that they felt the only good evidence for HBV would be murder or kidnapping, which is more common with HBV
4. international aspect where some victims experience threats from their families and communities from where they had lived previously
5. cultural differences such as lack of knowledge about the UK police service and laws, and language barriers
6. Immigration issues such as abuse linked to destroying passports and concerns about their uncertain immigrant status, and Some Ps said their visa was a ‘partner visa’ so they were threatened that if they said anything they would be sent back to their original home country.
7. In HBV compared to domestic violence, there is often more than one offender. There is either multiple offenders from the family or the community, or multiple people who do not help/turn a blind eye, condone the behaviour, and so on.
8. lack of reporting (some wont because they feel like they will look like their making it up to get a visa)
What are the key challenges to policing HBV? (8)
1. • To make the victims feel fully supported. The University of Bristol HBV study found that women felt that police dealt with the problem well at the time, but felt their overall experience was not as great (only 9% of Ps were happy with their overall experience). The victims felt the police role was to just remove the women from the situation and then withdraw, not any ongoing and longer term safety measures. This sense of support can be provided by having a dedicated and knowledgeable about the family and the case officer, instead of having multiple officers and having to re-explain the situation
2. After reporting to the police, HBV victims often feel more scared and heightened sense of vulnerability, and simply being housed separately from their family or community caused more problems, such as worries about money, being able to pay for the accommodation and feelings of isolated and being at risk. Some Ps said it was similar to being under house arrest.
3. insecure immigration status, unfamiliarity with the UK and language barriers, which strengthens the grip of the perpetrator, whilst creates a bigger divide between the victim and the police.
4. Police in the UK may not understand the dynamics of ‘honour’ and why it is so important
5. Police also need to consider that there is more than one offender a lot of the time. It can involve more than one family member, and even whole communities. And in turn, to what extent are over parties involved, and how maybe they are implicated within the abuse.
6. culturally insensitive and not understanding ethnic minorities cultural customs.
7. International element: may have threats coming from across borders, threats of losing citizenship/deported to original country and so forth
8. Due to the high levels of community, collaboration and networks within these communities, it makes the victims more isolated. more difficult to arrest and prosecution as there may be a lack of substantial evidence
What are some solutions to policing HBV? (4)
1. information and advice at UK boarders
2. wide spread prosecution of all involved
3. further police training in dealing with HBV
4. Adopting a multi-agency approach
What are the key problems with policing DV? (7)
1. indirect victims e.g. children
2. high victim statement withdrawal due to fear, or if calling was a heat of the moment thing
3. Police see DV cases as a waste of time, and reluctant to do DV cases
4. subjective charge as DV victim need to see it as DV
5. 'private crime', happens behind closed doors, so hard to detect
6. cop culture - machoism, conversativism and mission
7. the victims choice
What are some solutions to policing DV? (2)
1. more voluntary sector involvement - non-legal advice and alternatives to a CJ system - policing doesnt have to come from the police
2. pro-arrest and victim-empowerment models are best for deterence and also for the victim as they feel listened to and taken seriously which makes a more satisfactory experience