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Eradicating domestic violence: issues and barriers
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Presentation by Professor Dr. Marianne HESTER, Professor of Gender, Violence and International Policy at the Bristol University and Member of the Advisory Board of "Women Against Violence Europe" ...

Presentation by Professor Dr. Marianne HESTER, Professor of Gender, Violence and International Policy at the Bristol University and Member of the Advisory Board of "Women Against Violence Europe" (WAVE) on the occasion of the EESC conference on Eradicating domestic violence, 21 Sep 2012, Brussels

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Eradicating domestic violence: issues and barriers Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Eradicating domestic violence: issues and barriers Professor Dr. Marianne Hester
  • 2. Eradicating domestic violence• Reduction is possible• Eradication is difficult without eradicating gender based inequalities• Two key barriers to reduction – 1. resources 2. incoherent practice across sectors
  • 3. Working together is effective• From 1999 to 2010 domestic violence DECREASING in UK....due to combination of service input (DV victim intervention/support; criminal justice; multi-agency co-ordination).....combination of support for women and focus on male perpetrators decreases domestic violence
  • 4. Barrier 1 - resources• From 2010: austerity approach and decrease in domestic violence services – resulted in INCREASE in domestic violence
  • 5. Barrier 2 - incoherence• WAVE findings - Lack of comparative data across sectors and countries • Basic standard data required – criminal justice, health etc [PROTECT II]• Often different, separate, & contradictory ideas and practice approaches to • Domestic violence • Child protection • Child contact
  • 6. Different contexts – threeplanets Domestic violence: ADULTS Child protection: Child contact: CHILD PARENTS
  • 7. What happens on the DV planet?1. Refuges/shelters to enable women and children to escape from violent men2. Other support and advocacy services – mainly for women3. Criminalisation of domestic violence – making domestic violence a crime like any other violent crime4. Perpetrator programmes to challenge and change violent and abusive behaviour
  • 8. Domestic violence planet Domestic violence: considered a crime (civil and criminal law); range of support mainly violent male partner
  • 9. domestic violence and childprotection Domestic violence: considered a crime Child protection: (civil and criminal law); (public law) gendered - welfare approach; ADULT state intervention in abusive families; CHILD
  • 10. Separate development:Domestic violence – perceived asgendered, increasingly criminalisedChild abuse – perceived as familydysfunction, welfare approach with de-criminalisation
  • 11. Domestic violence as main context for child abuse• men’s violence to female partners is the most common context for child abuse;• male domestic violence perpetrators are more likely to be abusive to children and more extremely so;• the more severe the violence to a female partner, the more severe the abuse of children in the same context• children may experience multiple forms of abuse in the context of domestic violence.
  • 12. Mothers…• Expectation that woman will eventually leave or exclude the abuser.• Responsibility for protecting children is placed on mothers• Dynamics of gender violence ignored• ...mother ‘failure to protect’
  • 13. …and child contact? Child protection: (public law) welfare approach; state intervention in abusive families; mother seen as failing to protect Domestic violence: considered a crime(civil and criminal law); Child contact: range of support (private law); violent male partner negotiated or mediated outcome; good enough father
  • 14. In access/custody cases• Domestic violence not relevant – seen as in the past• Domestic violence not relevant – seen as issue related to parents
  • 15. Tension between right to know & right to safety:• emphasis on children’s right to know their two parents increase in (abusive) fathers’ rights• compromises children’s right to safety and protection• Undermines mothering and women’s safety
  • 16. Life beyond three planets? Child protection: (public law) welfare approach; state intervention in abusive families; mother seen as failing to protect Domestic violence: considered a crime(civil and criminal law); Child contact: range of support (private law); violent male partner negotiated or mediated outcome; good enough father
  • 17. ConclusionFor effective reduction and shift towards eradication of domestic violence requires:• Consistency and coherence of approach with common understanding of domestic violence• Co-operation by a range of agencies at senior and practitioner levels and with resources• Co-ordination of involvement and provision Need to bring the ‘three planets’ into line• Dealing with perpetrators, victims and children
  • 18. References• Hester, M. (2011) The three planet model – towards an understanding of contradictions in approaches to women and children’s safety in contexts of domestic violence. British Journal of Social Work. 41, 837–853.• Hester, M. & Westmarland, N. (2005) Tackling Domestic Violence: Effective Interventions and Approaches. Home Office Research Study 290, London: Home Office. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hors290.p