Wednesday 16th March 2016, 2-5pm (lunch from 1pm)
Institute of Advanced Studies, Palace Green, Durham University
Organised by Gender & Law at Durham (GLAD)
Using Law in Response to Domestic Abuse: Women’s Experiences
Professor Heather Douglas, University of Queensland, IAS Fellow 2015-2016
This paper reports on early findings from a longitudinal study (over three years) of women’s engagement with law as a response to domestic abuse. The aim of the project is to identify how, when, why and with what effect women from diverse backgrounds use legal processes to help them move towards abuse free lives and how engagement with law varies over time. So far 62 women have been recruited and interviewed with the assistance of a variety of community organisations and private lawyers in Brisbane Australia. Issues addressed in this paper include the interviewees’ reasons for their initial engagement with the legal system and the selection of particular legal pathways and their experience of these pathways.
Restorative Approaches and Domestic Abuse: pitfalls and possibilities
Professor Clare McGlynn and Professor Nicole Westmarland, Durham University
At a time when the police are said to be ‘overwhelmed’ by ‘staggering’ levels of domestic abuse, is there a role for restorative justice? Drawing on data we secured from police forces across the UK on their use of restorative justice in cases of domestic abuse, we analyse current practices in this area and consider any lessons to be learned. We also examine the potential risks in using restorative approaches, particularly in cases of intimate partner violence, as well as the possibilities for new ways to challenge domestic abuse and bring a sense of justice to survivors.
Examining ‘medium risk’ amongst female survivors of domestic abuse
Dr Clare Gunby and Dr Rebecca Barnes, Leicester University
Risk assessment is an integral part of police responses to domestic violence. To date, however, police response has prioritised those survivors identified as ‘high risk’ of domestic abuse. This has meant that those classed as ‘medium risk’ often slip through the intervention net, as well as the category remaining largely under-theorised. This paper discusses key findings from a process and outcome evaluation of an innovative support intervention in Nottinghamshire for women experiencing medium risk, repeat domestic abuse. In doing so, we examine what the medium risk category looks like, consider the challenges of working with this diverse group of survivors and consider what counts (and should count) as success when evaluating the intervention.
Karen Ingala Smith, @CountDeadWomen, PhD candidate Durham University
Dr Fiona Vera Gray, Leverhulme Research Fellow, Durham University
For further information, contact Clare.McGlynn@durham.ac.uk