A report called ‘The Victim Journey’ investigating stalking and harassment has been published by Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn, Professor Erica Bowen and Professor Liz Gilchrist from the Centre for Violence Prevention at Worcester University. The work was commissioned by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate Constabulary and covers in-depth qualitative interviews with three themes: the nature of stalking and harassment disclosed by participants, the impact of stalking and harassment on the victims and the views and experiences of investigation by the police and where relevant the CPS.
The key messages from the report were that the nature of stalking has a significant impact on the physical, emotional and psychological well being of the victims. The majority of the participants had made major changes to their daily routines to avoid offenders. Half the women felt unsafe and many had installed security systems. The report concluded it is imperative for police to be given time to talk to victims about the impact of stalking and harassment.
Please follow the link to read the report in full here.
Dr Emma Watson Head for the Centre for Gender and Violence research has co-led a project that includes over 30 audio interviews with women describing domestic abuse. She says “Personal stories open a ‘window’ into real-life experiences, providing insight to others. We are extremely grateful to the women who chose to speak out about their experiences of domestic violence and abuse. Although speaking about these experiences can be difficult, the women wanted to help others in similar situations and to let friends, family and professionals know how best to help if they think a woman is being abused.’
The accounts document different types of abuse including physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse. The women are from a range of different cultural backgrounds and are aged between 20 – 62. Their accounts also focus on cohersive controlling behaviour and the importance of making a safety plan when preparing to leave abusive relationships.
Please find more information about this resource here.
This new report explores the police and CPS’s response to victims of stalking and harassment and provides recommendations for best practice. The introduction suggests that victim testimonies point to stalking affecting all ages and backgrounds in society. They found that stalking was often misunderstood by the police and the CPS and went unrecognised. The report suggests a single accepted definitions of stalking and harassment would help combat this problem leading the way for stalking specific powers to be used to search premises and seize evidence. The authors also identified that crime recording for these types of crimes are often inaccurate and this is important in terms of allocating police resources to decide where and how to allocate officers and how to spend local budgets. Another finding is that the police often do not see the bigger picture from the victims point of view, as they continue to record single events rather than looking at a pattern of offending behaviour.
You can view a copy of the report here.
A news study published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows there is a moderate reduction in alcohol admission and violent and sexual assaults as a result of local alcohol licensing laws. This study used an innovative methodology to test whether local licensing laws really did have an effect on crimes and alcohol admissions compared to control areas who did not have local alcohol licencing restrictive laws. The authors used Home Office licensing data (2007–2012) to identify (1) interventions: local areas where both a cumulative impact zone and increased licensing enforcement were introduced in 2011; and (2) controls: local areas with neither.
You can access a summary of the study and a PDF of the paper here.
Researchers in an Australian study have shown the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on long term health problems for women and their children using longitudinal data. They found this for all cohorts of the women recruited in the Australian Longitudinal study on Women’s health, the participants are made up of three birth cohorts (1973-78, 1946-1951 and 1921-26). For all cohorts, women who had lived with IPV were more likely to report poorer mental health, physical function and general health and higher levels of bodily pain.
The findings did show some generational differences for example younger women showed a reduction in health association with the onset of IPV which was not apparent for women in the older two groups.
The women were originally randomly selected from the Australian Medicare (i.e. national health insurer) database in 1996 and asked if they would participate in the longitudinal and health wellbeing survey.
Please find more information on the paper here.
As previously mentioned last week, a group of experts representing research, treatment and policy gathered in York. Their aim for the day was to try and take stock of what we already know and what needs to be done about Women and Drugs. The day was organised by Ian Hamilton and chaired by Sharon Grace from the University of York.
Ian Hamilton suggests there are two parallel problems with women and drugs: ‘first we know less about women’s use of drugs than men’s drug use. Secondly we need more women to be represented in research and senior academic positions related to this topic. By addressing both aspects we would not only improve our understanding of the issues women who use drugs face, but this could also improve the care and support we offer men in treatment.’
Please find interviews with key speakers at the York conference on women and substance use here these interviews discuss topics as diverse as women’s positions in academia and addictions, expectations for the day, discussion of gender based specific services, trauma informed care and stigma felt by female users and work on sleep and recovery.
The second week in June must be a busy week of DV conferences and events in the UK! If you are located further south in England perhaps this would be more convenient for you to attend. The conference will take place at London Metropolitan University on 6th June 9.30am – 1.30pm.
Information on the event and speakers can be accessed here. A map is also available and contact details to organise your attendance.
Hestia and London Metropolitan University are organising this event featuring two representatives from leading domestic abuse prevention organisations in the United States, the focus of the presentations is looking at the lessons learned from Community Coordinated Response (CCR) and perpetrator programmes.
CCR to domestic abuse originated in the early 1980s in Duluth, Minnesota with the twin aims of centering victim safety and holding male perpetrators to account. In 2014, Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), the city of Duluth and St. Louis County were awarded the “Gold Award” from the World Future Council and Inter-Parliamentary Union for the creation of the concept of a CCR.
The Duluth Model has become a ‘world travelling concept’, applied and adapted across different cultural contexts. In the UK, it is claimed as the basis of many of the multi-agency approaches that support victims of domestic abuse.
As previously mentioned Worcester University are planning a conference on 5 – 6th June 2017 hosted alongside the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA). There are still a few places left to attend this conference and if you are interested please contact Ester Dobston on either Tel: 01905 542711 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The aim of the conference is to further the understanding of evidence based practice through reflection on developments to date, and the future needs of children growing up within a context of violence. To this end the conference will host a number of keynote presentations and individual oral and poster presentations that will showcase regional, national and international research and practice innovations relating to childhood and violence and safeguarding within this context. The speakers attending have now been finalised.
A programme providing more detailed information on the speakers and presentations is available click Programme_NCSPVA17
A leaflet promoting the conference is available click NCSPVA Annual Conference 2017
We will be reporting back to you on the key discussions from this conference.
Leading experts in mental health and substance abuse are meeting at the University of York in June to discuss Women and Addictions. The latest figures show that one in 20 women in England and Wales has used drugs in the last year and additionally only one in 10 women who need treatment actually access drug services.
In a bid to rectify the lack of attention given to women and their specific needs, the University of York will bring together experts drawn from research, policy and treatment. Ian Hamilton (a lecturer in mental health in the Department of Health Sciences) believes that little is known about the hundreds of thousands of women who do not seek help and there are number of reasons why women do not access services. He says:
“Treatment settings can be daunting places for women to access as many women will have experienced domestic violence and treatment clinics are dominated by male patients,” he said.
“Despite the complex problems that women experience their specific needs and problems are routinely ignored in research and policy; for decades attention has focussed predominantly on the needs of men.”
He also suggests women were underrepresented at every level of scientific enquiry in the area and this is partly because senior academic journal editorials are predominantly men in the field of addiction.
The organisers have invited Dr Gail Gilchrist to speak at the Women and drugs event as they believe her seminal research on intimate partner violence has made a significant contribution to the understanding of the interplay between substance use and mental health. Dr Gilchrist is also able to provide an international perspective on the issues to be discussed as she has led research in Australia, South America and Europe.
The event will include live broadcasts and interviews with speakers and women who have experienced drug abuse.
The broadcasts can be viewed here
This can be followed on twitter via the hashtag – #womenanddrugs
‘What’s The Crack’, a new podcast that seeks to explore the research behind drug news stories, asked this week: What’s the link between intimate partner violence and substance use? As one of the key questions that drives the ADVANCE PROGRAMME, the project team here at King’s College London listened with intent. Speaking to Karen Baily, also a researcher at King’s, and drawing on the work of Dr Gail Gilchrist, the podcast astutely ‘discusses some of the myths, prevalence and patterns of behaviour that are associated with IPV as well as some of the issues facing those seeking treatment and help following an abusive relationship’.
Listen to the whole thing here: