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Specialist domestic and sexual violence and abuse support services routinely collect administrative data about victim-survivors’ experiences of violence, interventions, and individual- and service-level outcomes. When used effectively, such information has the potential to enhance understanding of patterns of violence in society and ensure that responses are evidence-based. However, the extent to which insights from specialist services’ administrative data can inform policy and practice on violence reduction is limited by three interrelated challenges: different approaches to the measurement of violence and abuse; the issue of disproportionate funding and capacity of services, and the practicalities of multi-agency working. This article contributes to a gap in knowledge by explicitly addressing the challenges of using such data. It is hoped that it will encourage further discussions into how services collect and use data, which would greatly enhance knowledge in this area. To gain a more accurate picture of violence and abuse, their consequent harms in society, and where resources and interventions should be targeted, it is vital that specialist services data is integrated with other sources of data on violence.

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The latest assault on Palestine by the Israeli occupation, beginning in early October 2023, marked another instance of colonial violence supported by the West. Through material, ideological and political support, Western political figures, media, intellectuals and civil society organisations have facilitated the decimation of Palestinian society, historically and currently. This intervention argues that Western intellectuals have an important task; to break with this history and collectively engage in crucial solidarity with the Palestinian cause of liberation from Israeli colonial occupation. By connecting and engaging with Palestinian movements and organisations at the forefront of the struggle, Western intellectuals should demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire, call for boycotting, divesting from Israeli universities and Western institutions complicit in the occupation, recognise the illegitimacy of Israeli settler colonialism, and build long-lasting relationships with Palestinian counterpart institutions.

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This article focuses on youth custody and the imprisonment of children. It applies an abolitionist, anti-carceral lens to exploring this injustice. In doing so the article critically explores the imprisonment of children and young people in England and Wales and the institutionalised violence to which these children are subject. It presents a case study of the youth secure estate, using document analysis focused on two recent reports of Werrington Young Offenders Institution, undertaken by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons in 2022. These reports are drawn upon to support the key critical arguments, concerning the imprisonment of children, presented within this article. Such arguments are centred on the failure of the state to afford legitimate safety and protection to children imprisoned in these institutions, and the deplorable role of the state in directly causing and perpetuating a range of harms against children, including ‘cultural, physical and institutionally structured violence’ (: 58). Finally, the article will present a framework for abolitionist alternatives to the imprisonment of children which will ultimately serve to ensure their safety and protection.

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This article examines the theft of migrant workers’ wages in England by their employers, drawing from original accounts and testimonies of a sample of workers employed between 2018 and 2023. It builds on and establishes new conceptual understandings of wage theft by examining it as a violent form of accumulation, with a range of logics and functions including those which are connected to labour processes and the management of labour forces. In making this argument, the article situates the theft of migrant workers’ wages – in this context at least – at the apex of at least three convergent dynamics: namely, the contours of immigration control and attacks on migrants’ rights, a reworking and undermining of regulatory structures relating to labour protections, and ongoing forms of labour market restructuring. As such, it suggests that these dynamics are structural; and furthermore, at a point where each of these policy trajectories is being aggressively pursued, they are intensifying. In dominant narratives wage theft is frequently depicted as something carried out by ‘rogue’ employers, at the margins of labour markets. But in contrast, this article suggests it must be understood as a structurally-situated component of contemporary political economy. Indeed, it is a core contention of the analysis that follows that movements to resist and tackle wage theft must acknowledge these broader connections and the broader political economy of which they are a part.

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Feminists disagree about how best to understand and respond to gendered violence. Disagreements can be due, among other things, to the diversity of feminist perspectives and modes of organisation, different socioeconomic and political contexts, and different conceptions of the state and community. In this article, we explore grassroots feminist discourses on gendered violence in Albania and Kosovo. The two countries have been heavily impacted by gendered violence, but they are also home to a significant grassroots feminist mobilisation. Starting from images and imagination that have characterised this mobilisation, by using the photo-elicitation method, we interview feminist activists and academics about the ways in which they understand and interpret gendered violence, and the strategies and interventions they deem most relevant in addressing it. We offer a contextualised critique of feminist discourses and responses to gendered violence, while highlighting the contradictions and tensions that exist in such discourses and practices.

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The aim of this research was to examine the relationship between surviving gender-based violence (GBV) and the long-term presence of clinical symptoms and psychological distress. This was a cross-sectional study of 105 women, 54 of whom had experienced GBV more than three years prior to the study. Participants ranged in age from 24 to 73 years old. They were assessed using a semi-structured interview, instruments to assess self-esteem, maladjustment, perceived stress, social support and resilience, and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III). Between-group differences and linear regression analyses were used to determine which variables had the greatest impact on the current psychological health status of women survivors of GBV. We found differences in levels of self-esteem, maladjustment, social support and perceived stress. There were also differences in most of the MCMI-III scales, indicating a pattern of depression and paranoid personality. Experiencing GBV in childhood was found to be predictive of increased pathology and emotional distress. Social support has been shown to be a protective factor for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. GBV should be treated as a distinct form of violence that requires specific treatment, rather than as just another form of interpersonal violence.

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In the context of on-going high rates of domestic abuse in England, the voluntary and community sector increasingly provides specialist domestic violence and abuse (DVA) services to support women in local community settings. This article discusses a qualitative evaluation of one programme, working to support females with mental health needs. A locally based support programme worked with women in one city in England over a two-year period; 34 service users, and eight professionals contributed to interviews and focus groups in support of the evaluation. Our framework analysis identified key themes using survivor voice in respect of the importance of trauma-informed support, adding to the evidence base about effective recovery work in the voluntary and community sector. The defining features of trauma-informed support, safety, trust, choice, collaboration and empowerment were evident in the service model, which led to positive outcomes for survivors who engaged with the programme. The model of provision discussed here is transferrable beyond the voluntary and community sector. Learning from the programme suggests that DVA services can focus on the mental health needs of survivors, using trauma-informed support to enhance recovery.

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This article seeks to understand the experiences of bystanders to domestic violence and abuse (DVA) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales. Globally, professionals voiced concern over the COVID-19 restrictions exacerbating conditions for DVA to occur. Yet evidence suggests this also increased opportunities for bystanders to become aware of DVA and take action against it. This mixed methods study consists of a quantitative online survey and follow-up interviews with survey respondents. Conducted in Wales, UK, during a national lockdown in 2021, this article reports on the experiences of 186 bystanders to DVA during the pandemic.

Results suggest that bystanders had increased opportunity to become aware of DVA due to the pandemic restrictions. Results support the bystander situational model whereby respondents have to become aware of the behaviour, recognise it as a problem, feel that they possess the correct skills, and have confidence in their skills, before they will take action. Having received bystander training was a significant predictor variable in bystanders taking action against DVA; this is an important finding that should be utilised to upskill general members of the community.

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Many women who are victims of domestic abuse also experience problematic substance use; yet there is a gap in knowledge concerning the interplay of both issues from the perspective of women. While some may use substances to cope with the impact of abuse, their use of substances can also be used against them by the perpetrator as a means of control. This narrative study seeks to reduce the gap in knowledge regarding women’s substance use and victimisation experiences by presenting findings from interviews with women who have experienced the co-occurring issues. Reflecting on the definition of coercive control, and exploring women’s narratives, this article demonstrates how perpetrators may use a woman’s substance use as justification to increase dependency, isolate them from sources of support, reduce their independence and regulate their everyday behaviour. This is an important finding, evidencing how substances are a tactic of coercive control. Conversely, the narratives also illustrate how women may use their substance use to be in control in an uncontrollable situation. Initial recommendations highlight the need to explore the nuance of experience among women with co-occurring substance use and domestic abuse, so that support is provided that is reflective of their lived experience.

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Evidence shows that blaming attitudes towards victims of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) are widespread, creating a social climate that condones this form of violence. The aim of the current study is to analyse the potential impact of multiple factors surrounding the scenario and some personal and attitudinal characteristics of the respondents on the responsibility attributed to victims and perpetrators of IPVAW. To achieve this, a factorial survey design in which each respondent (N = 1,007; 51.1% women) received a unique vignette describing a hypothetical case of IPVAW was implemented in an online survey conducted in Spain. We found that most respondents (78.9%) indicated that the victim was not at all responsible for her own victimisation, whereas 73.7 per cent indicated that the perpetrator was very responsible for his own behaviour. Our results also show the prominent role that attitudes, as opposed to many characteristics of the abuse, play in evaluations of victim blame (that is, sexist beliefs and acceptability of IPVAW). Our findings reveal some persistence of victim-blaming attitudes despite years of public awareness and education efforts in Spain.

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