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  • Author or Editor: Charlotte Barlow x
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In December 2015, the criminal offence of coercive control was introduced in England and Wales. Occurring at a similar time was the increased widespread usage of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) in domestic abuse cases, with many UK based police forces and international jurisdictions, such as Australia and the US, encouraging their mandatory usage. Using empirical data gathered in one police force area in the south of England, this article examines the extent to which coercive control is able to be captured by BWCs, exploring police officer and victim/survivor perceptions and experiences. The findings highlight concerns with the extent to which BWCs are able to capture the hidden nature of coercive control and the ways in which the footage could have unintended consequences for victim/survivors, particularly minoritised women.

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Few criminological studies have specifically set out to research responses to domestic abuse in rural communities. A small number of recent studies have arrived at the problem from a health and/or social geography perspective lending weight to the increasingly apparent significance of space and culture in rural domestic abuse. This article contributes to this research agenda, focusing on the ways in which police and other agencies respond to domestic abuse within the spatial context of rural England and victim-survivors’ experiences of such responses. The article outlines empirical work with a police partner based in the North of England. The study involved a case file analysis of police data and interviews with police officers, partner agency representatives and victim-survivors. We discuss the ways in which apparent heightened gendered conservatism and the ‘cloak of silence’ leads to difficulties in the identification of domestic abuse in rural communities and argue the importance of engaging in holistic and multi-agency approaches when responding to domestic abuse in remote and inaccessible rural communities.

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This article presents empirical findings from a British Academy funded project concerned to explore victim-survivor experiences of domestic violence disclosure schemes (DVDS) in the UK. In so doing it draws on the concept of responsibilisation as one way of making sense of the experiences reported. It goes on to suggest a note of caution for the development of these schemes in other jurisdictions, since the failure to take account of victim-survivor voices in relation to DVDS in the UK has contributed to such schemes rendering victim-survivors responsible.

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