The formation of a marriage is frequently conceptualised as one of the most intimate relationships that people enter into, predicated on particular assumptions of romantic love at the point of entry into the marriage. This article explores marriage practices associated with ‘love’ and ‘arranged’ marriages, frequently presented as polar opposites, with love marriages positioned as normative and arranged marriages as alien and other. It draws attention to non-traditional practices such as online dating and ‘mail-order’ marriages to disrupt dominant assumptions of romantic love and draws some parallels between these practices and those of arranged marriages. By doing so, the article not only acknowledges alternative trajectories to marriage, but also serves as a useful intervention to interrogate the hegemonic Euro-American constructions of intimate relationships.
There is a growing body of work on violence against women of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin who live in the UK. This study adds to this body of work by exploring the nature of sexual violence experienced by Nigerian women both in Nigeria and England. It draws upon in-depth narrative interviews conducted with 12 women of Nigerian origin who had experienced sexual violence. Women’s accounts were analysed thematically. The women described experiencing different, sometimes multiple forms of sexual violence over the life course including, sexual abuse and female genital mutilation (FGM) in childhood, sexual assaults, rape, sex trafficking and sexual violence from an intimate partner. Drawing upon a feminist-intersectional theoretical framework this article illuminates how: (1) the intersection of age, gender, poverty, cultural socialisation and religious practice could provide the conditions for the perpetration of child sexual abuse, (2) patriarchal ideologies relating to gendered roles and expectations support men’s notion of uncontested sexual access to women, (3) men’s need to exercise power and control could contribute to women’s experiences of rape, and (4) the intersection of FGM and gender continue to disempower women within heterosexual relationships.
In the context of high rates of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) during the pandemic, specialist DVA services have been required to adapt rapidly to continue to deliver essential support to women and children in both refuges and the community. This study examines service users’ experiences and views of DVA service provision under COVID-19 and discusses implications for future practice. Data are drawn from a wider evaluation of DVA services in five sites in England. Fifty-seven semi-structured interviews and five focus groups were conducted with 70 female survivors and seven children accessing DVA services during the pandemic. Analysis identified key themes in respect of the influence of COVID-19 on the experience of service delivery. COVID-19 restrictions had both positive and negative implications for service users. Remote support reduced face-to-face contact with services, but consistent communication counteracted isolation. Digital practices offered effective means of providing individual and group support, but there were concerns that not all children were able to access online support. Digital support offered convenience and control for survivors but could lack privacy and opportunities for relationship-building. The pivot to remote delivery suggests directions where DVA services can expand the range and nature of future service provision.
Increasing evidence documents domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and domestic homicide of adults killed by a relative in non-intimate partner relationships. Most literature focuses on intimate partner violence and homicide, yet non-intimate partner homicides form a substantial but neglected minority of domestic homicides. This article addresses this gap by presenting an analysis from 66 domestic homicide reviews (DHRs) in England and Wales where the victim and perpetrator were related, such as parent and adult child. Intimate partner homicides are excluded. These 66 DHRs were a sub-sample drawn from a larger study examining 317 DHRs in England and Wales.
The article contributes towards greater understanding of the prevalence, context and characteristics of adult family homicide (AFH). Analysis revealed five interlinked precursors to AFH: mental health and substance/alcohol misuse, criminal history, childhood trauma, economic factors and care dynamics. Findings indicate that, given their contact with both victims and perpetrators, criminal justice agencies, adult social care and health agencies, particularly mental health services, are ideally placed to identify important risk and contextual factors. Understanding of DVA needs to extend to include adult family violence. Risk assessments need to be cognisant of the complex dynamics of AFH and must consider social-structural and relational-contextual factors.