Journal of Gender-Based Violence's Most Read Articles

Read the Journal of Gender-Based Violence's top 5 most downloaded articles published in 2022. 

Journal of Gender-Based Violence Most Read Articles

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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.

Open access

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.

Open access

This article investigates the police response to intimate partner violence (IPV) during the first lockdown in England (23 March–30 June 2020), a time when more people were confined to their homes and rates of IPV increased globally (). Having gained access to data for domestic abuse-flagged incidents from a south-eastern police force, this research compares quantitative data for 6808 incidents during the first lockdown in England with 6408 incidents during the equivalent 2019 timeframe. Quantitative analysis was conducted by comparing descriptive statistics and chi-squared testing.

This study finds that age distribution changed for victims and suspects, with IPV decreasing among younger age groups and increasing within older age categories. Shifts occurred in the categorisation of IPV crimes with an increase in crimes that can be committed remotely, most notably stalking and malicious communications. Additionally, the risk level differed for IPV incidents, with a reduction in incidents recorded as medium- and high-risk. Whereas, standard-risk incidents rose substantially, causing a change in the distribution of risk levels across reported incidents. This shift was reflected in fewer arrests, except among higher-risk incidents which maintained higher arrest rates. Official outcomes similarly decreased, with fewer court disposals and more simple cautions.

Open access

Times of crisis are associated with increased violence against women, often with reduced access to support services. COVID-19 is no exception with public health control measures restricting people’s movements and confining many women and children to homes with their abusers. Recognising the safety risks posed by lockdowns the United Nations declared violence against women ‘the shadow pandemic’ in April 2020. In the Australian state of Victoria, residents spent over a third of 2020 in strict lockdown. Based on an online survey of 166 Victorian practitioners between April and May 2020 using rating scales and open-ended questions, our study revealed that women’s experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) intensified during lockdown. COVID-19 restrictions created new barriers to help-seeking and necessitated the rapid transition to remote service delivery models during a time of heightened risk. This article provides insights into how practitioners innovated and adapted their practices to provide continued support during a high demand. Our study exposed the significant toll responding to IPV during the pandemic is having on practitioners. We explore the impact of remote service delivery on practitioner mental health and wellbeing and the quality of care provided.

Open access

This article presents empirical findings from a research study conducted by Women’s Aid Federation England and Queen Mary University of London looking at domestic abuse and the family courts. The study found that allegations of parental alienation were frequently being used during child arrangements proceedings to obscure and undermine allegations of domestic abuse. These findings are presented against a backdrop of a recent revival of ideas around alienation in the family court in England and Wales. The article highlights a growing body of evidence demonstrating the gendered assumptions underlying parental alienation as a concept, and argues that the concept should not be accepted without analysis and understanding of the harmful impact it has on survivors of domestic abuse and their children.

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