Criminology

Our growing Criminology list takes a critical stance and features boundary-pushing work with innovative, research-led publications.  

A particular focus of the list are books that engage with our global social challenges, both on a local and international level. We aim to publish books in a wide range of formats that will have real impact and shape public discourse. 

Criminology

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This study aimed to assess the implementation of the KwaZulu-Natal 365 Days Policy Framework for the Eradication of Gender-Based Violence, particularly the Victim Support Programme, in the minority Indian community in Westcliff, Chatsworth in South Africa. A qualitative research design was adopted using Westcliff as a case study. Data was collected through interviews with the street-level bureaucrats directly implementing the Policy Framework and civil society organisations at the sub-national level. Data from beneficiaries was collected through an online survey and interviews with women from the community. All data was analysed through thematic analysis using the 7Cs of content, context, commitment, capacity, clients and coalitions, communication, and coordination. This study found that Indian women who are aware of the victim support find it mostly unhelpful. Reasons for not using the services included stigma and fear of further abuse. The overall finding is that an interplay of the intersecting dynamics of gender, race, culture and geography affects policy implementation at this level and poses a challenge for policy implementation if interventions are not context-specific. This study recommends that the Policy Framework ensures consultations at all of the lower levels and considers the context of the minority group of Indian Women in Westcliff for effective and efficient policy implementation on gender-based violence.

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Drawing on prisoners’ accounts, this article explores how mitigation strategies adopted to contain the spread of the virus in prison shaped their everyday prison life. The article, using Stauffer’s concept of ethical loneliness, sheds light on the different ways in which a sense of abandonment was experienced by 26 detained individuals interviewed in a prison in Northern Italy, with a focus on the role of the State regarding the measures implemented (and not implemented) and, on an everyday basis, those of the prison staff. Participants’ narratives tell us how, even during the dramatic emergency of the pandemic, prisoners were conceived as stigmatised and otherised individuals where the issue of security, far from being understood in terms of health protection, continued to take on repressive connotations.

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Since the 1970s, important struggles were won to improve the ‘publicness’ of gender-based violence (GBV) in Norway. Since 2000, the Ministry of Justice has coordinated policy work to combat GBV for the Norwegian government. In 2010, a Shelter Act made the provision of domestic violence shelters by local governments mandatory. This article turns to the question of how a public responsibility for GBV was established, and how dedicated public policy, legislation, funding, and services were subsequently realised. This article identifies the crucial actors, factors, and conditions that have had the greatest influence on agenda-setting, policy development and decision making in the policy cycle. Analysis is based on 22 interviews, policy analysis and previous Norwegian studies that have theorised about the success, how it came about, and the decisive factors in achieving change. Participants of this study were academics, activists, specialist service providers, politicians, lawyers, survivor-advocates, and political advisors. In exploring campaigning for change with participants, the study uncovered fault lines within gender equality and violence scholarship and public policy in Norway that may help explain why GBV is still commonplace. The article offers future directions for policy and research that reflect on these discursive exclusions and normative assumptions.

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Child- and adolescent-to-parent violence and abuse (CAPVA) has gained recognition over the past decade and, to an extent, gained momentum on the violence against women and girls (VAWG) policy agenda. However, CAPVA remains subordinate to the omnipresent problem of violence and abuse perpetrated by current and former intimate partners, as do responses to this often-hidden form of violence. This was especially apparent during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent social restrictions, when many parent victims of CAPVA faced a silent struggle of enforced proximity with their violent and/or abusive child alongside a significant drop in respite and means of support. In this article, we present research findings from a project conducted during the 2020 lockdown period in the UK, examining parents’ experiences of CAPVA and support during this period, as well as practitioners’ experiences of providing support. In addition to revealing that over two-thirds of parents reported an increase in CAPVA during the initial lockdown, our discussion highlights the need for sustained recognition and attention to be afforded to CAPVA, so that systematic, strategic, and evidence-based nationwide responses can be developed, including adequate risk assessment processes, safeguarding measures and support.

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The goal of this study is to identify the extent to which a set of risk factors from the ecological model are associated with intimate partner sexual violence victimisation in Mexico.

To achieve this goal, a structured additive probit model is applied to a dataset of 35,004 observations and 42 correlates.

Findings indicate that age at sexual initiation, women’s sexual and professional autonomy, and social connectedness are associated with their victimisation risks.

The findings provide evidence of factors that were previously unknown in Mexico or were solely based on theory but lacking empirical analysis. There are four key contributions. First, findings indicate that factors closer to the individual, such as personal experiences and interpersonal relationships, are more influential in explaining the women’s risks of IPSV victimisation. Second, significant factors were identified, including age at first sexual intercourse, autonomy in sexual and professional decision-making, and social networks. Third, it was possible to identify high-risk population subgroups that are often overlooked, such as women who had their sexual initiation during childhood. Finally, the introduction of some emerging indicators allowed for the examination of the experiences faced by women in various aspects of life, such as decision-making power and social networks.

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Children’s agency and resilience within situations of domestic abuse has been the focus of recent research, with an emphasis on children’s voices to inform knowledge. This has been underpinned by a move away from the witness model of domestic abuse. This article contributes to this growing understanding of how children react, respond, and interact when living with domestic abuse.

Qualitative interviews were completed with 16 relevant professionals, and 13 adult survivors of childhood domestic abuse. The research overall was conducted through the lens of the home to provide enhanced insight into day-to-day experiences of domestic abuse. Factors associated with resilience were part of an initial research question, whereas agency emerged as a strong theme through the analysis process.

This research has demonstrated that children engage in varying degrees of agency or display behaviours associated with resilience to cope with situations of domestic abuse, prevent or stop escalation of abuse or as protection for themselves and others. This article argues that agency and resilience can occur in contexts where adults – both inside and outside the home – have not prevented children from experiencing domestic abuse and its impacts. This has been conceptualised as children operating in the context of a ‘vacuum of responsibility’.

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In response to evidence documenting the scale and impact of sexual violence (SV) and domestic abuse (DA) in universities, Universities UK (2016) recommend implementation of a UK based bystander programme, The Intervention Initiative (TII), as a key prevention strategy. However, a recent UK review (Gaffney et al, 2023) concluded that no studies have addressed implementation issues for university-based bystander programmes. Our study explored what is required for implementation of the TII in a UK university, rather than intervention effectiveness. The intervention was delivered to undergraduate students across three school cohorts: medicine, social work and sports coaching.

The study draws on pre- and post-intervention surveys to explore SV and DA knowledge, attitudes, and bystander skills. Focus groups or individual interviews with students (n=11) and staff facilitators (n=10) explored experiences of implementation, delivery and participation. Students reported positive changes across several areas and some evidence of immediate impact on behaviours, suggesting potential for wider implementation across university contexts. Barriers included professionalisation of the application of the bystander intervention, resistance to an underpinning gendered evidence base and a lack of diversity and relatability in programme materials.

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Violence against Women (VAW) is considered a gender-specific human rights violation and is a form of discrimination that perpetuates women’s subordination and patriarchal structures throughout all levels of society. Research continues to demonstrate that the legal instruments dealing with sexual offences in Bangladesh have significant limitations and fail to meet international standards. This article identifies gaps between Bangladeshi domestic legal instruments and international legal instruments. In order to uncover and analyse the gaps, I employed thematic analysis techniques and a feminist legal theoretical lens. The findings of the study show that there are significant gaps and limitations regarding the conceptualisation of sexual violence, trial process, medical tests, variability of punishment, and protecting rights of victims in the present Bangladeshi legal instruments in comparison to the international instruments. This research provides insight into the alarming situation of sexual violence against women in Bangladesh and the problematic gaps within legal instruments in that nation, which governmental and academic authorities must consider if they are to be effective in preventing violence against women in Bangladesh.

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Post-vaginal birth protocols frequently require women and other birthing persons to undergo rectal examinations. Protocols for these examinations, which we refer to as PVREs, vary widely, however, and there is a lack of agreement within the medical community concerning whether they are needed at all. This article explores women’s experience of PVREs in light of this ambiguity which, we argue, reflects and reproduces aspects of gendered power relations that are implicated in systemic sexual violence. We show that some women experience PVREs as sexual violence, the effects of which include guilt, self-blame, shame and sexual humiliation. Given its defining characteristics, we further argue that PVREs constitute a form of obstetric violence.

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The police, campus security, and post-secondary school officials continue to pose challenges to student survivors who require guidance and resources from their institutions after experiencing sexual violence. Recently, the provincial government of Ontario, Canada, mandated that all post-secondary institutions in Ontario adopt some form of a stand-alone sexual violence policy for their campuses. Yet, little is known about how post-secondary schools have implemented this mandate. This article explores the perspectives of individuals responsible for responding to sexual violence on campus through interviews with post-secondary school officials and police officers. We examine how they understood and discussed sexual violence responses on campus. More specifically, we examine whether these understandings draw on carceral or anti-carceral frameworks. Utilising a critical feminist anti-carceral approach, we explore ways that the current responses on campus to sexual violence are problematic.

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