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Agency Response to Female Victims of Domestic Violence: The British Approach

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 19 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2006 Pages: 45-60
Janice Joseph
Date Published
March 2006
16 pages
This study examined how agencies in Britain respond to victims of domestic violence.
Overall, the results indicate that services for victims of domestic violence in Britain are inadequate due to a lack of human and material resources and because interagency services are not well coordinated. Moreover, evidence suggests that the ethnic minority populations in Britain experience a disproportionate amount of domestic violence yet there is no specific outreach or services for these victims. The author recommends the establishment of more specialist services for minority victims and a four-fold strategy for domestic violence response that incorporates a focus on the multiple causes of the domestic violence, empowers women, provides services to victims, and punishes perpetrators. In addition to examining specific agency responses to victims of domestic violence, the author reviewed recent legislative and policy changes in Britain that impact victims of domestic violence. In particular, the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill 2004 made common assault an arrestable offense and established a register for domestic violence offenders and in 1995 the British Government encouraged a coordinated, multi-agency approach to domestic violence. Changes in police policies regarding the response to domestic violence victims and offenders are also reviewed and include directions to officers to immediately secure the protection of the victims and any children. Research methodology involved in-depth interviews with 16 professionals from 10 statutory and voluntary agencies and a review of agency annual reports and brochures. Future research should focus on how to prevent the domestic violence victimization of minority women in Britain. Notes, references