Reducing the incidence of domestic violence and abuse

With domestic violence accounting for 10% of all UK crime, two of the institute's senior lecturers are undertaking doctoral research on the subject of domestic violence, which will consider how the police assess those who are at risk and will look at strategies to help reduce violence and abuse in the home. 

Interviewing those involved in domestic abuse

Angie Neville, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, is undertaking research on domestic violence for her PhD. Drawing on her experience as a former CID officer, Angie will interview male and female victims, experts in domestic violence, practitioners and perpetrators.

Although domestic abuse has been redefined to include coercive, non-physical behaviour —  often far more damaging than physical violence — the criminal justice system still takes physical violence more seriously than coercive behaviour.

Through her research Angie will be looking at:

  • how domestic violence can be prevented
  • the effectiveness of programmes to rehabilitate abusive behaviour
  • how the cycle of domestic violence can be broken (children who are exposed to such parental behaviour are far more likely to go on to become abusers themselves, resulting in cycles of abuse that can span several generations.)

To help combat domestic violence Angie would like to see mandatory education programmes to educate and inform about domestic violence, partly because some victims are not even aware that they are victims of domestic violence or that there is help available.

Examining how the Police assess risk in domestic abuse cases

When domestic violence and abuse results in murder, Tony Blockley, Derbyshire Constabulary’s former Head of Crime, is called in to investigate.

Tony works on a consultancy basis for the Community Safety Partnership, who have a statutory obligation, to investigate every domestic homicide. His investigations consider what lessons can be learned from each case to help reduce the risk of future incidents and to determine whether the death could have been predicted or otherwise prevented.

Tony, a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Investigation, is also studying for his PhD, which will focus on the assessment of risk in domestic violence and abuse cases. His research will draw heavily on his professional experience and his on-going investigative work. He will be looking at those who are deemed to be at risk and will consider how that risk is assessed.

The impact of this research

The impact of both Angie’s and Tony’s research will help to redefine the way that police services assess risk in the context of domestic violence and abuse. It will make recommendations about how these often unreported and unrecognised crimes can be reduced and help bring to an end the cycles of domestic abuse.

Logo for the International Policing and Justice Institute
Portrait of criminology lecturer Angie Neville
Tony Blockley, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Investigation