Agency Response to Female Victims of Domestic Violence: The British Approach
Criminal justice studies
Domestic violence is often referred to as an 'invisible crime' and is an epidemic of global proportions. It occurs irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity, sexuality, age, or disability. It has devastating physical, emotional, financial, and social effects on women, children, families, and communities around the world. The economic cost to society is also immense. Traditionally, like most countries, Britain ignored the problem of domestic violence. However, in recent years the government
... s the government has passed a series of legislation, strategies, and policy initiatives to combat domestic violence. This paper examines how agencies respond to victims of domestic violence (including ethnic minorities). 1 The first part of this paper focuses on legislative and policy responses to domestic violence in Britain and the second part presents qualitative data from interviews with statutory and voluntary sector personnel in Coventry and London. Any attempt to assess and respond to future policies and initiatives will depend on the definition of domestic abuse. The term 'domestic violence' is used to describe violent acts that occur in domestic settings and includes spouse abuse, any form of child abuse or abuse of other family members, and even abuse involving (in the case of Western societies) same sex relationships. However, it is male violence against women in intimate relationships that has dominated the discussion on domestic violence. Thus the term domestic violence implies a relational dimension: the man is known to the woman and is currently or has formerly been in a relationship with her.