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Using Victims' Voices to Prevent Violence Against Women: A Critique

Duggan, Marian (2012) Using Victims' Voices to Prevent Violence Against Women: A Critique. British Journal of Community Justice, 10 (2). pp. 25-37. ISSN 1475-0279.

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Several changes to the UK criminal justice system have led to an increasing visibility and engagement with victims after decades of concentrating mainly on offenders. Victim-focused policies have advanced from homogenising responses to victims of crime through to appreciating the diversity in victims’ needs and wants, while also seeking to reduce or prevent future victimisation. However, several ‘victim-focused’ crime prevention policies are paradoxically dependent on the creation of a victim in the first place. This paper considers this contradiction in relation to two recent Coalition Government proposals. Both the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and plans to criminalise stalking behaviours rely upon victimisation already having taken place. The paper argues that these supposedly ‘preventative’ proposals are in fact responsive and problematic as their implementation relies upon the creation of victims. Furthermore, it suggests that rather than effectively preventing abuse, victims’ voices are instead being used to enhance and expand legislation. The paper suggests that criminal justice policies alone are unable to prevent violence against women and that more engagement needs to occur outside of the criminal justice arena.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: victimisation, harm, justice, gender, policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Marian Duggan
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2014 11:48 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Duggan, Marian:
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