A restorative approach to intimate partner violence
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A Restorative Approach to Intimate Partner Violence. Anne Hayden PhD. Introduction: The dilemma.

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A Restorative Approach to Intimate Partner Violence

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A restorative approach to intimate partner violence

A Restorative Approach to Intimate Partner Violence

Anne Hayden PhD


Introduction the dilemma

Introduction: The dilemma

My impression is that, mostly, women call the cops because they want the violence to stop right now. I don’t think consideration of what criminal justice system processes might be invoked as a result of dialling 111 figures much in their decision-making. In fact I think there is a serious lack of knowledge about what the system will do ... particularly … for women calling [or contemplating calling] the cops the first time. … There are two main impediments to calling the cops. One is shame. The other is fear that things will be made worse, specifically that they will be subject to payback. It is difficult to see how the availability of RJ will make a blind bit of difference to either.


Qualifications

QUalifications

  • Previous victim of IPV

  • Experienced in practice and academia in victim support and restorative justice

  • Activist – policy in both fields a.a. and women’s health (Herceptin campaign)


My motivations

My Motivations

  • IPV high, under-reported, often homicidal

  • Vs and Ps have few options

  • Scepticism re use of RJ for IPV

  • Need for empirical data

  • NZ Court-Referred RJ Pilot 2001

  • Vs & Ps to be heard


Definition of intimate partner violence

Definition of Intimate Partner Violence

Physical, sexual and/or psychological violence - dominance and subordination, intentional force, with or without the potential to cause death.

Physical violence - pain, injury, impairment or disease; sexual violence - forced, coerced or exploitative sexual behaviour or threats.

Psychological and emotional violence -causing anguish, fear, intimidation, harassment, damage to property, threats of physical or sexual violence, or deprivation of decision-making powers.


Ian s assessment

Ian’s Assessment

To me it is a mutual problem. It is not just one hitting on the other. Extreme cases ... maybe [of] one hitting on the other. But often it is not. It is a conflict which reflects the power struggle between the male and female. The man’s reaction, usually, is to get a bit physical. The female's tactic is usually a lot more subtle. But it's the actual issue. And simply to deal with one part of that conflict and to demonise one half of that conflict, is not dealing with the issue, with the fundamentals.


Heeni s experience

Heeni’s Experience

  • There’s always been threats. “I’ll kill you, cut you up, stab you.” All of that. It’s all there … At the time you get told, “I’ll poke you full of holes … [I]n the back of your mind you know he’s capable of it … because knowing his history in his gang, it’s like, “Yeah, you’re capable of doing it” … I could even be put in the boot and taken somewhere. I know that’s possible because he carries a knife with him and has access to guns.


Definition of restorative justice

Definition of Restorative Justice

  • RJ is a process that addresses the aftermath of wrongdoing, where priority is placed on victim empowerment and perpetrator accountability, and may involve reparation and/or reconciliation.


Potential of restorative justice according to a victim advocate

Potential of Restorative Justice according to a victim advocate

[Restorative justice] would be really helpful for people who were staying together to make sure it doesn't happen again, but also for those who are not. This is especially for the children; adults make choices but children can't. Anything that makes kids safer and saner has to be good.


Research method and challenges

Research Method and Challenges

  • Interviews with victims and perpetrators of IPV and key informants

  • Observations of Domestic and Family Violence courts

  • Keeping a journal

  • Gatekeeping

  • My health & eyesight


Findings

Findings

  • 79% - RJ use would increase reporting

  • No one excluded its use

  • Only 1 of 4 Vs who reported was satisfied with NZ Police response

  • Data showed reporting needed to be reconceptualised

  • Power (positive and negative) was used by Vs & Ps

  • Reasons for non-reporting –

    • Fears

    • Shame

    • Non-recognition of IPV

    • Isolated incident

    • Police and/or CJS response


Power

Power

Analysis of power in intimate relationships as:

  • Micro power – personal and relational

  • Macro power – institutional

  • Examples

    • Positive personal power – depositing docs in safekeeping

    • Positive relational power – becoming a stopping violence group leader

    • Positive macro power – reporting to police

    • Negative macro power – making false allegations to police


Examples of power

Examples of Power

  • I recall picking up all my important documents and taking them to a friend’s house for safe keeping in case things went pear-shaped, but that was a year before anything [started to get physically abusive], see there was actually plenty of time to ... put some money aside, hide things from your partner … you set yourself up for the ... safety zone. (victim)


Power cont d

Power cont’d

  • And I felt SO in control, I was absolutely so removed from him and there was no emotion left in me. I didn’t feel like crying, I didn’t feel like getting upset or shouting, I was so calm and I think it unnerved him a little bit because he was used to being in control and now I was totally in control and absolutely pulling the strings. Because he always said it would be his decision if the relationship ended. And I was making the decision that it was finishing. (victim)


Power negative

Power (negative)

  • If I’d reported it and gone on living there it would have been absolute hell. Um, ‘cos what could they have done? What could the police have done when there wasn’t, there were threats, there was the odd kick or punch, but you know, but there was nothing they could have done really. (victim)


Reporting reconceptualised

Reporting Reconceptualised

  • Initially – reporting to police

  • Reporting reconceptualised to:

    • Close family or friend

    • Acquaintance, colleague, employer

    • Compelled to report when questioned, observed by counsellor, school teacher, health provider

    • Voluntary report to support group, Women’s Refuge, clinic

    • Police by V, P or other

  • Each can produce a safety plan


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Vs & Ps distrustful of CJS

  • More choices enable earlier intervention

  • Relationships important

  • Emotional and contextual issues not addressed in CJS, but can be in RJ

  • RJ offered more potential benefits than CJS alone.


New publication

New Publication

  • A Restorative Approach to Family Violence: Changing Tack

  • Eds: Anne Hayden, Loraine Gelsthorpe, VeneziaKingi and Allison Morris

  • Ashgate, England

  • ISBN 978-1-4724-1230-0

  • For publication mid July 2014

  • To order, email me at: [email protected]


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