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Development of indicators and official statistics of gender-based violence. Sylvia Walby Lancaster University. Introduction. Focus: Indicators and statistics on gender-based violence Just a sub-set of information needs What are the priorities?

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Development of indicators and official statistics of gender based violence

Development of indicators and official statistics of gender-based violence

Sylvia Walby

Lancaster University


  • Focus: Indicators and statistics on gender-based violence

    • Just a sub-set of information needs

  • What are the priorities?

  • Contributions of academics, government statisticians, policy makers, NGOs.

National surveys
National surveys

  • Development of large scale national surveys in many countries

  • Many methodological refinements

    • Self-completion, wider range, new scaling

  • Interest in developing comparable national findings through surveys:

    • UN, EU, IVAWS

  • What priorities? Next steps?

Domestic violence sexual assault and stalking findings from british crime survey
Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking: Findings from British Crime Survey

  • BCS: under continual development

  • BCS self-completion module, 2001

    • 22,463 sample

    • Self-completion: computer turned to respondent to read and respond confidentially

    • Included domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking

    • Questions to both men and women

Bcs self completion methodology
BCS Self-completion methodology from British Crime Survey

  • Comparing prevalence rate

    • Face-to-face interviewing

    • Self completion

  • Narrow definition DV (non-sexual, no threats)

    • face-to-face interviewing: 0.6%

    • self completion: 2.8%

  • Prevalence five times higher using self-completion methodology than face-to-face interviewing

Comparing definitions in bcs self complete
Comparing definitions from British Crime Survey in BCS self-complete

  • DV Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS):

    • types of actions (e.g. slapped, kicked, choked)

    • frequency of incidents

  • Sexual assault and stalking

  • DV Injuries

    • Whether injured and how seriously

  • Whether victim/survivor saw it as DV

  • Whether victim/survivor saw it as a ‘crime’

Cts and prevalence findings
CTS and prevalence findings from British Crime Survey

  • CTS Prevalence (in the last year)

    • Domestic abuse, threats or force: 5%

    • Domestic threats or force: 4%

    • Domestic force: 3%

  • Beyond CTS

    • Rape or assault by penetration: women: 0.5%

      • 54% of rape by intimate (including former)

Injuries from British Crime Survey

  • Injuries

    • Whether women injured in worst incident last year:

    • Some injury: 72%

      • No injury 28%

      • Minor injury 46%

      • Moderate injury 20%

      • Severe injury 6%

Victim survivors views
Victim/survivors’ views from British Crime Survey

  • Whether female victim/survivor saw it as DV

    • One incident, 56%; 4 or more times, 95% (last year)

  • Whether female victim/survivor saw it as a ‘crime’:

    • One incident, 24%; 4 or more, 66% (last year)

    • Injury: none 15%; minor 53%; severe 87% (lifetime)

Why indicators
Why Indicators? from British Crime Survey

  • Simplify and abstract from complex data

  • Relevant to policy making and assessment

  • Provide a clear focus to measure change

    • National Plan; Performance indicators; Public Service Agreements for Comprehensive Spending Review

  • Enable international comparisons

  • Provide a different contribution than complex statistics, qualitative data, personal accounts.

  • Depend on large population surveys

Productive tension between specificity and mainstreaming
Productive tension between from British Crime Surveyspecificity and mainstreaming

  • Specific nature of gender-based violence and detailed appreciation of distinctive nuances?

  • AND/OR

  • More general categories that facilitate addressing priorities within the mainstream, including crime?

Types of indicators
Types of indicators from British Crime Survey

  • Outcome

    • The amount of gender based violence

  • Policy development and implementation

    • Identifying extent to which policy is implemented on the ground

Definitions from British Crime Survey

  • Gender-based violence – UN

  • Domestic violence – HO?

  • Violence against women - WNC

  • Range of Actions

    • domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, FGM, forced marriage, ‘honour’ crimes, trafficking . . .

  • Range of Perpetrators

    • Partner, domestic non-partner, non-domestic?

Outcome indicators
Outcome indicators from British Crime Survey

  • Home Office (2004) DV plan:

    • Domestic homicide

      • Robust, but small proportion of dv

    • Prevalence

      • Rate of domestic violence in the population

        • ‘headcount’

Prevalence is it the best indicator
Prevalence: Is it the best indicator? from British Crime Survey

  • Advantages

    • Uses concept of DV as a ‘course of conduct’

    • Conventional measure among DV experts

  • Disadvantages

    • Hard to translate into crime statistics, which are based on number of ‘incidents’

    • Does not contain measure of severity

    • Specialised, not mainstream, indicator

Severity of gender based violence and crime statistics
Severity of gender-based violence from British Crime Surveyand crime statistics

  • Frequency/Incidents

    • Crimes are counted as incidents

    • If dv/gender based violence is to be mainstreamed into crime statistics there needs to be an incident count

  • Injuries

    • Violent crime categories are differentiated primarily by injury level, though also intent

    • To mainstream, injuries need to be known for each incident

Prevalence incidents and gender
Prevalence, incidents and gender from British Crime Survey

  • Use of prevalence rather than incidents reduces the appearance of gender inequality in official statistics

  • Domestic violence prevalence:

    • 4% women, 2% men

  • Average no. incidents of domestic violence:

    • women 20, men 7

  • DV experienced as one incident only:

    • 28% women, 47% men

  • Total incidents DV:

    • 12.9 million against women, 2.4m men

  • Gender ratio prevalence: 2:1

  • Gender ratio incidents: 5:1

Prevalence and incidents
Prevalence and incidents from British Crime Survey

  • Prevalence use of ‘course of conduct’ might mean that a series of 20 incidents may count only as one crime, thereby underestimating the proportion of violent crime that is dv/gender-based violence

  • Prevalence: single events count, thereby skewing the gender composition towards image of symmetry

Injuries acts and the cts
Injuries, Acts, and the CTS from British Crime Survey

  • Conflict Tactics Scale uses ‘actions’ as severity measure

  • Crime Statistics use predominantly ‘injuries’ as severity measure (though also intention)

  • Injuries are more gender asymmetrical than actions

    • Minor force (e.g. slap): 49% women 36% men sustain physical injury

    • Severe force (e.g. choke, weapon): 77% women 56% men sustain physical injury

  • CTS suggests lesser gender inequality than crime categories

  • CTS does not usually include sexual assault

Crime categories for indicators
Crime categories for indicators? from British Crime Survey

  • Crime categories:

    • Use incidents to measure extent

    • Use (primarily) injuries to measure severity

  • Advantages:

    • Mainstreams

    • Show gender dimensions of DV more effectively than CTS and prevalence

Data needs
Data needs? from British Crime Survey

  • Prevalence

  • AND Crime based definitions of incidents, using injuries not acts

  • DV to include full range of actions, including domestic sexual assaults

  • Gender-based violence category to include DV, non-domestic sexual assaults, FGM, ‘honour’ crimes

Implications for british crime survey
Implications for British Crime Survey from British Crime Survey

  • Self-completion important innovation

  • Both prevalence and incidents

  • Collect data additionally within crime categories

    • Name wider range of forms of gender based violence e.g. FGM

    • Collect data on each incident (not worst or last)

    • Injury (and intent)

    • ‘Victim forms’ to be completed on each incident

    • Increase maximum no. forms for each respondent

  • Findings to be integrated into crime count

  • Number of BCS violent crimes will rise

  • DV will appear as a higher % of BCS violent crime

Policy performance
Policy Performance from British Crime Survey

  • Ministries and agencies have roles in reduction of gender-based violence

    • Criminal justice system

    • Health

    • Local authorities

    • Housing and refuges

    • Social services

    • Civil legal services

  • Few have the evidence to assess their performance, rarely knowing how much their services are used for DV

    • Reviewed in Cost of Domestic Violence

Service indicators
Service indicators from British Crime Survey

  • What do we need to know?

    • What outcome and policy indicators?

  • Local authorities

    • New best value indicator includes DV

Health developments in recording measuring
Health developments in recording/measuring from British Crime Survey

  • Screening and diagnostic codes

  • Screening dilemmas

    • Screen when referrals not ready?

    • BCS:

      • Asked cause of injuries: 94%

      • Disclosed cause of injuries: 74%

      • Referred to anyone else: 26%

  • Diagnostic code for DV

    • Primary not secondary code: under development

      • E.g. primary DV; secondary broken wrist

Criminal justice system cjs recorded crimes criminal statistics
Criminal Justice System (CJS): recorded crimes, criminal statistics

  • Policy change in CJS and its implications

  • Attrition rate for rape high and rising (Kelly et al)

    • Conviction rate for reported rapes, 5.6% in 2002

  • Recognised need for ‘DV attrition’ rate (HO DV Nat Plan)

    • Rate of reporting to police (compare BCS rate with reported crimes)

    • Recording of reports by police (‘recorded crime’ or ‘domestic incident’)

    • Detection

    • Arrest (currently sole performance measure)

    • Prosecution

    • Completed court case

    • Conviction (criminal statistics)

Ho objectives for reducing attrition of dv in cjs in national plan 2004
HO Objectives for reducing attrition of DV in CJS in National Plan 2004

  • Objective 4. Increase the rate at which domestic violence is reported . . . to the police . .

    • BUT No record of number of recorded crimes by police in official statistics for DV

  • Objective 5. Increase the rate at which domestic violence incidents result in sanction/detections . . .

    • BUT No record of DV detections/sanctions in official statistics

  • Objective 6. Increase the rate at which sanction detections are converted into offences/offenders brought to justice .

    • BUT No record of DV criminal convictions in criminal statistics

Cjs data requirements
CJS data requirements National Plan 2004

  • No recorded crime statistics on domestic violence, since not a specific criminal offence

    • BUT arrest rates for DV are produced, so there is a record of crime by whether domestic; but not public

  • Recommend: relevant recorded crimes are cross-classified as domestic or not as key aspect of recorded crime and criminal statistics

    • Met did this in 1999 (cf Health diagnostic codes)

  • Otherwise impossible to track DV in CJS statistics to evaluate progress on HO objectives

Conclusions National Plan 2004

  • Much current development of statistical data and proposals for indicators

    • Nationally and internationally

    • BCS 2001 self-completion produced information on implications of different classifications

  • BCS: further development of outcome indicators

    • Mainstream into crime categories, as well as for specific needs

    • Numbers of incidents and injuries for each, as well as prevalence

    • Both DV and wider range of gender-based violence

  • International standards for EU and global comparisons?

  • Recorded crime and criminal statistics:

    • cross-classify violent crimes by domestic

  • Further development of public services performance indicators