Administrative Registries in for Violence against Women Presented by: Godfrey St. Bernard Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies The University of the West Indies St. Augustine TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. W.I. Regional Seminar to strengthen the use of administrative recordsto measure violence against women in the Caribbean ECLAC Port-of-Spain, 30 November-1st December 2010
What is Violence? • Violence is defined as follows: • The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation (Krug et al, 2002) • Also takes into account the outcomes of situations where power relationships are exercised to reflect neglect or evoke threat and/or intimidation
The Nature of Violent Episodes • Physical • Sexual • Psychological • Deprivation or Neglect (including financial deprivation and neglect)
The Nature of Violence • Violence can be immediate or latent and therefore not confined to injury, disability or death. The effects can last for years after the violent episode is committed
A Typology of Violence • Violence declared to be a leading public health problem in 1996 resolution of the World Health Assembly • Three broad categories of violence: • Self Directed Violence • Interpersonal Violence • Collective Violence
Shaping the Agenda for Domestic Violence • International fora • 1993 Conference on Human Rights • 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt • 1995 Women and Development Conference in Beijing, China • Reinforced the crisis that has emerged in the context of violence against women and domestic violence in primary group settings around the world.
Domestic Violence • Domestic violence is a phenomenon that is predicated upon “anomie” characterizing a social relationship between at least two individuals within a “domestic group” • Domestic violence as functional pre-requirement within social structures
Defining Domestic Violence • Any violence that takes place in or outside the home between family and household members or partners in existing or previous relationships. It can include mental/emotional, sexual and physical violence (James, 1997).
Defining Domestic Violence In the context of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia domestic violence is defined as follows: Any act of violence whether physical or verbal abuse perpetrated by a member of a household upon a member of a household which causes or is likely to cause physical, mental or emotional injury or harm to the abused party or other members of the household See Work by Clarke (2001)
Defining Domestic Violence However, the 1999 Domestic Violence Act in Trinidad and Tobago has offered a definition which is as follows: • Physical, sexual, emotional or psychological or financial abuse committed by a person against a spouse, child, any other person who is a member of the household or dependent. See Work by Clarke (2001)
Defining Violence Against Women • The United Nations 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defines violence against women as: Any act of gender–based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats to such acts, coercion and arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life
Conceptual Issues • Definitional Issues • Physical abuse is reflected in behaviour such as pushing, shoving, hitting, beating, torture and murder • Sexual abuse refers to any form of non-consensual sexual activity such as unwanted sexual fondling, rape and incest.
Conceptual Issues • Definitional Issues (Canadian National Action Plan 1993) • Emotional abuse which refers to a range of tactics to deflate an individual’s self confidence including insults, jeers and abusive language
Conceptual Issues • Definitional Issues (Canadian National Action Plan 1993 • It includes threats of physical violence or isolation, the deliberate withholding of emotional support and the control of all social relationships.
The Nature of Violence • Violence poses a burden on the following: • Individuals • Families • Communities • Health care systems • Violence can be perpetrated against: • Men • Women • Children • Elderly
Measuring Violence and Its Impact • Data are needed to: • Measure the magnitude and impact of domestic violence and violence against women • Understand the factors that increase the risk of violent victimization and perpetration • Obtain knowledge about the effectiveness and efficiency of violence prevention programmes
Sources of Data on Violence • Mortality Data • Homicide data from vital registration • Medical Records • Nature and gravity of Violence-related injury • Frequency of injury • Injury surveillance • Police Records • Characteristics of victims, perpetrators, informants, episode, past episodes • Crime data on violent events
Sources of Data on Violence • Population Census • Community data on population characteristics • Victimization Survey • Self Reported Data – attitudes, beliefs, behaviour, cultural practices, victimization and exposure to violence • Hotline and Service Providers • Characteristics of victims, perpetrators, informants, episode, past episodes • Crime data on violent events
Sources of Data on Violence • Justice Systems • Victim and perpetrator characteristics • Restraining orders: yes/no • Charges/Arrests made: yes/no • Prosecution: yes/no • Conviction: yes/no • Nature of penalty • Duration times to legal proceedings
Problems with Obtaining Data on Violence • Unavailability of the Data • Threats to Data Quality • Prospects for Harmonization of Concepts across Data sources • Threats to Assurances of Confidentiality and Anonymity regarding Data Collection Protocols • Prospect of Exposure to Physical Harm
Unavailability of Input Data • Confidentiality clauses are a main handicap such as in the case of service providers and the courts • Data systems do not adequately permit the collection of micro level on violence-related events • Statistical classifications for legal outcomes have not been properly developed and militate against systematic data collection
Threats to Data Quality • Challenges due to recording and classification of data on episodes • Are they adhering to appropriate classification standards? • Who is recording observations and how well trained are they? • What data preparation standards are embraced to improve data quality? • How do agency specific objectives impact the prospect of harmonization? • To what extent are the data amenable to research objectives
Threats to Data Quality • Challenges due tothe reporting of episodes • Is the victim responding under duress and unable to provide all of the details? • Has the same episode been reported to more than one agency? • Has the same episode been reported by more than one informant? • Are informants knowledgeable about all the details in the case, especially those who are neighbours or relatives of victims/perpetrators?
Threats to Data Quality • Challenges due tothe reporting of episodes • How do memory lapses and recall among informants impact non-response? • How do informants’ “definition of the situation” impact their propensity to report. This may vary according to the nature of the violence • Informants’ perception of the preservation of confidentiality and anonymity of the data gathering process
Threats to Data Quality • Challenges due to data preparation and analysis • What data preparation standards are embraced to improve data quality? • How well trained are registry staff in research methodology? • How well trained are registry staff in statistical analysis? • How well trained are registry staff in using statistical software applications? • How well trained are registry staff in managing statistical data files? • Is it possible to reconcile multiple counting?
Units of Analysis • Who/What are the targets of interventions • Victims • Perpetrators • Incident • Domestic Unit
Units of Analysis • We are really collecting data about episodes reported in a given period • Periodicities become a challenge as there is not likely to be knowledge of the exact time/date when an episode of violence occurred • Irrespective of our unit of analysis, one has to be careful with analyses of episodes to periodicities
Units of Analysis • For each of the units, there is a real population • Serious threats that introduce bias include: • Definitional issues • Denial • The conception of the domestic setting • Methodological artifacts
The Rationale for a Central Registry • Domestic violence and violence against women as a scourge • There is a need to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence and violence against women • There is need to establish mechanisms to access reliable data to learn more about the principal targets for which some kind of intervention is necessary
The Rationale for a Central Registry Multiple data sources produce complementary data However, such data vary in reliability and intended purpose There is great difficulty reconciling data that emerge out of the disparate sources Central Registry as a main co-ordinating agency
Enumerating Violence • Administrative data • Domestic Violence Hotline • Police • Health Authorities • Shelters • Child Welfare Units • Shelters/Halfway Houses • Justice Systems
Enumerating Domestic Violence • Specialized Surveys with modules on victimization • Sexual and Reproductive Health Surveys • Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey
Department of Justice, Victoria, Australia • Has established a system for reporting on family violence in Victoria, Australia • Has published “Measuring Family Violence in Victoria” which the system commenced in 1999 • The latest, Volume 4, was published in December 2009 • Now contains data for the past decade ;
Department of Justice, Victoria, Australia • The database, now administered by the Victims Support Agency in the Department of Justice, incorporates data from: • Victoria Police family violence incident reports • Victorian Magistrates’ and Children's Court finalized intervention order applications • Victorian Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) • Data from Victorian Public Hospital Emergency Departments • The Department of Justice Victims of Crime Helpline • The Department of Human Services Integrated Reporting and Information System (IRIS)
Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics • Has published “Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile” since 1998 • Provides information about family violence issues in Canada including the nature and scope of violent episodes and their respective trend across time • The latest was published in 2009, the twelfth edition
Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics • The database is administered by the Victims Support Agency and obtains data from: • Incidence-Based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey • Commenced in 1962. Detailed coverage of incidents reported to the police particularly in the context of victims, the accused and the incidents. Targets 153 police services accounting for 94% of Canada’s population. • Homicide Survey • homicide data on episodes, victims, the accused since 1961. Since 1974, this has been also collected for family homicide • Transition Home Survey • A census survey administered by Statistics Canada collecting data on the characteristics of such homes during a 12-month period. Also collects data on the characteristics of the clients on a specified day
Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics • Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) • Bell Canada Child Welfare Research Unit at the University of Toronto. Targeted children and their families visiting child welfare services units over the survey period. Collected data on maltreatment in areas such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and emotional abuse • Hospital Morbidity Database • Classify in-patient cases by diagnosis separated by discharge or death. • Produced by Statistics Canada since 1960 and done by the Canadian Institute for Health Information since 1994/1995 • General Social Survey on Victimization • Target population are all persons 15 years or older living in non-institutionalized settings • Victimization cycles of the GSS were done in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004
Ministry of Health Belize • Manages the National Health Information System (NHIS) • Gender Based Surveillance is a component of the NHIS in Belize • Permits the collection of data on domestic violence at health centres • Permits the collection of data on homicide, child abuse and rape outside the home • Data captured on a standardized forms within an integrated decentralized system • There are six District Health Information Units that produce local reports • Central Registry in Belmopan that produces national report • Principal users of the data are the Ministry of Health, the Police, the Women’s Bureau and Human Services, to name a few
National Health Info. Unit (M.O.H.) National Quarterly Reports U S E R S Data Transfer District Monthly Reports District Info. Unit (M.O.H.) U S E R S Registration Form M.O.H. M. H. D. Police Dept. Gender Based Violence Surveillance Structure Belize Source: Francis, 2006
The Case of Trinidad and Tobago • A multiplicity of agencies with their own independent systems for collecting data on domestic violence • There is no centralized system assembling the data from disparate sources
The Case of Trinidad and Tobago • Most of the agencies also collected agency-specific data that fit within their respective programmatic agendas • Not surprisingly, there was some concern about the quality and the reliability of the data.
The Case of Trinidad and Tobago • State Agencies collecting relevant data: • The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) in the Gender Affairs Unit • Probation Services\ • The Police - Crime and Problem Analysis Unit • The Central Statistical Office • Ministry of Education, Guidance Unit • Ministry of Health (Medical Records, Injury Surveillance) • National Family Services • Family Court • Magistrates Court
The Case of Trinidad and Tobago • Non-Government Organizations collecting relevant data: • The Rape Crisis Society • The Coalition against Domestic Violence • Shelters for Battered Women • Children’s homes • Private hospitals
The Case of Trinidad and Tobago • The standard form was divided into seven sections (A-G) that were as follows: • Section A: Agency Name and demographics • Section B: Demographic Details of Offspring/Parents • Section C: Current Medical Profile of the Client • Section D: Employment Characteristics of the Client • Section E: Educational Characteristics of the Client • Section F: Demographic Sketch of the Perpetrator • Section G: Remedial Action/Abuse Characteristics
Homicide Data from CAPA Example for Input into Violence Against Women Data File DATA ON MURDERS FOR SEPTEMBER 2005
Conceptual Issues • What can we count in our national setting? Are we counting any of the following? • Victims, Perpetrators, Incident, Domestic Unit • How to classify the domestic group? • Intra-familial , intra-residential • How to treat with multiple counting? • Social insurance number, National identification number • Birth date combined with codes for other ascriptive characteristics