Interpersonal Violence Conference - a report

Hosted by the Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing (CCJP), this Conference highlighted the latest research, bringing together the field’s leading Psychology, Economics, Public Health and Domestic Violence experts.

Despite the “beast from the east”, CCJP’s IPV Conference was a terrific success. It was an invaluable opportunity to learn about IPV from different disciplines (Economics, Psychology, Law and Nursing) and perspectives (academics and practitioners). We were delighted that victims’ organisations - such as Birmingham Freedom Project, RSVP and Roshni - were able to join us.

Maria Clark’s talk provided a fascinating insight into a public health approach to IPV. While listening to Rafiyah Khan speaking about the role of honour, shame and izzat in South Asian experiences of domestic abuse, it was interesting to learn that in Urdu no word directly translates to rape. Unfortunately, victims of violence perpetrated by family members often do not identity as sufferers of domestic abuse. A talk on alcohol’s effect on women’s memories of hypothetical sexual assaults was delivered by Heather Flowe. People who have consumed alcohol give less extensive but equally accurate testimonies as those who were sober.

CCJP’s Director, Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, discussed the impact of a DV perpetrator intervention programme, which is both successful and cost effective. It was apparent that IPV is a very important issue for Birmingham Yardley's MP Jess Phillips. She talked about the huge opportunity to influence government policy by testing interventions, because policymakers want to implement evidence-based programmes while also providing insights into how academics need to know their audience (policy makers vs service providers) and address their needs. Improving criminal justice responses to sexual violence was discussed by Anna Carline. Despite barristers demonstrating positive developments at ground level in the court room, there needs to be more positive and effective feedback loops.

Jesse Matheson reviewed his research project on integrating police and victim support services in domestic violence cases. This projects mediates the transition for victims from police to local support services. Since the costs of accessing support services to victims must be lowered, programmes like this one should be standard practice in police forces across the UK. Sofia Amaral explored the impact of women police stations in India and found women in policing to be important for both equity and efficiency. Excellent posters on “You Deserve Better: Domestic Abuse and Improving Victims’ Services” and “A comparison of sober versus intoxicated rape complaint testimony: Is testimony less complete if the complainant was intoxicated?” were displayed by Shana Gander-Zaucker and Katie Summers respectively.

The CCJP hopes to continue playing a pivotal role in understanding and solving the complex problems of the Criminal Justice System in the 21st Century! Links to speakers’ slides are provided below.

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