Tag Archive for domestic violence

HBV and risk management

I was invited to present at a side-panel being held at the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013 by a Canadian team featuring Aruna Papp amongst others.
The time and the notice were rather short, and I decided that since the rest of the speakers would be speaking as representatives of NGOs, it would be a good time to sound like as much like a criminologist as I could, and talk not just about how we can draw on differences between kinds of violence, but to suggest an applying an integrative risk management approach, which would both allow non-specialists to gauge risk more accurately, and hopefully reduce some of the ‘it’s their culture’ attitude. Specialist NGOs are very good at detecting risk, but this is often through years of experience, and the kind of intimate knowledge that comes with growing up with the concepts. I’m arguing that we need to develop risk models that take in the particularities of HBV, which build on this expertise, but also that to collect and analyse much more data to test and develop these on a more empirical basis.

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A very British debate

Debates on the criminalisation of forced marriage in the UK are neglecting to consider the European dimension.

Britain is again contemplating the criminalisation of forced marriage, a vexed question which has been repeatedly raised in recent years. On one side, some campaigners urge for the criminalisation, arguing that a making forcing marriage a specific crime will have a massive symbolic value, alerting families wherein marriages are forced that their actions are not acceptable, and obliging public officials who have hitherto dismissed the forcing of marriage as a cultural issue to take more solid action. On the other, it is argued that the constituent elements of the act of forced marriage are already a crime, which can be prosecuted as kidnapping, violence and threats, and that creating a crime will discourage women and girls from presenting their cases to authorities because they may be scared that their parents will be imprisoned.

Clearly, with high and increasing reports of forced marriage across the UK, galvanising a robust response is an important move: on the other, fears of reducing victim’s inclinations to seek help should give everyone pause. What is clear though, is that the current situation, combining civil law protection measures with very few prosecutions for the constituent crimes related to forcing marriage, is inadequate to address the rising tide of young people forced into marriage. Read more

Why don’t you go home?