People have recently been tweeting at me for some clarification around the motivations of perpetrators of HBV. It’s something that is, emotionally, very hard to grasp: many parents and siblings can’t imagine deliberately inflicting violence upon a sister, daughter or niece because of a sense of shame.
We have to recognise that when we think that we’d show support and solidarity to a ‘shamed’ family member, we are saying this from a very different starting point: we are speaking as members of individualistic, loose-knit societies. Aref Abu-Rabia (2011, p. 38), says that the perpetration of an ‘honour’ killing should be considered ‘an organized social act by the family, not a matter of personal preference.’ Collectivist, tight-knit societies place much heaver burdens upon their members and have harsher responses to deviance. A loose-knit society might find a little deviance acceptable, even adding a pleasing touch of eccentricity and character, and there is more tolerance for a diversity of opinions. However, tight societies will tend to punish comparatively minor transgressions. The ‘tightest’ societies are often the most homogenous, those which have recent histories of agrarian production, and those which have experienced societal trauma like war and occupation. Read more
I recently wrote an article based on my case-file research into the distinctions between IPV and HBV which teased out some of the implications for risk assessment. (It should be published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence sometime in 2014). This blog-post is building from that to talk about the current risk assessments being used around HBV — to give them a quick evaluation to see how well they work against the kind of experiences that came up in the case-file study, and just the rest of the general stuff I know. Read more
This post is a bit late, but I was too angry to write about it earlier.
‘Shameless’ Mick Philpott presented himself as a ‘character’, a swaggering ne’er-do-well bragging about his unusual domestic arrangements (wife Mairead plus co-habiting mistress Lisa Willis) and his seventeen children on the human bear-pit of the Jeremy Kyle show. Yet the quantity of Philpott’s parenting vastly outstripped the quality: six of these children perished in a house-fire Philpott started himself. Lisa had left him, taking her children with her, and Philpott formulated a juvenile revenge fantasy – to frame her for arson and heroically ‘save’ the children from the flames, in collusion with Mairead and a neighbour. The ill-conceived plan failed, all the children died, and Philpott and his associates were found guilty of manslaughter. Read more
As I might have mentioned, I recently went to the UN for CSW57. Although I was there for just a single day, the atmosphere was dynamic, with busy women with bulging folders darting about, queuing up for sessions, with a wonderful and energising sense of collaboration across women of all nations and backgrounds. While waiting to enter, I sat (and smoked) next to the logo near the entrance (in the picture) and took photographs of countless cheerful activist women who wanted proof that they were involved in this, that they were playing a part in developing policy and shaping a better future of women across the world. A promise is a promise was the tagline for the event, and for a glorious moment, it felt promising. Read more
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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