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Individuals, Families and Neighbourhoods: Predictors of Domestic Abuse in Essex

Weir, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5554-801X (2020). Individuals, Families and Neighbourhoods: Predictors of Domestic Abuse in Essex. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, University of Essex)


The human and economic cost of domestic abuse is enormous. In the UK two women a week are dying as a result of their abuse and the cost to society and the economy is estimated to be in the region of £66 billion pounds a year. Having the ability to predict those most at risk is essential in identifying victims’ earlier, reducing harm and improving access to support and justice. Domestic abuse is also one of the most under-reported crimes, with the Crime Survey in England and Wales (CSEW) estimating that only 21 per cent of abuse is reported to the police. One of the implications of this is that current service responses are broadly designed around the needs of these known victims, even though they only account for one fifth of the likely total. This quantitative research adopts a multi-facated approach, using statistical analysis and geographical information systems, combined with social and geographical theory, to identify the risk factors and predictors of domestic abuse at the individual, family and neighbourhood level. The research finds that taking an intersectional approach to analysis at the individual and family level adds particular value, with the risk factors for repeat victimisation varying according to the gender, age and class of the victim and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. At the neighbourhood level, this thesis makes a significant and unique contribution to theory and practice, discovering that the predictors of domestic abuse are not stationary over space. By combining the findings from each of the empirical chapters an overall causal pathway is proposed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Ruth Weir Thesis January 2020.pdf]
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