Perception and reality: an exploration of domestic abuse victims' experiences of the criminal justice process in Scotland

Forbes, Emma Elizabeth (2019) Perception and reality: an exploration of domestic abuse victims' experiences of the criminal justice process in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is a feminist critique of Scotland’s investigation and prosecution of domestic abuse through the lens of tackling domestic abuse as a gendered offence. It tells two stories: Scotland’s policy and legislative response to this issue and the experience of female victims who report domestic abuse to the police. The apparent sweep of progress on the public stage is juxtaposed with the private struggle of individuals who continue to face barriers to justice. Drawing on in-depth interviews with women who have experienced domestic abuse and those who support them, the data identifies a number of enduring challenges. The data from these interviews is contextualised within a 40-year perspective of Scotland’s policy, legal, social and academic responses to victims of gender violence in general, and domestic abuse in particular. The web of public and private priorities is examined in a temporal analysis which highlights multiple misalignments, a complex hierarchy of timescales and identifies obstacles to effective justice. Recognising the consequences of these tensions and the traumatic impact on victims highlights the ways in which aspects of the justice response could be reconfigured to provide them with greater agency. This thesis argues that legislative change has limited potential until structural inequalities are addressed, the full implications of the public and private dimensions of domestic abuse are understood, and appropriate procedural justice is consistently delivered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Domestic abuse, gender-based violence, criminal justice response, law, feminist methodology.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > KD England and Wales > KDC Scotland
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Burman, Professor Michele and Brooks-Hay, Dr. Oona
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Dr Emma E. Forbes
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-73000
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 08:35
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2022 13:13
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.73000

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