Emerging Scathed: A Critical Analysis of Current Approaches to Domestic Violence – Fusing Punitive & Restorative Solutions

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Tsagas, M. 2022. Emerging Scathed: A Critical Analysis of Current Approaches to Domestic Violence – Fusing Punitive & Restorative Solutions. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries. 12 (1), pp. 108-118. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v204
AuthorsTsagas, M.
Abstract

As the UK is taking steps to emerge from Covid-19 pandemic related restrictions, the tail-end of the pandemic itself seemingly in sight, as people, a Nation, residents of this world, we are faced with certain grim realities. One such reality, is the knowledge that during the extended lockdown period there was a substantial increase in ‘police recorded domestic abuse crimes’ (Ivandic, Kirchmaeir and Linton, 2021). Specifically, Refuge and Respect, charities against domestic violence, submitted, in a BBC report, an astounding 60-70% increase in reports of domestic violence to their call centres from female and male victims respectively, during the initial period of lockdown, describing it as an ‘epidemic beneath a pandemic’ (June, 2021). In a quick turn of events, present Government responded quickly. Not only was additional funding provided to preventative and reporting services, but new legislation was passed, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, helping to illustrate and cement the seriousness of domestic violence. Yet, despite their efforts, both the legislation passed, and the funding provided should not, in fact, serve as the end-goal for the cause. Rather, as cornerstones of a movement, they should pave the way for additional survivor-centred approaches to take root. The newly enacted legislation purports to be supportive of a legal approach predominantly punitive in nature, focusing on the offender, rather than restorative thus aiming to rectify the harm afflicted upon the victims of domestic abuse. The article at hand will attempt to illustrate how overemphasis on a punitive approach might not necessarily be in the public’s best interest. Acknowledging the legislation’s marginal attempts at a dual approach, a further attempt will be made to critically analyse current measures and how while they may be a significant step in the right direction, better provisions could have been enacted in certain circumstances. On a final note, an effort will be made to demonstrate how specific restorative practices can be highly beneficial in dealing with certain instances of domestic violence, when utilised in tandem with the current punitive approach.

JournalCrossing Conceptual Boundaries
Journal citation12 (1), pp. 108-118
ISSN2041-9090
Year2022
PublisherSchool of Education & Communities, University of East London
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v204
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Online2022
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Deposited03 Oct 2022
Copyright holder© 2022 University of East London
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