Intimate Partner violence, risk and security: Securing women’s lives in a global world

K Fitz-Gibbon1, S Walklate2, J McCulloch1, J Maher1, M Segrave1, J Tolmie3, B Harris4
1Monash University, Clayton, Australia, 2University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, 3University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 4Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Intimate partner violence, risk and security: securing women’s lives in a global world
Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Sandra Walklate, Jude McCulloch and JaneMaree Maher
This paper examines intimate partner violence, risk and security as global issues. Although intimate partner violence, risk and security are intimately connected they are rarely considered in tandem in the context of global security. Yet, intimate partner violence causes widespread physical, sexual and/or psychological harm. It is the most common type of violence against women internationally and is estimated to affect 30 per cent of women worldwide. Intimate partner violence has received significant attention in recent years, animating political debate, policy and law reform as well as scholarly attention. This paper examines the need to count the costs of men’s intimate partner violence against women and the importance of contextualising the risk of intimate partner violence. It urges a rethink of the social construction of risk and violence arguing that the traditional dichotomy of public and private violence has historically disadvantaged women by downplaying the harm and risk of intimate partner violence.

Temporary migration & family violence: the borders of belonging & protection
Marie Segrave
While family violence has been recognised as a national priority in Australia, and indeed internationally, the intersections of complex migration status issues and the response to family violence are rarely the subject of close investigation. Most commonly this issue is reported on via anecdotal information arising in the context of larger studies or inquiries, such as the ANROWS-funded ASPIRE study and the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. This presentation will draw on the largest study of temporary migration and family violence in Australia, and will highlight critical issues pertaining to the ways in which the migration system can be produce or sustain power imbalances between non-citizen victim-survivors and citizen (or permanent resident) perpetrators. It will ask critical questions about the limits we place around support in the context of family violence.

Considering Victim Safety When Sentencing Intimate Partner Offenders
Julia Tolmie
This paper considers the importance of victim safety when sentencing for intimate partner violence offences. It analyses the current legal position in New Zealand, which is illustrative of a very traditional approach to this issue and is similar to the approach taken in a number of Australian jurisdictions. The paper first points out that victim safety is not an express or mandatory sentencing consideration in cases involving IPV in New Zealand. Furthermore, the manner in which the principles of sentencing and the decision making structure for sentencing have been framed make it difficult to consider victim safety in sentencing. The paper goes on to suggest that even if victim safety was a mandatory sentencing consideration, the process of factual proof at sentencing, combined with the nature of IPV, means that in most cases sentencing judges will not be equipped to make informed safety decisions. The irony is that the same barriers do not exist when decisions are made about bail – despite the fact that bail decisions are made at a time when the offender has not yet been proven to the criminal standard of proof to have predated against the victim.

Spaceless Violence: Technology-facilitated Abuse and Stalking in the Context of Domestic Violence
Bridget Harris
The development and uptake of digital media and devices has increased, globally, and so has their presence in intimate relationships and family settings. Such shifts have brought change in the speed, volume and forms of communication, contact, and surveillance between parties. There are undoubtedly positives to such technology, however, these spaceless channels have been used by domestic violence perpetrators to enact harm. Technology-facilitated abuse and stalking transgress traditional boundaries and borders but are not divorced from, and are inextricably linked to other forms of violence. In this paper, the unique features of spaceless violence are outlined with emphasis on the necessity to examine it in the context of coercive and controlling relationships, which impact victim/survivor health, wellbeing and security. Drawing on studies in the Global North and South and interviews and focus groups with victim/survivors, criminal justice agents and advocates, theoretical and practical ways to understand and define technology-facilitated violence are discussed. Challenges with recognising, regulating and responding to spaceless violence and how these might be addressed are identified.

Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University and an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool. Kate is a lead researcher within the Monash Gender and Family Violence Research Program.

Marie Segrave is an Associate Professor in Criminology at Monash University. She is a DECRA Fellow, and has conducted research on issues pertaining to the intersections of migration, border control and exploitation. She has published widely in this area. Marie works closely with the Monash Gender and Family Violence Focus Program and the newly established Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre.

Professor Julia Tolmie teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Law and Policy and Women and the Law at The University of Auckland. She served as chair of the New Zealand Family Violence Death Review Committee from December 2011-2016, and as a member of the New Zealand Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Family Violence in 2013.

Dr Bridget Harris is a Lecturer in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Member of the Crime and Justice Research Centre and Affiliated Researcher in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology. Her work explores domestic violence in regional, rural and remote locations; technology-facilitated domestic violence and technology-facilitation of justice in the context of domestic violence.

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