Women's experiences of the policing of domestic violence : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

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Massey University
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Domestic Violence is a pervasive crime. It weaves itself into the network of our society. In Aotearoa/New Zealand the Government has introduced legislation designed to reduce and prevent violence in the home and has seen an increase in reported domestic violence since its introduction. Despite some evidence to the contrary, when all types of violence are taken into account the majority of victims are women and children. Domestic violence can be best understood in terms of power and control in relationships, and gender relations in our society, and our socio-cultural-historical context. Given our current legislative context, policing is a critical dimension of effective intervention to reduce and prevent domestic violence. This research explores women's experiences of the policing of domestic violence in a rural, South Island locality. Alongside professional and university ethics, feminist research principles guided the researcher's engagement with women participants in semi-structured interviews. A narrative approach to research was used as a framework to gather, analyze and write up the accounts of nine women's experiences of the policing of domestic violence. Through this narrative approach a co-creative, fluid and dynamic relationship between the researcher and participants produced hybrid accounts and new insights and understandings in relation to domestic violence and the policing of this crime. Findings are presented as themes related to three clearly identified phases in the women's stories of policing: making contact, police responses and their impact, referrals and follow up. The research suggests there are still substantial problems for women's safety in relation to effective policing of domestic violence in Aotearoa/New Zealand from the standpoints of these women.
New Zealand, Family violence, Police -- Attitudes, Criminal investigation, Abused women -- Psychology