Is the rate of domestic violence increasing or decreasing
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A re-analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales

Formerly the British Crime Survey

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW: one of the world's leading surveys in the measurement of domestic violence over time) has recorded a declining rate in domestic violence for more than a decade (1995-2009). However, data recorded from 2009 suggests the year-on-year rate of domestic violence may have stabilised or even be increasing.

Enormous energy and resource has been expended in developing policy responses to reduce domestic and gender-based violence.  This policy goal has been consistent across governments.  There has been extraordinary success in driving down the rate of domestic violence.  Data suggesting the rate of domestic violence has now stabilised or maybe increasing, rather than continuing to decline, is therefore acutely challenging.

The project will explore in detail changes in the rate of domestic violence over time through the CSEW. It assesses the impact of different survey methodologies and examines whether: the rate of change over time differs with alternative definitions and/or thresholds of violence; rates over time differ across different sub-groups; and whether there are correlations with changes in gender regimes, the economy, and other crime types.

The implications of these findings for theories of violence, for policy, and for sites of intervention are also considered.

SDAI logoThis project is funded by the ESRC's Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (see Funding for further details).



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Department of Sociology, Bowland North, Lancaster University, LA1 4YT, UK
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