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Re-tangling the concept of coercive control : a view from the margins and a response to Walby and Towers (2018).

Donovan, Catherine and Barnes, Rebecca (2019) 'Re-tangling the concept of coercive control : a view from the margins and a response to Walby and Towers (2018).', Criminology & criminal justice., 21 (2). pp. 242-257.

Abstract

This article responds to Walby and Towers’ article, in which they propose a quantitative methodology that evidences gender asymmetry in ‘domestic violence crime’. Through examining core issues including harm, severity and repetition of domestic violence crime victimisation, they argue that Stark’s concept of ‘coercive control’ is obsolete and refute Johnson’s typology of intimate partner violence. However, their conclusions are based on problematic assumptions about, for example, the relative impacts of physical and non-physical violence; the usefulness of incident- rather than relationship-based understandings of domestic violence and abuse and a focus on victim/survivors’ ‘resilience’ and ‘vulnerability’ over perpetrators’ motives. Moreover, their cisnormative operationalisation of sex and gender and neglect of sexuality overlooks important evidence about lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people’s victimisation. This reinforces a limited ‘public story’ of domestic violence and abuse and arguably creates weaknesses in feminist analyses of domestic violence that could further fuel anti-feminist, gender-neutral approaches.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895819864622
Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:16 August 2019
Date of first online publication:26 July 2019
Date first made open access:16 August 2019

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