People’s Perceptions of Domestic Violence and Coercive Control
Deuters, Emily Grace
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this research study is to explore people’s perceptions of domestic violence and coercive control. Domestic violence has been considered a serious criminal offence since a development of legislation the 1970s. However, coercive control only recently became a criminal offence, as a part of the Serious Crime Act in 2015. As a relatively new phenomenon it is interesting to explore how people perceive coercive control, as well as the comparatively long-established concept of domestic violence. A qualitative, phenomenological approach has been taken for this research study. Those who participated in the study were health and social care students studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University, who had been collected through convenience sampling. Open-ended questions were asked to the participants in a focus group. The questions were based on a vignette which portrayed a relationship between a male and female, containing coercive controlling and violent behaviour. Thematic analysis was utilised to analyse the data, and through this it was found that all participants perceived coercive controlling behaviours in the vignette, and perceived domestic violence to be a serious offence. However, high levels of victim-blaming arose in the focus group discussions. The participants also seemed to feel the behaviours of the male and female in the vignette conform to ‘traditional’ gender roles. One practical implication is that anti-discriminatory practice may need heavier involvement in the health and social care course held at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Recommendations for further research include use of a larger, more diverse sample. A comparison of perceptions among participants with a different academic pursuit, may also be of interest.
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
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