11.3 Definitions and Debate

This section will examine some of the common issues that arise around defining domestic violence, including cross-government definitions and definitions used in regional and international frameworks. This section will also cover general myths and facts relating to domestic violence, survivors and victims.

Further information about domestic violence in general can be found in Section 2.1


Revenge Pornography: Briefing prepared by Professor Clare McGlynn and Professor Erika Rackley

Durham Law School, Durham University (2014)

Responsing to the government’s decision to examine and debate the important issue of 'revenge pornography'.

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EVAW Briefing on Pornography and Violence Against Women and Girls

End Violence Against Women (EVAW) (2014)

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Time for a rethink – why the current government definition of domestic violence is a problem

Trouble & Strife (2014)

Liz Kelly and Nicole Westmarland consider the consequences of changing definitions of domestic violence which they argue have progressively disguised, diluted and distorted the reality of gender based violence.

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Information for Local Areas on the change to the Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Home Office / AVA (2013)

To help local areas consider the consider how the extension to the definition of domestic violence and abuse may impact on their services, the Home Office, in partnership with Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) has produced this guide for local areas.

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Cross government definition of domestic violence: consultation reponse

AVA (2012)

This is the response to the consultation on a revised definition of domestic violence. Co-ordinated by AVA, it represents the views of many different agencies.

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Hate Crime: the case for including rape and sexual assault

James-Hanman, D. (2006)

This paper explores the role of gender in hate crime and argues that the crimes of rape and sexual assault should also be included in the definition.

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In-depth study on all forms of violence against women: Report of the Secretary-General

United Nations General Assembly (2006)

The Secretary-General’s in-depth study on violence against women, mandated by General Assembly resolution 58/185, was prepared by the Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.

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Violence Against Women: a literature review

Green, L. (2005)

Commissioned by the Scottish National Group to Address Violence Against Women this publication gives an in-depth analysis on definitions, prevalence and the different forms of violence against women.

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Information on Definitions of Domestic Violence

James-Hanman, D. (2002)

An extract from a Greater London Domestic Violence Project paper on inter-agency work.

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Defining domestic violence – London Domestic Violence Strategy

Greater London Authority (2005)

The definition of domestic violence taken from the London Domestic Violence Strategy published by the Greater London Authority in 2005.

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What is domestic violence?

Women’s Aid

Excerpt from the Survivor’s Handbook, which includes an overview of behaviours which constitute domestic violence and use of victim/survivor terminology.

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Myths and Facts: domestic violence and child contact

Women’s National Commission

A paper produced to raise concerns about children’s safety where there are child contact and domestic violence issues.

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Getting Help for Domestic Violence

NHS Choices

Outlines the definition of domestic violence and where help can be sought.

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An Integrative Feminist Model: the evolving feminist perspective on Intimate partner violence

McPhail, B. A. et al. (2007) [abstract]

The feminist perspective on intimate partner violence is a predominant model in the field, although not immune to criticism. In this research, frontline workers in the violence against women movement responded to critiques of the feminist model.

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What do we mean by "sex" and "gender"?

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Short excerpt explaining how the terms "sex" and "gender" are not interchangeable.

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Gender Equality: Ending Widespread Violence Against Women

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

This link outlines the case for linking gender inequality to gender based violence and puts forward the position of the UNFPA.

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