Multi-agency approaches to domestic violence in a county in Northern England
The thesis documents research on multi-agency approaches to domestic violence. The research has been conducted in a county in Northern England - fictitiously named Hillshire - and has focused on two areas in that county - fictitiously named Pittplace and Steel site. The researcher has been particularly interested in multi-agency domestic violence initiatives in Pittplace and Steel site and has sought to examine both what these initiatives are and what they mean. The research has had two main aims. First, to increase our understandings about partnership approaches, especially those focused on domestic violence, and, secondly, to examine whether the increasingly de rigueur collective action on domestic violence has brought change for women and their children. Arguing that research findings in Pittplace and Steel site raise issues that lead to the conclusion that multi-agency domestic violence initiatives are not making women and children safer and that partnership approaches have, in truth, made little difference - that there has been 'radical change but no change at all' - is the researcher's main aim in this thesis. The thesis develops through seven Chapters to the main conclusion on multi-agency domestic violence approaches - that there is a disassociation between multi-agency initiatives on domestic violence and service provision on domestic violence. Early Chapters highlight that initial responses to domestic violence were grounded in women's liberation but that more recent developments have occurred in the Home Office's crime prevention agenda and that, although the organizations responding to women and children are those that have their roots in the women's movement, developments on domestic violence are increasingly happening in Home Office crime prevention circles. The move to the multi-agency approach in such circles is also documented here. Early Chapters also highlight certain themes - attendance, structures, outcomes and power - that provide the basis around which the questions, topics and problematics for the empirical research are organized. Later Chapters set out the main findings in Pittplace and Steel site. Here, discussion focuses on the main issues raised in the empirical research that construct the researcher's main argument. These issues are again discussed under the four main themes of attendance, structures, outcomes and power. Each issue discussed under these themes is found to suggest either a disconnection in practice, a perceived disconnection or a caused disconnection between the initiatives researched and service provision on domestic violence. How these disconnections lead to the main conclusion that there is a disassociation between multi-agency initiatives on domestic violence and service provision on domestic violence and that such initiatives are not making women and children safer is examined as the thesis draws to a close.