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Title: Hidden victims : an exploration of the criminal justice experiences of homicide bereaved people in England and Wales
Author: Bradford, Lauren
ISNI:       0000 0004 9351 8641
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores the experiences of the criminal justice system according to a distinct group of crime victims: homicide bereaved people. It focuses on the criminal justice system in England and Wales. By ‘homicide bereaved people’ is meant anyone with a familial relationship to the deceased victim, and in this research involved parents of, adult siblings of and adult offspring of victims. Since the focus is on the criminal justice system, ‘homicide’ was taken to be victims of murder and manslaughter, rather than road traffic accidents or infanticide. The central aim of the research is to explore what the criminal justice experiences of homicide bereaved people are and what is meaningful to them in their interactions throughout the CJS and their experiences of support mechanisms, using an interpretive lens and privileging their perspective. The interactional constitution of victims is the theoretical viewpoint that underpins this project. Drawing upon qualitative interviews with 17 homicide bereaved people, observations of murder trials within three Crown Court centres and semi-structured interviews with criminal justice and victims’ practitioners, this thesis highlights that the criminal justice processes that are encountered cannot be separated from the complex grief processes that occur in the aftermath of homicide. They form a reciprocal relationship and as result homicide bereaved people’s experiences do not fit within a normative legal framework on which responses to victimisation occurs. As a result, the current support frameworks for homicide bereaved people often render them feeling powerless and voiceless which prolongs grief and victim status. Despite victimology being a field of study in its own right for approximately 50 years, there remains a number of gaps in our understanding of victims of crime and their experiences through the criminal justice system. There is a paucity of literature and research about homicide bereaved people as a distinct group of crime victims, so this research aims to situate the experiences of homicide bereaved people within the victimological and criminological literature, by drawing out the distinctive features of their criminal justice experiences which coincide with traumatic grief processes and bereavement. My research offers unique insights into the experiences of those collaterally victimised through bereavement by homicide. Through analysis of their stories and comparison with data gained from interviewing criminal justice and associated professionals and observations from court visits, my research informs suggestions for change that would improve the experiences of those bereaved by homicide.
Supervisor: Shapland, Joanna ; Wykes, Maggie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available