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“It’s a work in progress”: Men’s Accounts of Gender and Change in their Use of Coercive Control

Downes, Julia; Kelly, Liz and Westmarland, Nicole (2019). “It’s a work in progress”: Men’s Accounts of Gender and Change in their Use of Coercive Control. Journal of Gender Based Violence, 3(3) pp. 267–282.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1332/239868019X15627570242850
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Abstract

Over the past ten years the theoretical framework of ‘coercive control’ has been increasingly applied, critiqued, and now underpins a criminal offence. Whilst many argue that it more accurately reflects experiences of victimisation, there has been little exploration of coercive control through the accounts of perpetrators. Through two phased interviews with 64 men attending UK Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes, we examine how and why men use coercive tactics and how unpicking gender norms enabled some men to recognise and reduce their use of coercive control. We argue that coercive control is more dynamic, contestable and open to change than previous research has suggested. Some men did manage to take steps away from investing in traditional masculine norms and reduce their use of coercive tactics. However, this was an uneven and contradictory process which took time – involving painful realisations of loss and harm alongside a discovery of the benefits associated with letting go of restrictive gender norms. Understanding how and why men invest in or dismantle gender norms that underpin coercive control has important implications for theory and for practice, particularly the content and focus of work with domestic violence perpetrators.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 Policy Press
ISSN: 2398-6808
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Project MirabalNot SetESRC
Keywords: domestic violence; perpetrator programmes; coercive control; space for action; gender
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)
Item ID: 62034
Depositing User: Julia Downes
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 08:33
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 16:51
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/62034
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