Identifying motivators and risk factors for Intimate Partner Violence that continues from custody

Smyth, M., 2021. Identifying motivators and risk factors for Intimate Partner Violence that continues from custody. DPsych, Nottingham Trent University.

Master thesis.pdf - Published version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a public health problem across the globe. Policy and practice vary, but there is a general consensus that IPV significantly and negatively impacts the criminal justice, health and welfare systems. Policy and practice inform how we manage risk, rehabilitate offenders and protect victims; it is therefore important that policy and practice are appropriate and evidence based. This thesis aims to identify motivators and risk factors for ongoing abuse from custody, a previously under researched area, to inform policy and practice in England and Wales.

To achieve this aim, the thesis begins by exploring the function of denial, justifying, minimising and blaming in IPV, via a systematic review using narrative synthesis. The findings indicate that while denial etc. can have a self-protective function, it can also represent faulty internal mechanisms that fuel abusive behaviour and a tool that men use instrumentally to achieve goals. A novel empirical study then explores abuse from custody from the perspective of the perpetrator, using semi-structured interviews and phenomenologically informed thematic analysis. Three key themes with 10 sub themes were identified, including disrupted connections, external influences, and internal processes. A third novel piece of work makes use of proxy indicators readily available in custodial data to predict who will be abusive from custody. Using binomial regression, two proxy indicators showed promise as predictors: Risk of Serious Harm to a Known Adult in custody and anti-social conduct in custody. The model explained 23.3% of the variance in abuse from custody, correctly classifying 85.4% of cases, however only 45.45% of abusers were correctly identified. The findings from this body of work expand the knowledge base regarding IPV and abusive behaviour from custody. Together they highlight how policy and practice can be developed to ensure they are evidence based and serving the general public most effectively. Risk management, rehabilitation efforts and victim protection can be enhanced by implementing the findings of this work. Recommendations for further research are also proposed.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Abridged version
Creators: Smyth, M.
Date: June 2021
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Jul 2021 10:47
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2021 10:48

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year