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Women on the move: administrative data as a safe way to research hidden domestic violence journeys

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Domestic violence against women is a significant social issue within the United Kingdom, across Europe and globally. However, it is often difficult to research given the hidden nature of the violence, and the need for many women to continue to keep their experiences secret. This article presents research on women’s relocation journeys, using administrative data from a funding programme which required England-wide monitoring from 2003 to 2011 on housing-related support services. This provided a sample of approximately 18,000 relocation cases per year ‐ a total of over 140,000 journeys to access services ‐ until the data became unavailable due to the end of the funding programme. The article presents some of the substantive findings on domestic violence journeys: the numerical scale and gendered nature of the journeys, the pattern of spatial churn across the country, the geographical scale and administrative boundary issues, and the evidence that women are often on the move both before and after accessing services. The article concludes that administrative data from services could and should be de-identified and used as a safe way to research women on the move due to domestic violence, and enable services and authorities to make better decisions on meeting their needs.
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Keywords: abused women; boundaries; de-identified data; relocation; spatial churn

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: ,

Publication date: June 1, 2019

This article was made available online on May 31, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Women on the move: administrative data as a safe way to research hidden domestic violence journeys".

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Gender-Based Violence (JGBV), is the first international journal based in Europe to show case the work of scholars across disciplinary and topic boundaries, and from a range of methodologies.

    The journal acknowledges both the breadth of gender-based violence (GBV) and its links to gendered inequalities. It aims to continue to document the voices and experiences of victims and survivors of GBV, to publish work regarding those who perpetrate GBV and of the varied and complex social structures, inequalities and gender norms through which GBV is produced and sustained. The journal recognises the intersection of gender with other identities and power relations, such as ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, faith, disability and economic status.

    JGBV will publish high quality papers that contribute to understanding of GBV, policy, and/or activism, on sexual violence, domestic abuse, ‘honour’-based violence, prostitution, trafficking and/or reproductive violence and abuse in a wide range of intimate, familial, community and societal contexts.

    The editors invite interest from scholars working across the social sciences and related fields including social policy, sociology, politics, criminology, law, social psychology, development and economics, as well as disciplines allied to medicine, health and wellbeing.

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