Victims’ Views on Policing Partner Violence

  • Kate Butterworth
  • Nicole Westmarland


The latest Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for England and Wales (HMIC) report (2014), Everyone’s business: improving the police response to domestic abuse, highlighted that police forces across the United Kingdom were not responding satisfactorily to victims of domestic abuse, and have little understanding of coercion and control. The report suggested forces find more innovative ways of training officers to improve responses. A 1-week snapshot of domestic abuse was carried out at Durham Constabulary, which involved interviewing victims who had reported domestic abuse to the police, as well as police and support organisations. Twenty-four victims were spoken to about their recent experiences with the police. Responses were mixed, with victims reporting positive, negative and satisfactory experiences. A number of police who were interviewed reported their knowledge of coercive and controlling behaviours was more limited than that of general domestic abuse, and they found it difficult to identify these behaviours when responding to incidents. Organisations also called for police to receive further training on coercion and control. Findings from all interviews will be considered side by side to help shape a new drama-based training programme, which will be rolled out to police to address gaps in knowledge.

How to Cite
Butterworth, K., & Westmarland, N. (2015). Victims’ Views on Policing Partner Violence. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (13), 60-63. Retrieved from