2020 applicants
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Essex led conference debates links between domestic abuse and housing

  • Date

    Wed 4 Apr 18

Photo of woman sitting on stairs

Domestic abuse and housing policy are closely linked according to a conference held in London involving leading Essex academics which sought to develop links between researchers and practitioners.

The conference, whose hashtag #DAHousing18 trended on Twitter, was jointly hosted by our Centre for Criminology and the Chartered Institute of Housing, and featured contributions from organisers Professor Nigel South, Director of our Centre for Criminology, and Alison Inman OBE, President of the Chartered Institute of Housing. 

Essex speakers also included Professor Jackie Turton, a leading academic in the study of women in the criminal justice system, and Ruth Weir, an expert in crime mapping who has come up with a way of accurately predicting domestic abuse hotspots. Also taking part were former Essex PhD students Professors Sylvia Walby, now at Lancaster University and Aisha Gill, currently at Roehampton University. 

"At a time when funding for refuges is being cut, we wanted to shine a light on the many connections between, and good practice in, the fields of domestic abuse and housing."
Professor Nigel South Director, Centre for criminology

Professor Nigel South said: “At a time when funding for refuges is being cut, we wanted to shine a light on the many connections between, and good practice in, the fields of domestic abuse and housing. We also wanted to encourage the key organisations to listen to each other in order to identify how current policies are working in practice.

“And finally we wanted to highlight the role academic research can play. For example, in illustrating the significance of how we count and record incidents – it really matters whether government statisticians count the number of victims or the number of incidents. Research can also help us to identify links between, for example, rent arrears and abuse.”

Taking to Twitter after the conference, Alison Inman OBE, tweeted that “…we need to keep the interdisciplinary conversation going.”

The conference was the Centre for Criminology’s third major event. The first, Women and Criminal Justice, was held in London in 2016 and the second was held at Colchester’s Firstsite as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science 2017.

On Monday 30 April, the Centre will co-sponsor its fourth conference, Women as victim-offenders: Negotiating the paradox, this time with the British Society of Criminology and City University.

A forthcoming book from the team at Essex entitled, Women and the Criminal Justice System: Failing victims and offenders? is due out this summer.