Prof. Dr. Joachim Kersten is Senior Research Professor and Guest Professor of Criminal Sociology at the German Police University. With his blog he emphasizes the importance of research on domestic violence. Moreover, he gives personal insights into the coordination of the IMPRODOVA project. Moreover, he regularly invites members of the IMPRODOVA Consortium to write about topics related to the management of domestic abuse in their respective national settings.
During the last two weeks, roughly a thousand participants, police practitioners, public health professionals, researchers and academics from criminology and other fields, joined the remote Philadelphia Public Health and Law Enforcement Conference (LEPH 2021). IMPRODOVA researchers took part with a panel introducing the project, presenting the training tools, and with a talk on the seemingly contradictory development of domestic violence/abuse incidence in our partner countries. During the initial lockdown periods in some cases, rates have increased but not in the dimension that was predicted by experts and media. Our researchers have looked at police data, victim studies where available, numbers of restraining orders, demand for counselling and shelter accommodation, and other indicators of a rise in DV occurrence. The report will soon be published as a Criminology Briefs book.
Significance of the Children's House and IMPRODOVA projects for effective high impact violence management in Slovenia
Due to its nature, domestic violence is often concealed. It occurs behind the walls of apartments and houses, away from the public eye, neighbours and supervisory institutions. Considering the findings of family therapy, the developments in a family are isolated from its surroundings by means of invisible psychological, often impenetrable barriers. The barriers make the impact of supervisory and social institutions, such as the police, social work centres and schools, restricted and limited. This is especially true when things that are considered to be domestic violence occur in the family. We already want to keep the lives we lead at home private, and silence and concealment are further enhanced when domestic violence occurs within the family.
In almost all European Member States, and within a few weeks public life has largely come to a halt. The restrictions put in place by Governments as a measure against the further spread of the Covid-19 Virus have raised concerns among practitioners and activists: will the lockdowns result in higher numbers and more sever forms of Domestic Violence? Does the relegation into the private sphere increase the violence? What do we know? And what can be done to mitigate the risks of high impact domestic abuse?