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Improving Domestic Abuse and Violence against Women Prevention through 'Allyship' & Coalition Building

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jessica Wild


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This paper will draw upon initial analysis of data produced in an ongoing survivor-led, participatory study on improving domestic abuse prevention through 'allyship' and coalition building. In this, domestic abuse is constructed as a social problem for which there is a shared and collective social responsibility, in which men are situated as social justice 'allies' alongside women as leaders, in efforts to reduce domestic abuse prevalence rates. The implications of this type of cross-group alliance building between women victim-survivors and practitioners, and non-perpetrating men, are brought into relation with one another using a triangulated approach, while also foregrounding the perspectives and lived experiences of victim-survivors. Crucially, in acknowledging that men could have an auxiliary role in this work, the study simultaneously seeks to understand how far the challenges of obfuscation and co-optation associated with men's participation can be overcome, particularly when operating within a feminist framework. Coalition building such as this entails a complex negotiation of privilege and power, which potentially threatens women only-spaces and organisations, and risks their destabilisation. This is further complicated by the backdrop of austerity and welfare reform measures, highlighting the government's incongruous strategic approach and inadequate response to violence against women, despite a rhetoric asserting that violence against women is "everybody's business" (Home Office, 2016). This makes for treacherous terrain when seeking to diversify and improve prevention. With this in mind, early data analysis begins to explore possibilities for improved policy level decision making, as well as opportunities for survivor-led prevention incorporating a coalitional approach.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wild J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: British Sociology Association (BSA) Annual Conference

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 147-147

Acceptance date: 01/11/2017

Publisher: British Sociological Association