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Is there an association between controlling behaviour and intimate partner violence revictimization

It is becoming increasingly recognized that controlling behaviours are a widespread form of harm experienced by victims of intimate partner violence; and in some countries ‘coercive control’ – the repetitive and systematic use of controlling behaviours over time – has become a criminal offence. However, the extent to which controlling behaviours are detected by law enforcement, and the utility of this information for predicting revictimization, remains unclear. Therefore, in this study we recorded the presence of five types of controlling behaviours in a sample of police reports for 629 medium- and high-risk cases from the Integrated Safety Response (ISR). We examined the relationship between these controlling behaviours and two measures of revictimization over the following six months: physical harm and injuries. We found that controlling behaviours in these initial reports could be used to predict physical harm to the victim during the follow-up period, with economic and threatening control being the strongest predictors. Controlling behaviours did not predict subsequent injuries. Our ability to predict both types of revictimization outcomes became stronger with the addition of information about the presence of physical harm in the index episode and police’s SAFVR and DYRA risk categorisations, indicating that information about controlling behaviour could complement police’s existing family violence risk assessment practices, rather than being used in place of them.
Type of thesis
Jolliffe Simpson, A., Tomkins, J., Taaka, S., & Polaschek, D. (2021). Is there an association between controlling behaviour and intimate partner violence revictimization. Presented at the New Zealand Evidence Based Policing Centre Conference: Online 2021, Online.