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Events 22/23

Coerced Debt in the Context of Domestic Abuse: A UK Case Study

Dr Clare Wiper

Wednesday 20th September, 5pm-6pm

Recent studies have demonstrated that diverse forms of economic abuse occur within intimate relationships, with serious consequences for women’s safety and economic security. Often overlooked, however, is the role that debt plays as a means of exercising coercive control. Drawing on data gathered from 78 interviews with women victim-survivors of domestic abuse and relevant stakeholders, this presentation demonstrates how abusive male partners build debt coercively in their victim’s names in order to damage their credit records, deplete their savings, and compromise their ability to access jobs, services, housing and safety. This form of economic abuse – commonly referred to as coerced debt – heightens women’s exposure to prolonged and escalating violence, yet there are few financial or legal remedies for coerced debt in the UK, and a widespread lack of understanding of this abuse among academics, policymakers and key stakeholders, including the police. To complicate matters, coerced debt does not require physical proximity and can continue, escalate and even begin post-separation; an issue that demands full attention as of April 2023, when the controlling and coercive behaviour offence in England and Wales was extended to cover post-separation abuse. Overall, this presentation will draw attention to the urgent need for new and improved understandings of, and responses to, coerced debt in the UK and beyond. 

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Looking at the Spectrum of Misogynistic Terrorism

Professor Caron Gentry

Wednesday 11th October, 5pm-6pm

Misogynistic Terrorism looks at how terrorist groups rely upon misogyny as an ideology to justify actions, what are other ways that misogyny and violence come together? The Everyday Sexism project, the MeToo Movement, and the assassination of Jo Cox, amongst other events of the mid-2010s, highlighted everything from the banality to the targeted violence of misogyny that women face on a daily basis.  Is this violence or threat of violence something that can be captured—or should be captured—in the idea of misogynistic terrorism?

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Enhancing Communication in Police Interviews with Vulnerable Witnesses: A Case Study. 

Dr Laura Farrugia

Wednesday 15th November, 5pm-6pm

The seminar will focus on what constitutes best practice interviewing but how this needs to be changed given the vulnerability of some individuals that enter the criminal justice system. I will discuss the impact of different types of vulnerability on the police interview and present a case study from my role as a Registered Intermediary where communication was enhanced, and best evidence achieved, by changing the way the witness was interviewed. 

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Unintended Consequences: Identifying the Impact of NaCTSO Public-Facing Products and Campaigns.

Dr Paul Dresser

Wednesday 13th December, 5pm-6pm

In the UK, public-facing counter-terrorism products and vigilance campaigns have grown under the National Counter-Terrorism and Security Office (NaCTSO). NaCTSO is a police unit that supports the ‘PROTECT’ and ‘PREPARE’ strands of CONTEST (PREVENT and PURSUE being the other pillars [Booth et al., 2020: 2]). Vigilance campaigns in particular emphasise the public to remain vigilant and escalate information to authorities though little is known about growing public involvement in Counter-Terrorism Protective Security (CTPS) and national security practices beyond PREVENT (Rodrigo Jusue, 2022). Even less is known about the unintended consequences of NaCTSO’s guidance, products and communication(s) and the wider impact on minority groups. This talk explores the aforementioned knowledge gaps. Mixed methods were employed involving quantitative survey data of individuals that have completed CTPS training (N=683), and semi-structured interviews with counter-terrorism practitioners that deliver CTPS training (N=10). Documentary analysis of existing counter-terrorism campaigns constitutes the final element of data; this was used to challenge or support emerging research themes. The findings do not suggest greater saturation of NaCTSO’s products lead to an overly-alarmed public. Nor does greater saturation of CTPS products suggest receivers of CTPS training become desensitised to key information. Furthermore, this report did not find widespread notions of suspect bias across data sets, though there are public-facing engagement issues which are explored during this talk. Finally, we accept there are caveats with using a particularly selective sample and we acknowledge more research is warranted to examine how CTPS is ‘felt, lived through, sensed and borne by individuals and groups’ (Crawford and Hutchinson: 1186). We therefore reflect on policy and practice implications and provide future directions for research.  


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