Recommendations for risk management by police of intimate partner violence against women

AuthorEuropean Institute for Gender Equality (EU body or agency)
3. Recommendations for risk management by police of intimate partner violence against women
European Institute for Gender Equality38
3. Recommendations for risk management
by police of intimate partner violence
against women
(107) Crown Prosecution Service, Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship: legal guidance, domestic abuse, (available at https://
(108) McEwan, T. E., Bateson, S. and Strand, S. (2017), Improving police risk assessment and management of family violence through a collaboration between
law-enforcement, forensic mental health and academia, Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 3, No 2, pp. 119-131.
Principles and
recommendations for police
risk management
Principle 1. Adopting a gender-specific
Risk management should be built on an under-
standing of how gender and women’s inequalit y
shape women’s and children’s experiences of inti-
mate partner violence, and of how gender affects
victims options and perpetrators b ehaviours, to
inform effec tive risk management strategies.
A sound understanding of the gendered dy nam-
ics of intimate partner violence and coercive con-
trol are essential for managing r isk. Ideally, risk
management interventions should follow risk
assessments that include coercive control indi-
cators and that explicitly inform prac titioners’
judgements about risks. Risk management must
maintain a focus on safet y planning with victims
and on holding perpetrators accountable in or-
der to reduce the likelihood of lethal violence and
the harmful consequences of intimate partner
violence on women and children. To this end, po-
lice leadership should promote and implement
training programmes that enable police officers
to identify the gendered dynamics that underpin
intimate partner violence, especially coercive and
controlling behaviours.
Coercive and controlling behaviours have been
defined in the following ways:
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of
acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intim-
idation or other abuse that is used to harm,
punish or frighten the victim.
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts de-
signed to make a person subordinate and/or
dependent by isolating them from sources of
support, exploiting their resources and capac-
ities for personal gain, depriving them of the
means needed for independence, resistance
and escape, and regulating their everyday be-
haviour (107). Such acts include controlling ac-
cess to technology and/or monitoring online
behaviour, including cyberstalking.
Multidisciplinary collaboration can improve police
practice (108), and police can increase their own
capacity in this area by working with womens
rights organisations and victim services agencies
to increase understanding of the impact of gen-
der on risk assessment and risk management of
intimate partner violence.
Police leadership should routinely conduct re-
views and analyses of the learning and develop-
ment needs of police, paying special attention to
developing the necessary understanding of the
gender dynamics of intimate partner v iolence
and the impact of gender on risk management
procedures and processes. Based on the training
needs assessments, mandatory training plans
for all police of ficers involved in risk manage-
ment should be implemented. Training plans can
be distinguished by different levels of compe-
tence and according to the specific role of police
officers under taking risk management activities.

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