A Descriptive Model of the Offence Process in Domestic Violence.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In the last fifteen years, the problem of domestic violence has moved from being a 'behind closed doors' phenomenon to an issue of increasing public concern. This concern has inevitably coincided with increasing research efforts. The majority of this research has focused on men who batter female partners. Attempted explanations for this problem have arisen from general theories of aggression as well as research identifying the unique characteristics of domestically violent men. This study proposed a new direction for domestic violence research, considering domestic violence as a process. The application of such a conceptualisation was intended to capture both the dynamic and complex nature of these events. A qualitative methodology based on Grounded Theory was used to delineate a descriptive model of the offence process in domestic violence from interviews with ten participants currently incarcerated at Paparua Prison, Christchurch. These men had current or prior convictions for domestic violence offences. The model that emerged from this study consists of four temporally sequential phases which are described and discussed. These consist of: background factors, buildup/ offence context phase, offence phase and post-offence phase. It is suggested that this offence process model will provide a framework for the evaluation of current causal explanations, has the potential to enhance the development ofnew hypotheses and has utility in terms of alterring current conceptualisations of effective intervention packages.