A Public Lecture by Dr Heather Nancarrow

When:
1 June 2017

9:30-10:30am

Where:
Case Study Room, The University Club of Western Australia
Cost:
Free
Audience:
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

Book a seat

Heather Nancarrow

Legal responses to domestic and family violence: Gendered aspirations and racialised realities

A public lecture by Dr Heather Nancarrow CEO, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS)

In this public lecture, Dr Heather Nancarrow will examine the data on domestic and family violence through a legal lens. The lack of an intersectional policy analysis, which would consider race, class and gender, has resulted in unintended negative consequences of civil domestic violence laws in Australia. The problem is amplified for Indigenous women. This is demonstrated through a mixed methods research design that examines: 1) gender and race differences in the application of legislation that reflected gendered aspirations (but ignored race); and 2) the kinds of domestic violence that occurred and its contexts.

The data analysed were parliamentary debates, linked administrative court and police records for people who had been charged with breaches of civil domestic violence orders, and interviews with service providers and police prosecutors. A major finding was that although legislation was premised on gender-based coercive controlling violence, the application of the law in practice was far broader, applying it to fights, which is neither effective nor appropriate.

For domestic violence law to be effective, it must distinguish between coercive control and fights, and victims (not just police) must have choice about state intervention. The findings have implications for the design and delivery of interventions, including justice mechanisms, in intimate partner violence.

Dr Heather Nancarrow has 35 years experience working on the prevention of violence against women, including direct service provision, policy and legislation, and research and professional development. Heather has held many leadership roles at both the state and national level in regards to the prevention of violence against women. She was co-Deputy Chair of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Advisory Panel to Reduce Violence against Women 2015-16. In 2014-15 she was a member of the Queensland Premier’s Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence; and in 2008-09 she was Deputy Chair of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, which produced Time for Action, the blue-print for COAG’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Heather has a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her primary research interests are justice responses to violence against women, particularly as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.has 35 years experience working on the prevention of violence against women, including direct service provision, policy and legislation, and research and professional development. Heather has held many leadership roles at both the state and national level in regards to the prevention of violence against women. She was co-Deputy Chair of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Advisory Panel to Reduce Violence against Women 2015-16. In 2014-15 she was a member of the Queensland Premier’s Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence; and in 2008-09 she was Deputy Chair of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, which produced Time for Action, the blue-print for COAG’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Heather has a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her primary research interests are justice responses to violence against women, particularly as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This event is co-sponsored by the UWA Law School and the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies.