Essay preview UNIVERSITY DEGREE CRIMINOLOGY Research Proposal?? The purpose of this research proposal is to address the area of domestic violence in heterosexual relationships and why women find it difficult to leave abusive relationships. The proposal will start with a title which basically indicates what the report is about. There will be a literature review which covers the key literature used for the study; research questions for victims of domestic violence will also be formulated to aid the study.
The proposal will address the research design to be used as well as the methods of data collection and at the same time emphasis will also be placed on the appropriateness of the method chosen. As expected with every research the proposal will deal with possible problems that could be faced and how they will be addressed including ethical issues. The proposal will also address the timescale for this project outlining the research schedule and that should be concluded with a bibliography.??
Title: Women’s silence to domestic violence: why some do no leave abusive relationships.?? Hypothesis: People hold the view that women who choose not to leave those abusive relationships are passive.?? Aims of the investigation?? * To explore a range of social explanations for the causes of intimate partner violence.?? * To find out why women find it difficult to leave abusive relationships. ?? * To develop an informative framework to victims of domestic violence and enlighten them on the policies of domestic violence. ??
Context of study?? This proposed study is focusing on the data generated by social theorist on violence against women such as Bandura 19731who outline the reasons why some women find it difficult to leave abusive husbands. Hamilton ; Coates (1993)2 rightly stated that women who do not leave abusive relationships are often pathologized and blamed for their victimization. This is what generally happens and therefore the focus of attention is shifted from the wrongs perpetrated by the abuser to people viewing the abused as passive.
Several theories have been put forward to try and explain why abused women do not leave their relationships for example that women tend not leave because they are economically dependant on the abuser3. Also Abbott, Johnson, Koziol and Lowenstein (1995)4 suggested that characteristics of the abuser such as charm may stop the woman from leaving the relationship. This research will pay particular attention to the current social assumption of women who do not leave abusive relationships are masochistic and are to blame for their situations5 and test out whether the theories put forward are still applicable in the modern day times.
The research will address this issue and help correct this grounded view of victims of abuse and provide useful information on domestic violence policies and laws that could rescue victims. ?? Literature Review?? Literature review is integral to this research; this will therefore focus on the research question and its importance. Attention will also be paid to where there are gaps in this field of research and how they will be addressed. It is also necessary to consider whether it is beneficial to fill these gaps and identify who has made an attempt to fill them. ??
The importance of the research question is that it addresses the issue of intimate partner violence and how the violence is learned in the socialization of family life6 and why women tend not leave those abusive relationships. There has not been much focus on the type research that I am carrying out recently. Most of the theoretical data that I managed to get hold of was on information gathered in the early 1980s to mid 90s. Changes within the society as well as technology means that the above factors might not be as accurate as to why women do not leave their abusive husbands.
Therefore my research is important in that fresh data from the twenty first century will be compiled and will give a clearer view of why modern day women still stay in violent relationships. It will also provide a change in the negative social assumptions society holds of women who stay in abusive relationships and provide a shift from these assumptions. Similar research has been carried out by Dunn, 19897 , he found that the main reason why women stay is due to lack of options to responding to violent partners as well as the lack of support from family members.
Newman, 19938 also found that women see no point in leaving their relationships due to the lack of support by the very institutions that are supposed to provide assistance. The research aims to test this area and see whether it is still applicable. Carlson 19979 found that a history of violence tags along future emotional aspects which entrap women thus complicating the process of leaving an abusive partner. When combined the above factors have implications on how domestic violence is interpreted and the perceptions held on women in abusive relationships.
Lastly the research aims to raise awareness on domestic violence, 2007-2008 statistics by the British Crime Survey found that domestic violence cases had increased compared to statistics from 199510.?? Methodology and research design?? Research design is used to refer to the stages and processes which connect research questions to data (Punch, 1998)11 therefore the design aims to connect the research with the data. I am going to use the triangulation method for this research12, and this is whereby more than one method is used to gather data.
According to (Brannen, 1992)13 the use of more than one method is regarded as a complementary technique which means that problems associated with strategy may be compensated for by the strengths of the other. The other reason why I am using the triangulation method is that different methods are appropriate in different research settings and for collecting different types of data. Because my research is quite complex I found this to be the best way to get accurate research after which the results will be combines to give one conclusion to the hypothesis.
The qualitative component of the research will employ semi-structured interviews and the quantitative component will use a postal self completion questionnaire. The complementary use of these methods is a professional and tried and tested methodology14. ?? To start off the research the quantitative method I am going to use for is a postal self completion questionnaire. This is whereby the respondents answer questions by completing the questionnaire themselves. The questions will be closed questions and require the respondent to circle yes, no and don’t know (sample of questions attached).
The purpose of this is to obtain a representative sample of women who will be of interest to the research who will then be called in for a semi-structured interview. The main reason for using the self-completion questionnaire is that they are considered as a way of recording values, attitudes and behaviours of the targeted population and the data is generated in a systematic manner by providing the respondents with the same questions and recording their responses in a methodical manner15 .
Also they are reliable in that they eliminate the differences in the way the questions are phrased and how they are presented to the respondents. The questionnaire will record the respondent’s experiences of intimate partner domestic violence and find out basic background information on why women stay in abusive relationships. At this stage particular attention will be paid to ethical and safety issues that come with intimate domestic partner violence. The questionnaire will contain a statement assuring the respondents of confidentiality alongside a secret code number to ensure anonymity. ? I am aware of the drawbacks that come with this type of quantitative method which may include non response by some respondents. The questionnaire will include a covering letter explaining the aims of the research, its importance and why the recipient has been selected and most importantly it will feature guarantees of confidentiality. The questionnaire will be accompanied by a reply stamped addressed envelope and there will be a follow up on individuals who do not respond approximately three weeks after the first mailing16.
This should improve the response rate and from then respondents will be called in for an in depth interview.?? For the qualitative component I am going to conduct semi structured interviews. The main advantage of using qualitative methods of research is that this type of research is concerned with understanding how people behave the way they do therefore it allows the subjects to give “detailed, richer” answers. This type of research also acts as a forerunner to other types of research for example quantitative research which may leave out valuable areas of research.
I chose this type of method for the research because as highlighted it gives me a chance to exploit very detailed data which cannot be covered by quantitative analysis. It also uses subjective information therefore it is more representative of the women being studied. The interviews will be designed to have the pace be detected by the interviewee; the majority of the questions will be formulated in the interview which means that the interviewee is able to choose to talk about a subject that he/she feels emotionally comfortable with.
The interviews will operate in an open framework and there will be two way communication between the interviewer and interviewee which paves way for the use of emotions, the interviewer can relate to what the interviewee has been through to some extent. At the same time since this is a sensitive subject procedures of ethics will be observed to ensure that the interviewees’ confidentiality is not breached. ?? Ethical considerations?? Ethics are a set of moral standards by which people regulate their behaviour17 therefore it is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that the research is carried out in an ethical manner.
The British Sociological Association 2005 (BSA)18 set out guidelines which were to be followed by researchers when carrying out research. It is essential for my research that it is clearly stated to the interviewees that they are free to withdraw from the research process anytime and at the same time it is my responsibility that the interviewees are informed about what the research process entails and what the findings will be used for.
As my research will be about the sensitive topic of domestic violence it is essential that I observe these guidelines, this benefits me as the researcher as well as the interviewees’ safety. Ellsberg ; Heise (2002)19 highlighted that the main ethical concern related to researching violence against women is the potential to inadvertently cause distress therefore to avoid causing distress the interviews will be structured in a way that the interviewee controls the subjects to be discussed therefore will be able to discuss issues they emotionally capable to. ? It is my ethical responsibility to ensure confidentiality of the participants is preserved, I will ensure that participants will not use their real names but instead they will choose a unique code which identifies them and if there is a need to pass on details to other researchers this will ensure that their identity is protected, this also extends to data that is electronically stored.
I am also aware that due to the nature of qualitative research methods interviewees might find themselves divulging information that they might regret later (Lee, 2003)20 so to ensure confidentiality I will break the link between information provided and the interviewees, this way anonymity is retained. There will also be a consent form to come with the research; this will outline the interviewee’s rights to withdrawal at any time and assurances of anonymity as per BSA 2005. After the interviews take place, any information on relevant agencies and organisations will be passed on to the interviewees so that they get help when and if needed. 1 ?? Bars to performance ?? As with all research there will be obstructions to the ways in which the research is carried out as well as the way in which the data is accessed. A major problem might be that some women will not be willing to discuss issues of domestic violence for fear of retaliation by the perpetrator; the use of a confidentiality guarantee is aimed at assuring the interviewees. The use of triangulation means that the targets will be harder to achieve due to time constraints, therefore to combat this I will ensure that the research is carried out on a small scale and at the same time not putting accuracy in jeopardy.??
Time scale of research ?? The research will take 6-9months to complete. Sending out of questionnaires will take place within the first fortnight of funding approval. The interviews are expected to take place after the data from the survey has been processed and this should be by the fifth month leaving time for results from the interviews to be processed.?? In conclusion what this research proposal has achieved is to do is highlight the elements of the research and the difficulties that are likely to be faced in the process. ?? 1 Bandura, A. (1973), Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall?? Hamilton, B. , & Coates, J. (1993): Perceived helpfulness and use of professional services by abused women. Journal of family violence, 8, 313-324?? 3 Sullivan, C. , Tan, C. , Basta, J. , Rumptz, M. , & Davidson, W. (1992). An advocacy intervention program for women with abusive partners: Initial evaluation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 20 309-332?? 4 Abbott, J. , Johnson, R. , Koziol-McLain, J. , & Lowenstein, S. R. (1995). Domestic violence against women: Incidence and prevalence in an emergency department population. Journal of the American Medical Association, 273(22), 1763-1767?? Walker, L. E. (1984), The battered woman syndrome, New York: Springer?? 6 Kalmuss, D. (1984). The intergenerational transmission of marital aggression. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 11-19?? 7 Dunn, L. L. (1989). The lived experience of fear in battered women. Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama at Birmingham?? 8 Newman, K. (1993). Giving up: Shelter experiences of battered women. Public Health Nursing, 10(2), 108-113?? 9 Carlson, B. E. (1997). A Stress and coping approach to intervention with abused women. Family Relations, 46, 291-298?? 10 Home office statistics, http://www. omeoffice. gov. uk/rds/pdfs08/hosb0708summ. pdf?? 11 Punch, K. F. (1998) Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. London: Sage.?? 12 Jupp, V. (1989) Methods of Criminological Research. London?? 13 Brannen, J. (1992) Mixing Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Aldershot: Avebury?? 14 Sayer, A. (1992) Method in Social Science: A Realist Approach. London: Routledge?? 15 Crow, I. , & Semmens, N (2008) Chapter 5: Research by Reading In Researching Criminology, ed. Crow, I. , & Semmens, N Maidenhead, Open University Press, pp. 81-99?? 16 Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods, Second Edition: Oxford University Press, New York?? 17 Lee-Treweek, G. (2000). Danger in the field: risk and ethics in social research. London: Routledge?? 18 British Sociological Association, Statement of Ethical Practice: www. britsoc. org. uk/about/ethic. htm?? 19 Ellsberg, M and Haise,L(2000), Bearing Witness: Ethics in domestic violence research, LanceT,Vol 359:1599-1604?? 20 Lee, R. M. (1993) Doing research on sensitive topics. SAGE. ?? 21 Arksey, H. , & Knight, P. (1999). Interviewing for social scientists: An introductory resource with examples. London: Sage