I have been looking at some ‘involuntary porn’ pictures since I got back to work. These are better known as revenge porn and I have been doing this for research purposes, honest. I am currently trying to get a feel for what kind of sites are out there and what happens to someone when they end up on such a site. So far there seems to be two main types. Type one is where pictures of an ex are posted and viewed by others. Type two, where the person in the pictures is notified that their image is on the site and given a link to where the person can pay to have the pictures removed. Alongside these are ‘homewrecker’ sites, where someone who is the other party in a split is exposed online complete with pictures and an in-depth account from the wronged person.
Alongside all this rather dodgy viewing I am reading Stigma : notes on the management of spoiled identity by Goffman , The presentation of self in everyday life also by Goffman, Discipline and punish : the birth of the prison by Foucault and Intimacy : personal relationships in modern societies by Jamieson.
I am also involved in some side projects alongside my PhD work. I am collaborating in writing papers based on the work we did as a team in China. I have other projects I am involved with that is keeping me busy. Today I signed up for 6 courses on gradbook, all stuff I need to know in order to help me along this PhD process.
The festive season is done and I am back at my desk reading and writing and doing the usual things. Whilst catching up on my very important twitter feed I came across an article in the Guardian discussing an increase in domestic violence around Christmas. The article stated that a particular court in Manchester was having to stay open while other courts were closed in order to deal with the sheer volume of cases. This spike in domestic violence is not limited to Manchester, apparently it is a pattern that is repeated across the country. The cases highlighted included the traditional man on female cases as well as other forms of domestic violence. While reading this I was reminded of a conversation I had before Christmas with a constable in the Met. He was on duty on Christmas Day and spoke of how he was expecting lots of domestic violence call outs as experience had taught him this was to be expected.
This comes at a time when domestic violence referrals by the police are falling despite increasing reports to the police over the last few years. There is a new campaign by the government to highlight domestic violence and make people aware that it is not all about physical violence, the new definition includes but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. The recent adverts show that controlling behaviour can be checking a partners phone to see who they are in contact with. By not limiting domestic abuse to just physical violence it allows both men and women to get help in relationships where they are being treated unfairly. It will also identify more people as abusers, especially those who are unable to resort to violence. A teenager may claim domestic abuse if a parent regularly checks their phone, while the parent feels they are doing the responsible thing.
Violence can be used when one party feels they are losing control and they want to re-establish the control over the partner, the relationship or oneself. Violence has also been linked to the mental health of the perpetrator, but research has found that most offenders do not have mental health issues. If an offender does have mental health issues a partner is more likely to stay with them as the mental health issues gets the blame rather than the offender.
New definitions of domestic abuse and greater reporting will encourage wider discussion as a society as well as between families about what is acceptable behaviour.