‘It was a challenge to look at things from a perpetrator perspective’. The problem of holding domestically abusive men to account in multi-agency partnership work

Pam Davies, Charlotte Barlow, Rebecca Fish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the most challenging aspects of multi-agency partnership work aimed at reducing domestic abuse is the problem of holding perpetrators to account. Drawing on findings from our recent mixed methods evaluation of a revised approach to multi-agency policing of domestic abuse, this article explores this problem from the perspective of the multi-agency practitioner stakeholders. We present evidence attesting to the challenge these stakeholders are experiencing as they strive to ensure they play their part in ensuring the perpetrator is accountable for their behaviour. We review what is known about male perpetrators and perpetrator programmes, and examine our findings in the context of the wider challenges of engaging perpetrators in behavioural change. We argue that the perpetrator is the elusive stakeholder in multi-agency partnership work to reduce domestic abuse and that the web of accountability requires strengthening if domestically abusive men are to be held to account.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jan 2024

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