Gender, risk assessment and coercive control : Contradictions in terms?

Barlow, Charlotte and Walklate, Sandra (2021) Gender, risk assessment and coercive control : Contradictions in terms? British Journal of Criminology, 61 (4). pp. 887-904. ISSN 0007-0955

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In December 2015, the criminal offence of coercive control was introduced in England and Wales. Whilst, in this legislation, this concept is presumed to be gender-neutral, there is widespread agreement that coercive control is gendered. Using empirical data gathered in one police force area in the South of England, this paper offers an exploration of the feasibility of the extent to which existing risk assessment practices and understandings of risk embedded within them, can incorporate the phenomenon of coercive control. The findings highlight concerns about gender-blind, incident-led (rather than process-led) approaches to assessing risk when these approaches are set against victim/survivor concerns. These concerns highlight the inherent problems embedded in the contemporary gender-blind embrace of the concept of risk as assumed in practices of risk assessment.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Criminology
Additional Information:
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Charlotte Barlow, Sandra Walklate, Gender, risk assessment and coercive control: Contradictions in terms?, The British Journal of Criminology, July 2021, 61, 4 ; 887-904 is available online at:
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Deposited On:
02 Feb 2021 16:55
Last Modified:
19 Feb 2024 00:44