Mujeres que se recuperan de la violencia de género en la pareja: análisis de la relación entre el proceso de liberación psicosocial de las víctimas y su participación en el procedimiento judicial contra su agresor
|Título alternativo||Women’s journey towards recovery from genderbased intimate partner violence: analysis of the relationship between female victims’ process of psychosocial liberation and their participation in the legal proceeding|
|Author||García Jiménez, María|
|Director||Cala Carrillo, María Jesús
Trigo Sánchez, María Eva
Barberá Heredia, Ester
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Psicología Experimental|
|Abstract||Background: One aspect of interest in the study of intimate partner violence has to do
with the reasons why victims do not continue their participation in prosecution after a
complaint has been filed against their abusers. ...
Background: One aspect of interest in the study of intimate partner violence has to do with the reasons why victims do not continue their participation in prosecution after a complaint has been filed against their abusers. Over the six studies presented in this thesis, not only do we deepen our understanding of this phenomenon in the Spanish context but we also present predictive models of female victims’ withdrawal from prosecution. Although previous literature had studied different psychological variables, no previous research has included victims’ recovery and liberation from violence as a process affecting their decision to disengage from legal proceedings. Hence, we studied the relationship between the process women go through to end the abuse and their decision to drop the charges pressed against their partners and ex-partners. Methodology: The methodology varied from one study to another as they derived from different larger projects. During the first project, it was developed the main questionnaire to gather information and identify potential predictors of women’s withdrawal from prosecution, for which we selected different items as variables to be analysed depending on the aim of each study. These variables were divided into two sets: psychological, emotional, and motivational variables; and variables related to the legal proceedings and the professionals involved. For this project, we collected data from 763 female victims, but we only knew whether they had dropped the charges in 345 finalized cases. These retrospective data were analysed in Publication 1. In addition, for those retrospective cases in which we knew the timing of withdrawal from legal proceedings (105), we ran some exploratory analyses which were presented in Publication 5. In a second project, we completed the dataset for those remaining 418 women (393 after lost cases) by collecting data on whether they had dropped charges. These prospective data were analysed in Publication 2 and in the first set of analyses in Publication 3. Prospective (393) and retrospective data (345) were compared in Publication 2 to explore probable changes within the psychological and emotional variables, and they were also considered together in a single dataset (738) in Publication 3 to develop a logistic regression model to predict the likelihood of disengagement from prosecution. This model included all relevant psychological and legal variables. New data from 80 women involved in legal proceedings against their ex-partners were collected in Publication 6 as we analysed the relationship between the likelihood of disengagement and their level of psychosocial liberation from the violent relationship. In Publication 4 we synthesized the process of liberation from the violent partner and the stages of this process by combining different theoretical models. Results: Results highlighted two variables related to the legal system predicting victims’ withdrawals: not being granted a protection order and women’s feeling that they were not involved in the decision-making process with their lawyers throughout the legal process. Both variables predicted disengagement using retrospective (Publication 1) and prospective data (Publication 3). However, the comparison of the psychological and emotional variables based on the retrospective versus prospective data did show important differences (Publication 2). Women from the prospective dataset had less contact with the 2 abuser after filing the complaint, thought less about going back with him, felt less guilty, and had less psychological support during the legal proceedings than women from the retrospective dataset. Of all of these variables, shown in previous research as good predictors of disengagement using solely retrospective data, only contact with the partner was capable of predicting victims’ withdrawals with prospective data, as well as the interaction between contact and the idea of going back with the abuser (Publication 2). The resulting integrative predictive model developed in Publication 3 included all six variables shown as relevant predictors in the previous studies but considering together both the retrospective and prospective datasets. Publication 4 describes the complexity of the process of recovery and leaving the abusive relationship through different stages, identifying different indicators of the progress from one stage to the next. In addition, the results in Publication 5 concerning the timing of withdrawal showed that those variables indicating a still incipient process of liberation were significantly more present in women dropping charges at the beginning of the legal procedure. In this publication, we also developed a statistical model capable of predicting the timing of withdrawal from the prosecution process, on the basis of the victims’ expectations regarding protection and their request for protection from the justice system. Finally, the main results in Publication 6 showed that the higher the psychosocial separation from the aggressor (the more liberated from the relationship) the lower the likelihood of disengagement from the legal proceedings. Discussion: Deciding whether to participate in the prosecution process against women’s abusers has been shown to be a complex process in which multiple factors intervene. Those factors related to the legal system and professionals, which do not seem to vary over the course of the legal procedure, underline how important it is that the criminal justice system protect victims and ensure that women are actively involved in the decision-making process during the legal procedure. The emotional and psychological factors, which do seem to change as the legal proceedings progress, highlight the impact of the process of liberation from the partner, according to the results in Publications 5 and 6. The results are discussed extensively in terms of the need to detect all the relevant variables, focusing particularly on the importance of professionals’ specialization and empathy. Training on this topic is fundamental if professionals are to comprehend the reasons that may lead female victims to disengage from prosecution while respecting women’s agency, as their decisions come from the rational evaluation of their particular situation and needs.
|Cite||García Jiménez, M. (2020). Mujeres que se recuperan de la violencia de género en la pareja: análisis de la relación entre el proceso de liberación psicosocial de las víctimas y su participación en el procedimiento judicial contra su agresor. (Tesis Doctoral Inédita). Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla.|