Subjective Accounts of The Turning Points that Facilitate Desistance from Intimate Partner Violence

Kate Walker, Erica Bowen, Sarah J. Brown, Emma Sleath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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The transition from persistence to desistance in male perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) is an understudied phenomenon. This article examines the factors that initiate and facilitate primary desistance from IPV. The narratives of 22 male perpetrators of IPV (13 desisters and 9 persisters), 7 female survivors, and 9 programme (IPV interventions) facilitators, in England, were analysed using thematic analysis. In their accounts, the participants described how the change from persister to desister did not happen as a result of discrete unique incidents but instead occurred through a number of catalysts or stimuli of change. These triggers were experienced gradually and accumulated over time in number and in type. In particular, Negative consequences of violence and Negative emotional responses needed to accumulate so that the Point of resolve: Autonomous decision to change was finally realised. This process facilitated and initiated the path of change and thus primary desistance from IPV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-396
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • primary desistance
  • intimate partner violence
  • triggers
  • turning points
  • catalysts for change


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