The process of primary desistance from intimate partner violence

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

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4 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


This study examined the interaction between structure and agency for individuals in the first or early phase of primary desistance (one year offending free) from intimate partner violence (IPV). Narrative accounts of perpetrators, survivors and IPV programme facilitators were analysed using Thematic Analysis. Changes in the self and the contexts, structures and conditions were necessary to promote desistance. Perpetrators made behavioural and cognitive changes taking on different identities (agentic role) by removing external stressors and instability within the confines of a supportive environment (structural role). Findings provide a theoretical framework of desistance from IPV that integrates social processes and subjective change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-875
Number of pages33
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number7
Early online date15 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

Bibliographical note

This paper has been accepted for publication in Violence Against Women. Full citation details will be uploaded when available.

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  • Primary desistance
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Process of change

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