Violent Conflict, Political Settlement and Intimate Partner Violence: Lessons from Northern Ireland

Political Settlements Research Programme, Working Paper 2017

Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 19-04

17 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Monica McWilliams

Monica McWilliams

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Jessica Doyle

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Date Written: February 10, 2018

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global phenomenon, but it is shaped by the socio-political and cultural factors that exist within a given society. A key factor shaping IPV is the presence of violent conflict, although empirical research on the precise ways in which IPV and conflict connect has been scarce. Drawing on a Northern Ireland case study, this briefing paper seeks to address this gap by investigating how the transition from violent conflict to peaceful political settlement has shaped experiences of and responses to IPV. More specifically, the research investigates changes across three key areas, namely policing, paramilitarism and firearms. It does so on the basis of findings from more than 100 in-depth semi-structured interviews with women victims of IPV from across Northern Ireland conducted at two junctures; first in 1992 during a period of protracted violent conflict, and more recently in 2016 at a time of enduring peace. The findings trace the changes that have occurred across each of these areas and highlight the problems that remain in the post-conflict environment. The policy implications of these findings for political settlements are outlined below. The research contributes to better understanding of how IPV shapes women’s participation in peace processes, and how peace processes can re-shape violence beyond the conflict in ways that enable the fuller participation of women.

Keywords: Gender-based violence, Conflict, Post conflict, Intimate partner violence, Security sector reform, Northern Ireland

Suggested Citation

McWilliams, Monica and Doyle, Jessica, Violent Conflict, Political Settlement and Intimate Partner Violence: Lessons from Northern Ireland (February 10, 2018). Political Settlements Research Programme, Working Paper 2017; Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 19-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3121693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3121693

Monica McWilliams (Contact Author)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Jordanstown
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT370QB
Ireland
00442890368597 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=2101330

Jessica Doyle

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

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