Interventions in the context of the Violence Protection Act with a particular focus on children and youth
Problems and Status Quo: Domestic violence is a massive problem in both its scope and impact for victims as well as for society at large. The Second Violence Protection Act empowers the executive forces in Austria to evict perpetrators and prohibit their re-entry. Women and children are the primary victims. Empirical social research has developed a lot of nuance and differentiation in the field of domestic violence.
However, police interventions, particularly the perspective and experience of children and youth during and after such action have not yet been the focus of extensive empirical social research. Therefore, the following research questions will be the focus of this project:
- How do children and youth experience police interventions based on Section 38 lit. a Security Police Act (Violence in the private sphere)? What needs (related to their subjective sense of security) do they articulate?
- How do police officers perceive children and youth during such interventions?
Aims and Methods: A primary goal is the systematic gathering of insight from the children and youth’s perspective as well as involved experts. For this purpose 40 qualitative interviews and vignette-analysis will be conducted with children and youth who have experienced such interventions in two model regions. Furthermore, the police’s perspective will be analysed based on two focus groups.
A second goal is the development of recommendations for optimized child- and youth-oriented interventions. This will entail an analysis of standard police and social work practice as well as their cooperation mechanisms; based thereon, written recommendations for practice will be elaborated with the project partners (Ministry of the Interior, Violence Protection Centers, Interventionsstelle) (meetings with regional and cross-regional working groups).
Maga Sandra Messner
Zentrum für Sozialforschung und Wissenschaftsdidaktik (ZSW)
Bundesministerium für Inneres (BM.I), Abteilung Einsatzangelegenheiten, Referat II/2/A für den Exekutivdienst
Wiener Interventionsstelle gegen Gewalt in der Familie
IfS – Gewaltschutzstelle Vorarlberg