How many twists and turns do women have to make to escape abusive partners?
Only each woman herself would be able to map the road she has travelled – and often she still won’t know if there are more journeys to make.
Interviews with twenty women about their domestic violence journeys showed complex trajectories which could be over 2, 3, or more years; and involving nine or ten moves. And women and their children could still be in temporary or insecure accommodation and anxious about when they would have to move again.
Analysis of the administrative data in this current research project is revealing complex journeys of moves and stays – accessing different types of services across England. It is only possible to link the data over a maximum of four years, and what is most striking is that these journeys seem to be just the tip of the iceberg.
For example, a 22 year old woman, with no children, is recorded as having ten stays either in services or between accessing services; travelling over 600 miles within England in under 3 years. But the first service record is in a women’s refuge – so she was already on the move due to domestic violence before this administrative record begins.
A 39 year old woman, with a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son, was in a local authority tenancy at the start of the administrative record. But over 800 miles later, in under year, she and her children had 7 stays in different types of accommodation, and the final recorded move is to stay with friends. Even such complex trajectories are clearly only part of longer journeys away from abuse.
administrative data only record what happened – we need to listen to women at
every stage to understand which journeys are necessary, and which are more
about a failure to provide the right support at that point in the road.
 Bowstead, Janet C. 2016. “Women on the Move: Theorising the Geographies of Domestic Violence Journeys in England.” Gender, Place and Culture 24 (1): 108–121. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2016.1251396.
 EUGEO. 2019. Re-Imagining Europe’s Future Society and Landscapes: EUGEO Congress 2019 Book of Abstracts. Galway, Ireland [Page 205] “Keep on running: women’s multiple moves in seeking security from domestic violence”. https://www.eugeo2019.eu/conference-schedule.