Missing women: policing absence

Stevenson, O., Parr, H. and Woolnough, P. (2017) Missing women: policing absence. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42(2), pp. 220-232. (doi: 10.1111/tran.12160)

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This paper considers the neglected mobilities associated with a sample of UK women reported as missing. Refracted through literatures on gendered mobility and abandonment, the paper argues that the journeys of these women in crisis are not well understood by police services, and that normative gender relations may infuse their management. By selectively exploring one illustrative police case file on Kim, we highlight how reported and observed socio-spatial relationships within private and public spaces relate to search actions. We argue that Kim's mobility and spatial experiences are barely understood, except for when they appear to symbolise disorder and danger. We address the silences in this singular case by using the voices of other women reported as missing, as collected in a research project to explore the agency, experience and meaning of female mobility during absence. We argue that women reported as missing are not abandoned by UK policing services, but that a policy of continued search for them may be at risk if they repeatedly contravene normative socio-spatial relationships through regular absence mobilities. By way of conclusion, we address recent calls for research that explores the relationships between gender and mobility.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parr, Professor Hester and Stevenson, Dr Olivia
Authors: Stevenson, O., Parr, H., and Woolnough, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
ISSN (Online):1475-5661
Published Online:29 November 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 42(2):220-232
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
512121Geographies of missing people: processes, experiences and responsesHester ParrEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/H030166/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES