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NCJ Number: 135978 Find in a Library
Title: Changing the Boundaries of Crime: The Battered Women's Social Movement and the Definition of Wife Abuse as Criminal Activity
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:(Autumn 1991)  Pages:249-262
Author(s): D R Loseke
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 14
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Defining and examining the differences between wife abuse and domestic disturbances, this article shows the consequences when social problem claims influence public policy.
Abstract: The wife abuse category is demonstrated by specific behaviors that include repeated force and involve psychological as well as physical injury. The victim feels trapped by her circumstances, and the abuse is one-sided. Claims-makers have been successful to convince the public that such extreme victimization warrants criminalizing the act. Domestic disturbance encompasses police/citizen encounters that may not involve breaking the law. Police policy dictates preserving the family instead of arresting the offender. Domestic disturbance is problematic for police as it is a time-consuming pursuit that does not involve enough evidence or support from victims to warrant the legal process. Social movements may shape policy, but there are problems between theory and execution. Criminalizing wife abuse has helped the woman who want her batterer arrested, but it does not address the needs of battered women who do not want law enforcement intervention nor of nonbattered women who rely on police as mediators in a domestic dispute. 56 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Domestic assault; Spouse abuse statutes
Index Term(s): Battered wives treatment; Police-citizen interactions
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