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NCJ Number: 159010 Find in a Library
Title: Legal System's Treatment of NESB (Non-English-Speaking Background) Women Victims of Male Violence
Journal: Criminology Australia  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:(May 1995)  Pages:20-22
Author(s): H Assafiri; M Dimopoulos
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This article presents instances in which Australian courts have failed to act sensitively and protectively to assist women victims of male violence when those women were of non-English- speaking backgrounds (NESB).
Abstract: NESB migrant women encounter particular problems when they seek to leave or escape violent men. They have to cope not only with the trauma of violence and the loss of their homes, but also face the widespread racism of the legal system, as evidenced by studies of a sample of such cases. The use of various stereotypes by some magistrates when considering applications for intervention orders by NESB women served to enable the implicit manifestation of racism through ill-defined notions of deviance and, subsequently, notions of "deservability." The court process the authors witnessed revealed the positioning of the victim's behavior and her culture as the appropriate arena for scrutiny, rather than the adjudication of the violence of the perpetrator. Consequently, the corresponding notion of legal protection was rarely identified as a right, but rather a privilege delivered or offered differentially to NESB women. In some instances, magistrates extensively evaluated the ethnicity of the woman in relation to the degree to which her culture may permit assimilation into the mainstream Anglo culture. The greater the culture's resistance to assimilation, the more likely was the judge to view the woman as "deviant."
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Domestic assault; Foreign courts; Minorities
Note: An edited version of an original paper presented at the Australian Institute of Criminology Conference, "Migrants and the Criminal Justice System," in April 1993.
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