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NCJ Number: 221840 Find in a Library
Title: What is to be Done About Violence Against Women?: Gender, Violence, Cosmopolitanism, and the Law
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:48  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:39-54
Author(s): Sandra Walklate
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 16
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Reflecting back on a paper published nearly 25 years ago on violence against women, this paper considers what has changed and what has remained the same in the intervening years with respect to responding to and dealing with violence against women.
Abstract: In efforts to respond to violence against women, policies operate not on the both/and principle, but the either/or principle. One is either a victim (a complainant) or an offender (a defendant). However, people’s real lives do not look like this. In the grey mass that comprises domestic violence, the dynamics produced in what are usually highly charged emotional situations are unpredictable for all parties. The cosmopolitan agenda which basically means the recognition of difference, both internally and externally hits the brick wall of a criminal justice system rooted in the modernist principles of ‘white man’s justice’, assuming a majority worldview. This is the story of the last 25 years in responding to violence against women. In 1983, Elizabeth Wilson offered an analysis of the problem of violence against women and the route to a solution, of which some of the specific issues discussed are seen as dated now. The focus of this paper is the exploration of one of the levels referred to by Wilson in which there has been considerable action over the last 25 years, the law: the drive to bring offenders to justice. It examines the problems and the possibilities that are inherent within the recourse to law in addressing violence against women in the context of how it might be possible to take account of the ‘other’. This is done by documenting the range of laws that have been passed designed to address violence against women and what is known about the impact of the laws, examining the energy devoted to the law itself and the problems in the tensions between what might be called imaginary law or imagining the ‘other’ in law, and considering the tensions between the legal focus on criminalizing violence and the continued global commitment to violence: imaginary cosmopolitanism. References
Main Term(s): Domestic assault; Female victims
Index Term(s): Abused women; Criminal justice system analysis; Criminal justice system effectiveness; History of criminal justice
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