Violence against women in intimate partner relationships: community responsibility, community justice
AbstractThis essay proposes a community-control paradigm as a catalyst for a broad-based discussion of alternative policies to reduce incidents of intimate partner violence. Violence against women in intimate partner relationships is an international problem that involves community members and should be treated as a community responsibility, not as an individualized crime. Since battering is a systematic form of domination and social control of women by men, an integrated society-wide response focusing on community control, not the criminal justice system, is necessary if there is to be any hope of ending violence against women in the home. Suggestions for community programs include: general educational and awareness campaigns; community protection for victims and their children; neighbourhood support groups; neighbourhood watch groups; learning circles; community conferencing; community sanctioning of batterers, including community-run residential facilities for batterers as an alternative to jail and prison; batterer intervention programs; and coordinated efforts with the police to deal with severe or persistent cases of intimate partner violence.