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Women and Citizenship$
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Marilyn Friedman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195175344.001.0001

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Battered Women, Intimidation, and the Law

Battered Women, Intimidation, and the Law

Chapter:
(p.52) 3 Battered Women, Intimidation, and the Law
Source:
Women and Citizenship
Author(s):

Sandra Bartky

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195175344.003.0004

Bartky explores some subtle features of legal institutions that obstruct women’s attempts to use the law to diminish domestic violence. To begin with, legal practice is embodied in buildings of intimidating size and scale. In addition, law is practiced in forms of language that are inaccessible to ordinary women. Furthermore, judges and lawyers may abuse their power, intimidate the women who seek their help, and collude with each other in virtue of gender or class connections that the women do not share. Insofar as women are unable to gain redress from the legal system for the domestic violence they suffer, they fall outside the citizenship protection of the Social Contract, argues Bartky, and are effectively returned to the state of nature.

Keywords:   domestic violence, law, intimidation, women, legal institutions

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