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Women, Violence and Male Power: Feminist Activism, Research and Practice

NCJ Number
M Hester, L Kelly, J Radford
Date Published
203 pages
This book presents 12 papers that have stemmed from the work of the researchers and activists who were members of the British Sociological Association's Violence Against Women Study Group, whose work was conducted between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s; the papers explore the new issues and questions that are central to an understanding of sexual violence and abuse against women.
The first part of the book contains three papers on theoretical and methodological issues. One paper explores the implicit meanings of a remark women often make about experiences of physical and sexual abuse: "Nothing really happened." A second paper explores the data on women's abusive behavior and outlines both useful and unhelpful ways in which this can be accommodated in feminist theory and practice. In the third paper, the author draws on her own experience of systematic sexual harassment to emphasize that feminist researchers are neither inoculated against abuse nor immune to the impacts it has at the time and over time. Part II of the book, "Law, Protection, and Criminal Justice," extends feminist analysis of legal and legislative processes and their consequences. One paper in this section explores the contradictions of crime control under patriarchy when it comes to violence against women and children; another addresses the contradictions and compromises with respect to women's and children's safety under the British Children Act (1989). In the last paper in this section, the author revisits earlier feminist debates about the treatment by the criminal justice system of women who have been raped. Part II, "Researching Experience and Supporting Women," combines chapters about ongoing feminist action research and examinations of the dilemmas currently facing the provision of feminist support services established by and for women. Chapter notes and references and a subject index