In God's Shadow: Unveiling the Hidden World of Victims of Domestic Violence in Observant Religious Communities
University of Pennsylvania Law School
September 25, 2013
11 Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy 471 (2014)
U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-27
In recent years, the phenomenon of domestic violence was elevated to the infamous status of a "global epidemic" infesting our society. Despite continuous efforts by law and policy makers to combat this adverse phenomenon affecting 1 in every 3 women around the globe, the problem persists to thrive among us.
Despite this widespread distribution of the phenomenon across society, not all victims are confronted with the same set of challenges in their way to freedom from the chains of violence and abuse. Domestic violence victims of closely knit and observant religious communities is a particular group that faces a distinct set of barriers, which affect their ability and willingness to report, escape the abuse, and cooperate with law enforcement and prosecution agents.
This article aims to provide a unique and fascinating window into the hidden world of domestic violence victims in communities of faith, and to untangle some of the complexities associated with this sensitive issue. This additional layer of knowledge is a vital element in enhancing our ability to implement and promote programs and policies to combat the adverse phenomenon of domestic violence.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 80
Keywords: Religion, domestic violence, gender, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Criminal Law, prosecution, victim, advocacyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 29, 2013 ; Last revised: August 9, 2014
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