Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Law's Indifference to Women's Experience of Violence: Colonial and Contemporary Australia

35 Women’s Studies International Forum 86-96, 2012

12 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2012 Last revised: 11 Nov 2013

Sarah Ailwood

School of Law & Justice, University of Canberra

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Jessica Kennedy

University of Canberra

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Research suggests that despite substantial changes to domestic violence legislation since its conception in the 19th century, women’s voices continue to be muted and domestic violence continues to be invisible, to some extent, in the eyes of the law. This paper uses the 1881 autobiography of Eliza Davies and the voices of contemporary women who speak out about their experiences to highlight the dynamics through which domestic violence becomes and remains invisible. It particularly focuses on the effects of the adversarial justice system, and its indifference to victims of violence within criminal and family law processes. Clear parallels in the social, legal and juridical experiences of domestic violence between the mid-nineteenth century and contemporary Australia are drawn. It concludes that although many aspects of the law have changed, and clear improvements have been achieved in some areas, the procedures by which those laws are administered mean that their effectiveness to protect the victim is limited.

Keywords: domestic violence, legal and juridicial, historical, contemporary Australia

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Ailwood, Sarah and Easteal, Patricia L. and Kennedy, Jessica, Law's Indifference to Women's Experience of Violence: Colonial and Contemporary Australia (2012). 35 Women’s Studies International Forum 86-96, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2181786

Sarah Ailwood

School of Law & Justice, University of Canberra ( email )

University of Canberra
ACT
2602
Australia

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia
+61 (0)2 6201 5779 (Phone)
+61 (0)2 6201 5764 (fax) (Fax)

Jessica Kennedy

University of Canberra ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Paper statistics

Downloads
74
Rank
271,565
Abstract Views
432