Legal Responses to Violence Against Women in Canada
Elizabeth Sheehy, “Legal Responses to Violence Against Women in Canada” 19 Canadian Woman Studies, pp. 62-73, 1999
12 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2013
Date Written: 1999
Any history of the development and changes in the law as it relates to women and male violence is also a chronicle of the women's movement and its relationship to law. All of the legislation and policy that recognizes women's rights to be free of male violence has been put in place because of the political strength and persistence of the women's movement in our country. In this article the author examines first, second, and third wave feminist campaigns and achievements, showing how second wave feminists used formal equality to reform the laws governing rape and wife assault while a substantive equality model has been deployed by third wave feminists seeking to challenge the ongoing practices of oppression that continue to shape laws regarding male violence against women. While recognizing the advances made through law, she argues that we must simultaneously de-emphasize law as the solution and support the women's movement in efforts to put pressure on the state and thereby create the political conditions for advancing women’s equality.
Keywords: violence, women, men, women's relationship to law, women's movement, Canada, legislation, policy, first wave feminism, second wave feminism, third wave feminism, law, women's movement, political, state, advancing women's equality
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