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Violence, Gender and Justice Review Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Jan 15th, 2022

Confronting Violence: People, Policies and Places

Numerous institutions and policies become applicable when violence has been committed. In fact, many tools are available to confront violence of any kind. In 1970s feminist thinking was translated into action against domestic violence and rape. The first refugees and rape crisis centers were established for the victims of any kind of sexual and domestic violence (Zakaras, p. 52). However, they were exposed to certain financial difficulties when offering their help to the aggrieved ones.

Gendered violence is a matter of concern for state. Unfortunately, state services fail to control violence in individual cases, to challenge ‘gender’ and to control violence as gendered. In 1970s and 1980s the state services had little interest and disingenuousness in gendered violence. The cases of Lees 1999, Adler 1987, Temkin 1987 and Lees 1987 are referred in order to specify on the problem. The cases of recent times (Rana Faruqui, Tania Moore, Hayley Richards, Clare Bernal) are also related to show that the problem continues as not solved yet. Over the past thirty years the state services reportedly failed to address the problem of violence as a gender matter and that is why are rather distant from solving the problem. Men go unnoticed. Men and their violence do not feature in the problem discussion. They have been hidden under the failures of state services. For example, there have been no efforts to work with men who abuse their mates and children.

The failure to distinguish men as primary group to commit violence also leads to the failure to specify the sites which are the most endangered by the group: family and the home. Thus it is very important to consider the sites and locations which are affected.

The Family of Man

Numerous family histories under consideration prove that family and close community are the areas to be primary endangered by men’s violence. Familial practices provide convenient grounds for much violent and sexual offending of women. The myth about the unknown offender is disclosed; violence both towards women and children is committed by the family men who see their potential victims on regular basis. Great number of violence cases clearly proves that most cruel acts are committed by fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, lovers, close friends and husbands.

“An Englishman’s home is his castle”. Men feel more confident in their unquestioning impunity when they are at home. The fact is proved by statistics: in 2000 only 11% of violent acts were committed by strangers while the majority of them were done at home. In 2001, in 90% of calls to Child line regarding sexual abuse the victims knew their offenders for a remarkable period of time or were their householders. In 2002 children sex offenders’ and reoffending cases were researched and the results revealed that the two thirds of children to suffer were within the offenders’ family units.

Men feel secure behind the closed doors of their family houses. Family masculinity is the primary danger for the violence victims. Facts reveal that sexual abuse is mostly done by the offenders with male bodies against the victims with female bodies.

Crimes within family unit offer unconditional proves that women and girls are the victims of men thus indicating violence to be a gender problem. Freud’s family conception shows that psychologically men have a tendency for sexual abuse of women within their family units. He also found out the phenomenon of primary erotic narcissism.

Family security depends on social-economical reasons in accordance with Murray’s statement. Family is a beachhead for men to emphasis “exclusiveness, restrictions, symbolic ordering and control over access”.

The Law, the Courts and Conviction

There exist no other areas where the law fails to show justice on such a serious scale but for the area of masculine violence within the family unit. The law must reflect on women being the victims of men.

Numerous aspects of the law on rape represent women who complain about rape as potentially untrustworthy. There are a lot of aspects in the law on rape that question whether women do not represent their dissatisfaction with particular sexual relations as a case of being raped. The law has too many assumptions on women irrationality and female fragility.

The suggestion that a rape complaint is an easy accusation to make leads to the law’s failure to punish the guilty ones. Due to some defects in the rape investigation legislation it is very easy for men to get away with rape. It is evident that the law on rape is primary written to promote males’ rights and to protect them from the false accusation of committing rape.

The law on rape suggests the idea that women cannot be trusted both in rape and any other matters. Kelly’s investigation of 2000 rape cases clearly proves that women were only trusted when some weapons were applied; the cases when women were affected with men’s strength without any other means are satisfied rather rarely.

The law on rape rests on the idea that the same event can be understood from two sides. Moreover, contradictory cases are handled prioritizing the interests of men thus promoting violence and leaving the problem unsolved.

Embodying Violence: Masculinity, Culture and Crime

Data clearly show that the connection between violence and masculinity is straightforward. Men are more likely to commit crimes. This indicates violence as connected to masculinity. However, the law considers the crimes committed by men both against females and males not from the point of aggressive masculinity nature but from the points of poverty, youth and race. Crime is also considered to be an exercise of power towards weaker ones and thus is connected to masculinity.

One of the reasons why masculinity is still not revealed in the law as crime causing factor is connected to the positions men occupy in society. Despite women’s feministic achievements in the twenty first century men still control the most important institutes to affect law which are politics, journalism, legislation and academy.

Just as in the case with committing rapes masculinity can be seen as a trope to any sort of crime. However, masculinity in itself is not the very essence of crime. Committing crime is closely connected to exercising power. This fact is well proved historically. On the other hand, the fact that power is a patriarchal advantage is also proved historically. Thus it is clear that masculinity has undeniable connection with crime and violence. So, not recognizing the significance of masculinity and gender in committing crimes may have cost a lot. That is why though there is no clear model of the conception of masculinity connection to committing crimes and acing violent it is to be developed and reflected in the law to control crime in society.

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