A special virtual issue of The British Journal of Criminology has grouped together articles spanning more than thirty years of scholarship on domestic violence.
Many of the articles challenge the commonsense assumption that more laws and tougher criminal justice enforcement will have a meaningful impact on rates and levels of domestic violence. Other articles examine criminal justice practice, finding it, in many cases, wanting.
One author, Laureen Snider, argues that 'criminalization, incarceration and increased punitiveness, while symbolically important, have reinforced right wing agendas, with little to offer those seeking justice, transformation or remedial action'.
The 'obsession with punishment', she adds, 'has diverted attention from examinations of the causes of violence and from explorations of ways to transcend criminalization'.
All the articles are free to download for a time-limited period.