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Reconstructing domestic violence as "terrorism against women" : disrupting dominant discourse

Weston-Scheuber, Kylie-Maree

Description

This thesis examines the different ways in which violence is constructed within legal discourse. Two specific types of violence are compared - domestic violence and terrorism. While on the face of it, these appear to be very different types of violence, in the second section of my thesis, I argue that there are significant parallels between the two. In particular, in Chapter 2.2 I argue that serious domestic violence is often committed with a particular ideological motive, that of...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorWeston-Scheuber, Kylie-Maree
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-11T22:34:46Z
dc.date.available2018-10-11T22:34:46Z
dc.date.copyright2011
dc.identifier.otherb2880000
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/148269
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the different ways in which violence is constructed within legal discourse. Two specific types of violence are compared - domestic violence and terrorism. While on the face of it, these appear to be very different types of violence, in the second section of my thesis, I argue that there are significant parallels between the two. In particular, in Chapter 2.2 I argue that serious domestic violence is often committed with a particular ideological motive, that of masculinist ideology. Ideological motive is the first element of the legal definition of terrorism. In making this argument, I draw upon definitions of domestic violence that point to the elements of power and control inherent in some domestic violence, which is committed predominantly by men against women. I also argue that this type of violence is a manifestation of masculinist ideology in a broader sense, which permeates Australian society. In Chapter 2.3, I also argue for the reconceptualisation of domestic violence as a crime committed against women as a 'section of the public'. This accords with the second aspect of the legal definition of terrorism, as a crime committed with the intention of coercing a government, or intimidating the public, or a section of the public. This reconceptualisation contrasts with the usual conceptualisation of domestic violence as a crime committed in the private sphere, a feature of domestic violence which has been the subject of significant feminist critique. Having reconstructed domestic violence as fitting within the two key parameters of the legal definition of terrorism, in Section 3 I go on to consider some of the various ways in which the law differentially treats terrorism and domestic violence. In Chapters 3.1 and 3.2, I consider the treatment of preparatory forms of violence, and prevention of violence. In Chapter 3.1, I examine the regulation of incitement to violence, through the national system for classification of publications and films, and also through the regulation of hate speech in Australian and various overseas jurisdictions. Chapter 3.2 contains an examination of the civil regimes for the control and prevention of violence, specifically terrorism control orders and domestic violence protection orders. Chapters 3.3 and 3.4 consist of an examination of the treatment of more serious forms of violence. In Chapter 3.3 I compare sentencing decisions in Australian terrorism cases with sentences for male-perpetrated homicides against intimate partners, exploring the ways in which the concepts of 'ideology' and 'public' interact with the various considerations to be taken account of upon sentence. In Chapter 3.4, I examine cases in which female victims of domestic violence respond with lethal violence against their abusers, and how they are constructed in legal discourse, in comparison with law enforcement agents who respond to terrorism and other types of violence that threaten the safety of police or the community. I argue that the construction of domestic violence as a 'private' crime devoid of ideological aspects affects the ways in which female perpetrators of defensive homicide are treated in the legal system. Throughout each of these chapters, I consider how the differential constructions of domestic violence and terrorism serve to reflect and reinforce existing power relationships within society. In particular, the continued trivialisation of domestic violence serves masculinist interests in ways that I explore in each chapter. Finally, in Chapter 4, I draw upon some of the themes from these various chapters and discuss possibilities for legal reform and further ways in which reconceptualising domestic violence as an ideological/public crime may influence the way it is dealt with in the legal system.
dc.format.extent446 leaves
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.subject.lccHV6250.4.W65 W47 2011
dc.subject.lcshWomen Violence against
dc.subject.lcshAbused women
dc.subject.lcshTerrorism
dc.titleReconstructing domestic violence as "terrorism against women" : disrupting dominant discourse
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
dcterms.valid2011
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, Canberra, 2011.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2011
local.contributor.affiliationThe Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d63bfb0e85fe
dc.date.updated2018-09-11T00:01:32Z
local.mintdoimint
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