Women, Intimate Partner Violence, and the Law
Every year, millions of women across the world turn to the law to help them live free from intimate partner violence. They engage with child protection services and police and apply for civil protection orders. They seek family court orders to keep their children safe from violent fathers, and take special visa pathways to avoid deportation following their separation from an abuser. Women are often driven to interact with the law to counteract their abuser's myriad
legal applications against them. While separation may seem like a solution, often the abuse just gets worse.
Countless women who have experienced intimate partner violence are enmeshed in overlapping, complex, and often inconsistent legal processes. They have both fleeting and longer-term connections with the legal system. Women, Intimate Partner Violence, and the Law explores how women from many different backgrounds interact with the law in response to intimate partner violence, over time. Drawing on their experiences of seeking help from the law, this book highlights the many failures of
the legal system to provide safety for women and their children. The women's stories show how abusers often harness aspects of the legal process to continue their abuse. Heather Douglas reveals women's complex experiences of using law as a response to intimate partner violence.
Douglas interviewed women three times over three years to reveal their journey through the legal process. On occasion, the legal system allowed some women closure. However, circular and unexpected outcomes were a common experience. The resulting book showcases the level of endurance, tenacity, and patience it takes women to seek help and receive protection through law. This book shows how the legal system is failing too often to keep women and their children safe and how it might do