Justice?: Interviews with front-line domestic violence workers




Abel, Stephanie Lynn

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This thesis explores the concept of justice and its relationship with violence against women in intimate heterosexual relationships (VAWIHR). Open-ended questions elicited information on the work conducted by five women who self identified as working on the front lines of VAWIHR. A themes analysis of the interviews located five practices of justice in the interviews: front-line workers, government policy and funding allocation, custody practices, the criminal justice system, and alternative responses. None of the five practices of justice was able to respond effectively to VAWIHR. Front-line workers, essential for supporting and guiding women through the other practices of justice, are limited in their responses by government policy and funding allocation. Custody practices and the criminal justice system are unable to deal adequately with VAWIHR because such practices cannot contextualize responses to the issues, and realities of VAWIHR. The potential alternatives for VAWIHR address some of the issues, but not the full complexity of VAWIHR



justice, violence, social work, criminal justice system, government policy, custody practices