Given some of Dunn and Powell-William’s conclusions about the current, prioritizing of women leaving abusive relationships by advocates, how does the conversation of Intimacy Abuse Circles in McPhail et al. provide further insight to strategies for dealing with domestic partner violence?
The conversation provides several alternatives that cope with the domestic violence . Mainly, the idea that women leave abusive relationships through some advocates is not being considered as an optimal choice. The Interior Alaska Center or IAC has its advocacy and support through exploring options, safety planning, crisis intervention, providing referrals, and accompaniment to appointments. In addition, IAC serves as an emergency shelter available for women and their children who are in need of safe housing. At the start, shelters are viewed as short-term remedy. The objectives of the emergency shelter have evolved to include political activism, deliberate with government for finance systematically, public education campaigns, and building alliance. Originally, the principle of a transition house is feminists’ perspective; it is to provide safety, a place where a woman could escape from abusive, or life threatening situations. IAC is like a family and a friend; its community members worked in restorative justice models to ensure intact perpetuators accountability. In the legal advocacy of IAC, the advocates assist with thorough understanding in the legal processes, assist on the completion of paperwork for protective orders, divorce, dissolution, child custody, and attend in court with the victim for support. All the support helps women to empower in decision-making and to realize their personal conditions as part of the social problems.
The conversation of the research participants demonstrate different ideas and are associated with the ideas of IAC. A participant expressed concerns that the organized community is a complex task if the community itself is not equipped with resources. Another participant viewed that the care provided by the community has the tendency of not being aligned with the needs of the victim. Cultural beliefs support violence in certain cases as supported by another advocate, an alternative to legal solutions. The victims or survivors have their own solution, mediate in the family intervention, rather than resorting to the system of criminal justice, and live up the expectation and power to the judge. The legal system is somewhat oppressive while mediation gives more power to the victim if it is rightfully done.
Therefore, the alternative of the IAC has its merits or advantages and disadvantages. The merits are self-determination and empowerment given to the victim. Both the legal and feminist power, override with its choice, to the detriment the victims and perpetrators. The legal actions can cause further isolation of the victim. However, overreliance on the justice system has negative and unintended consequences for the people involved. The criminal justice system is unpredictable, sometimes more punitive than fairness. In addition, the system does not consider dynamics. The primary feminist explanation on violence is solely results from male power, the privilege is enforced by power, and control is no longer valid. To understand clearly about domestic violence, the multiple causes or modes of violence should be recognized. There should be appropriate motivations and contexts in domestic violence as considered. Not all the cause of violence between two intimate partners act upon wanted to leave each other and result to a broken family without considering factors like the children. Consequently, when choices are made, the dynamics, motivations, and treatments of both couples should be determined beforehand. Couples are engaged in situational violence. The violence is intervened by therapy and skills being constructed to balance the situation and embrace anger management, communication techniques, and counseling. Therefore, with the more control of one self, the individual victim is less likely to have intentions different from what the criminal justice system has chosen for them. The cookie-cutter solutions are replaced by individualized assessments and choice of the couple. However, such alternative should be done with cautious. The safety of the client is not guaranteed by the IAC’s support. Besides, the communities may not be qualified for mediating and even ignorant of domestic violence dynamics. The community is possibly unmotivated to solve the violence issue and as a result fail to hold the man responsible for violence.
How is the traditional use of the concept of patriarchy by feminist researchers’ on violence against women limited? How do Hunnicutt and Schwartz and DeKeseredy’s challenges to and re-conceptualizations of patriarchy reveal the limitations of using the term patriarchy?
The feminist researchers used the concept of patriarchy on violence against women in a limited manner. The term patriarchy is simplified, under theorized, and has static feature. Patriarchy represents universalism in their work, which shows a fixed and timeless structure. The differences in context are unclear and all gender relations are reduced into one static form. The patriarchies vary across time, place, and material contexts rather than exist in uniform and systematic ways. The varieties of patriarchy are shifting all the time as power relations change in consistency with other key social changes. The theories of patriarchy on violence against women need to take complexities of gender systems into consideration, account for variation across time, space and history. Hunnicutt re-conceptualized the term patriarchy by theorizing violence against women with respect to dominance, gender, and power. He made an elaboration on the variation of the term patriarchy. Hunnicutt start to show began how the social issue shaped by gender. The levels of violent victimization fall along gendered lines. In addition, violence is structured and gender-sensitive. As to varieties of patriarchy, Hunnicutt considers it important to see how men are situated in their scheme of domination relative to males and other groups not defined by gender. Men use violence to compensate for the lack of power or domination over the rest of his life. Tensions between intimate partners increased when there is an increased of social pressure and loss of hierarchical. If consensual hegemonic orders break down, violence will occur. Besides, patriarchal systems are understood as terrains of power. Both men and women wield varying types and amounts of power. In addition, a restructured concept of patriarchy reflects on how it is applied to provide an explanation on violence against women by situating the theory within larger social contexts. Theorizing varieties of patriarchy within a broader hierarchical framework demonstrates the common patterns of violence against women in terms of race, class, and age. The interlocking hierarchical systems of age, class, and race are in line with patriarchies.
Therefore, the concept of patriarchy is a social and hierarchical arrangement that favors males and manifest in varieties across history and social space. In the social and hierarchical system, men as a group dominate women structurally and ideologically. Schwartz and DeKeseredy also considered the term patriarchy in a dynamic way. They examined three variants of patriarchy, the societal patriarchal system, familial patriarchal system, and courtship patriarchal system, which interrelate with each other. Regarding the rape culture in North America they explored in their book, they particularly studied variations of courtship patriarchy. They found that under courtship patriarchy, Men are given the power to enforce physical force as the relationships to last longer. In addition, both men and women believe that a rule inherent in the courtship patriarchy that men provide services and money while women in return provide sex. Men are under the influence of rape culture that considered using violence as an act of masculinity and obtained respect from their male peer groups. The patriarchal system is taught as the socialization patterns to both genders. Rape myths belong to the system. Beliefs and attitudes are thus distorted, which reinforce the violent behavior against women.
Hunnicutt, G. (2009). Varieties of Patriarchy and Violence Against Women: Resurrecting
"Patriarchy" as a Theoretical Tool. Violence Against Women , 15 (5), 553-573.
Levan, A. (1984). WOMN 2406 EL 10: Violence Against Women. York: Women's Studies.
McPhail, B., Buwch, N., Kulkarni, S., & Rice, G. (2007). An Integrative Feminist Model: The
Evolving Feminist Perspective on Intimate Family Violence. Violence Against Women , 13 (8), 817-841.
Schwartz, M. D., & DeKeseredy, W. (1997). Growing Up in a Rape Supportive Culture. Sexual
Assault on the College Campus: The Role of Male Peer Support , 59-95.