Special Issue "Domestic Violence and Family Law"

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Jill C. Engle

Penn State Law, Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: family law; domestic violence; sexual assault; human rights; constitutional law; gender equality; legal professionalism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Domestic violence is one of the fastest-growing areas of family law. Consider the November 2015 march in Madrid of over twenty-thousand, including Spanish political leaders. In the U.S., a trend has emerged of National Football League players wearing special colors to raise awareness—and facing fines as a result. Human Rights Watch released a report in late 2015 characterizing family violence in Papau New Guinea as an “emergency” and citing a 1992 report that found 80% of the tiny nation’s male citizens who had a partner admitted inflicting domestic or sexual violence on them. Regardless of geography, the public discourse on this issue is at an all-time high.

Legal sanctions for domestic violence are relatively new to the body of law of most jurisdictions. The Violence Against Women Act in the United States was passed in 1994, and reauthorization of it was hotly contested in Congress resulting in certain limitations. The United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights first included prohibitions on violence against women during the same era, the early 1990s. Amnesty International characterizes violence against women as “rooted in a global culture of discrimination which denies women equal rights with men and which legitimizes the appropriation of women’s bodies for individual gratification or political ends”. Yet most countries and states have a longstanding set of family law norms that are often seen as sacrosanct: marriage laws, child custody and protection laws, and property distribution procedures for estates and divorces.

This Special Issue focuses on domestic violence as a component of family law. What are the gaps between enactment of domestic violence laws, and implementation? What is the role of law enforcement in protecting victims of violence? To what extent do existing legal norms and doctrines need to yield to a modern understanding of human rights and gender equality, to make domestic violence laws effective?

The articles will be readable by a broad audience and not limited to a single country or jurisdiction. This Special Issue will be a critical reference point for scholars and the wider community interested in the development of scholarship on Domestic Violence and Family Law.

Please feel free to forward this call for papers to anyone who might be interested in submitting a paper.

Prof. Jill C. Engle
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • family law
  • domestic violence
  • sexual assault
  • patriarchy
  • human rights
  • gender discrimination
  • women
  • equality
  • hypermasculinity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Protection Orders for Battered Women in Israel
Laws 2016, 5(3), 32; doi:10.3390/laws5030032
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
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Abstract
The aim of the present study is to describe and re-consider the findings obtained from analysis of 260 protection orders that were granted in cases of violence by men against their partners. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Law was enacted in Israel in
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The aim of the present study is to describe and re-consider the findings obtained from analysis of 260 protection orders that were granted in cases of violence by men against their partners. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Law was enacted in Israel in 1991. The data collection for the study took place 10 years later, after the 1996 amendment was enacted. In this article I revisit the data, the only empirical data on protection orders in Israel, and examine both the process of obtaining protection orders and several attendant issues that are relevant to the procedure, such as the remedies the law offers and the use (or lack of it) judges make of them. The study compares the first ex parte hearings and the second hearings, and the discussion and summary sections provide an insight into the problems emerging from the description of the situation in Israel in light of the current knowledge existing in the world today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Violence and Family Law)
Open AccessArticle Subverting Justice: Socio-Legal Determinants of Impunity for Violence against Women in Guatemala
Laws 2016, 5(3), 31; doi:10.3390/laws5030031
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 11 July 2016
PDF Full-text (1934 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High levels of violence against women and impunity in Guatemala have reached crisis proportions and have received increased international attention in recent years. The phenomenon of feminicide (e.g., killings of women in the context of state impunity), is widespread in Latin America and
[...] Read more.
High levels of violence against women and impunity in Guatemala have reached crisis proportions and have received increased international attention in recent years. The phenomenon of feminicide (e.g., killings of women in the context of state impunity), is widespread in Latin America and particularly acute in Guatemala. Many (if not the majority) are rooted in violence that becomes concentrated in the family. In this paper, we propose that both the structure and application of the laws in Guatemala contribute to widespread impunity. Police and judges use laws other than those created to address violence against women in order to justify lack of enforcement. For example, judges resist issuing restraining orders, and police refuse to apply them because this can violate perpetrators’ property rights. Judges also refuse to apply domestic violence laws because this violates the principle of equality under the law. Women refuse to use the legal system to seek justice because alimony laws will not be enforced and women are economically dependent. The discriminatory fashion in which these laws are applied leads to widespread impunity. Even though laws on the books could be applied otherwise, those who implement them privilege laws that conflict with violence against women laws. While much scholarship focuses on individual-level motives for violence, we instead analyze the socio-legal environment and existing legal codes that enable continued failure to respond adequately to violence against women. The legal framework and the legal code itself are deeply shaped by the context in which they are written—the structural, gender, symbolic, everyday and long arm of political violence that permeate all aspects of life in Guatemala and exacerbate women’s vulnerability, especially the poor. We argue that this broader legal context endangers the lives of women in Guatemala. We also extend the socio-legal scholarship to highlight failures for victim’s families and the disempowerment of women as they enter relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Violence and Family Law)

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