Rene Romkens


The call to law and legal rights and their concomitant progress narratives figure centrally in late modem society. This pull is particularly characterized by an appeal to law as an instrument to bring about recognition of various social and political problems as civil rights issues. In many respects, domestic violence can be considered the premier civil rights issue in this context. After thirty years of feminist advocacy and politics, a small but historic change has taken place: domestic violence has entered mainstream international and national politics as a matter of legitimate public concern and has become the subject of various legal regulations in the United States, notably the provision of rights to support and protect victims. Domestic violence has been constructed as a respectable legal domain where, both nationally and internationally, substantial lawmaking takes place that reflects interesting political and cultural differences. In the field of domestic violence against adult women, for example, the level of both criminal and civil legal regulation in most West European countries is not as widely developed as in the United States (both on the national and state levels).

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