Battered Women, Intimidation, and the Law

Sandra Bartky

in Women and Citizenship

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195175349
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835775 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

  Battered Women, Intimidation, and the Law

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Bartky explores some subtle features of legal institutions that obstruct women’s attempts to use the law to diminish domestic violence. To begin with, legal practice is embodied in buildings of intimidating size and scale. In addition, law is practiced in forms of language that are inaccessible to ordinary women. Furthermore, judges and lawyers may abuse their power, intimidate the women who seek their help, and collude with each other in virtue of gender or class connections that the women do not share. Insofar as women are unable to gain redress from the legal system for the domestic violence they suffer, they fall outside the citizenship protection of the Social Contract, argues Bartky, and are effectively returned to the state of nature.

Keywords: domestic violence; law; intimidation; women; legal institutions

Chapter.  6571 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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