Critical Criminology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 107–127 | Cite as

Do We See Victims’ Agency? Criminal Justice and Gender Violence in Spain

Article

Abstract

The Spanish criminal justice system has a specific Law for Gender Violence (1/2004). This article addresses what happens when a law with a feminist perspective is implemented in a predominantly patriarchal institution. The main aim of this paper is to approach women’s experiences in the Spanish criminal justice system, analysed as a technology of power producing women’s subjectivities, and focusing on their agency. We used a qualitative methodology with participant observation (24 sessions) and in-depth interviews with professionals working with gender violence (17) and women who reported gender violence by their heterosexual partner (11 individual and 1 group). We analysed data with the qualitative analysis software Atlas.ti. The results focus on subjective processes and agency among reporting violence, the expedited trial, protection and restraining orders, and probation.

Notes

Funding

This article is based on two investigations funded by the Institut Català de les Dones (Catalan Institute for Women): [ICD U8/06 (2006–07)] Gender violence and criminal legal space: collective imagniaries and construction of subjectivities, and [ICD U37/08 (2008–09)] Intersection between gender, gender violence, and the law. The subjective experience of women in the criminal justice system.

References

  1. Albertín, P., Cubells, J., & Calsamiglia, A. (2009). Algunas propuestas psicosociales para abordar el tratamiento de la violencia hacia las mujeres en los contextos jurídico-penales. Anuario De Psicología Jurídica, 19(111), 123.Google Scholar
  2. Amigot, P. (2005). Relaciones de poder, espacio subjetivo y prácticas de libertad: Análisis genealógico de un proceso de transformación de género. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, D. K., & Saunders, D. G. (2003). Leaving an abusive partner: An empirical review of predictors, the process of leaving, and psychological well-being. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 4(2), 163–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barata, P. C. (2007). Abused women’s perspectives on the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31(2), 202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Belknap, J. (2010). Offending women: A double entendre. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 100, 1061.Google Scholar
  6. Belknap, J., & Mcdonald, C. (2010). Judges’ attitudes about and experiences with sentencing circles in intimate-partner abuse cases. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 52(4), 369–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bell, M. E., Perez, S., Goodman, L. A., & Dutton, M. A. (2011). Battered women’s perceptions of civil and criminal court helpfulness: The role of court outcome and process. Violence Against Women, 17(1), 71–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett, L., Goodman, L. A., & Dutton, M. A. (1999). Systemic obstacles to the criminal prosecution of a battering partner: A victim perspective. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14(7), 761–772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berns, N. (2001). Degendering the problem and gendering the blame: Political discourse on women and violence. Gender Society, 15(2), 262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bodelón, E. (2012). Violencia de género y las respuestas de los sistemas penales. Barcelona: Didot.Google Scholar
  11. Bott, S., Morrison, A., & World Bank. (2005). Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in middle and low-income countries. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
  12. Burman, M. (2010). The ability of criminal law to produce gender equality: Judicial discourses in the Swedish criminal legal system. Violence Against Women, 16(2), 173–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Butler, J. (1997). Mecanismos psíquicos del poder. Teorías sobre la sujeción. Madrid: Cátedra.Google Scholar
  14. Butler, J. (2001). El género en disputa. El feminismo y la subversión de la identidad. México: Paidós.Google Scholar
  15. Buzawa, E. S., & Buzawa, C. G. (2003). Domestic violence: The criminal justice response. London: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Buzawa, E. S., & Buzawa, A. D. (2008). Courting Domestic Violence Victims: A Tale of Two Cities*. Criminology & Public Policy, 7(4), 671–685.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9133.2008.00534.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Buzawa, E., Hotaling, G., & Klein, A. (1998a). The response to domestic violence in a model court: Some initial findings and implications. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 16(2), 185–206.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0798(199821)16:2<185:AID-BSL306>3.0.CO.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Buzawa, E., Hotaling, G., & Klein, A. (1998b). What happens when a reform works? The need to study unanticipated consequences of mandatory processing of domestic violence. The Official Journal of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology, 13(2), 43–54.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02806712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cattaneo, L. B., & Goodman, L. A. (2010). Through the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence: The relationship between empowerment in the court system and well-being for intimate partner violence victims. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(3), 481–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cattaneo, L. B., Goodman, L. A., Epstein, D., Kohn, L. S., & Zanville, H. A. (2009). The victim-informed prosecution project: A quasi-experimental test of a collaborative model for cases of intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 15(10), 1227–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chesney-Lind, M. (2006). Patriarchy, crime, and justice feminist criminology in an era of backlash. Feminist Criminology, 1(1), 6–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Comas, M. (2005). Poder judicial y violencia doméstica ¿Qué hemos logrado? ¿Qué debemos lograr? In Consejo General del Poder Judicial (Ed.) La violencia doméstica: Su enfoque en España y en el derecho comparado (pp. 13–52). Madrid.Google Scholar
  23. Cubells, J., & Calsamiglia, A. (2010). Transitando por los espacios jurídico-penales: Discursos sociales e implicaciones para la intervención en casos de violencia hacia la mujer. Acciones e Investigaciones Sociales, 28, 79–108.Google Scholar
  24. Cubells, J., Albertín, P., & Calsamiglia, A. (2008). Una aproximación psicosocial a la valoración sobre la aplicación de la ley orgánica 1/2004, de 28 de diciembre, de medidas de protección integral contra la violencia de género. Revista De Derecho y Proceso Penal, 20, 43–60.Google Scholar
  25. Cubells, J., Albertín, P., & Calsamiglia, A. (2010a). El ejercicio profesional en el abordaje de la violencia de género en el ámbito jurídico-penal: Un análisis psicosocia. Anales De Psicología, 26(2), 369–377.Google Scholar
  26. Cubells, J., Albertín, P., Rusiñol, E., & Hernáez, M. (2006). Navegant entre narracions: Recupernt silencis i subjectivitats. recursos psicosocials en l’atenció a víctimes de violència de gènere en l’àmbit penal. Barcelona: Centre d’Estudis Jurídics i Formació Especialitzada. Available from www.gencat.cat/justicia/cejfe/.
  27. Cubells, J., Calsamiglia, A., & Albertín, P. (2009). Análisis psicosocial del ejercicio profesional en el ámbito jurídico en el abordaje de la violencia machista. XI Congreso De Psicología Social.Google Scholar
  28. Cubells, J., Calsamiglia, A., & Albertín, P. (2010b). Sistema y subjetividad: Sobre la invisibilización de la diferencia en la intervención contra la violencia machista. Quaderns De Psicologia, 12(2), 195–207.Google Scholar
  29. Damant, D. (2000). Process analysis of empowerment in the trajectories of female victims of conjugal violence through the judicial system. Criminologie, 33(1), 73–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2000). Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  31. DePrince, A. P., & Belknap, J. (2012). The impact of victim-focused outreach on criminal legal system outcomes following police-reported intimate partner abuse: Reply to the Commentaries. Violence Against Women, 18(8), 906–912.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801212456988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Dobash, R. P., & Dobash, R. E. (2004). Women’s violence to men in intimate relationships: Working on a puzzle. British Journal of Criminology, 44(3), 324–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dunn, J. L., & Powell-Williams, M. (2007). “Everybody makes choices”: Victim advocates and the social construction of battered women’s victimization and agency. Violence Against Women, 13(10), 977–1001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ellison, L. (2002). Prosecuting domestic violence without victim participation. The Modern Law Review, 65(6), 834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Epstein, L., & King, G. (2002). The rules of inference. The University of Chicago Law Review, 69(1), 1–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Erez, E., & Belknap, J. (1998). In their own words: Battered women’s assessment of the criminal processing system’s responses. Violence and Victims, 13(3), 251–268.Google Scholar
  37. Felson, R. B. (2008). The legal consequences of intimate partner violence for men and women. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(6), 639–646.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2008.01.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Fleury, R. E. (2002). Missing voices: Patterns of battered women’s satisfaction with the criminal legal system. Violence Against Women, 8(2), 181–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ford, D. A. (2003). Coercing victim participation in domestic violence prosecutions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(6), 669–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ford, D. A., & Regoli, M. J. (1992). The preventive impacts of policies for prosecuting wife batterers. In E. S. Buzawa & C. G. Buzawa (Eds.), Domestic violence: The changing criminal justice response (pp. 181–207). Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  41. Foucault, M. (1966). Las palabras y las cosas. Madrid: Siglo XXI, 1984.Google Scholar
  42. Foucault, M. (1976). Vigilar y castigar: Nacimiento de la prisión. Mexico: Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  43. Ganapathy, N. (2006). Between the devil and the deep-blue sea: Conceptualising victims’ experiences of policing in domestic violence in the Singaporean context. The Australian New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 39(1), 90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Garvin, M., & Garvin, M. (2012). Harmony or discord between victim agency and the criminal justice system. Violence Against Women, 18(8), 889–896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Gauthier, S. (2010). The perceptions of judicial and psychosocial interveners of the consequences of dropped charges in domestic violence cases. Violence Against Women, 16(12), 1375–1395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Giberti, E., Fernández, A. M., & Bonder, G. (1989). La mujer y la violencia invisible. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana.Google Scholar
  47. Gil, R., Lloret, E. P., Ayter, I., & Pujal, L. M. (2007). La violencia de género. Barcelona: UoC.Google Scholar
  48. Gillis, J., Diamond, S., Jebely, P., Orekhovsky, V., Ostovich, E., MacIsaac, K., et al. (2006). Systemic obstacles to battered women’s participation in the judicial system: When will the status quo change? Violence Against Women, 12(12), 1150–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Goodman, L. A., Bennett, L., & Dutton, M. A. (1999). Obstacles to victims’ cooperation with the criminal prosecution of their abusers: The role of social support. Violence and Victims, 14(4), 427–444.Google Scholar
  50. Gover, A. R. (2007). A specialized domestic violence court in South Carolina: An example of procedural justice for victims and defendants. Violence Against Women, 13(6), 603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Grauwiler, P. A. (2007). The voices of women: Perspectives on domestic violence policy and practice. New York: New York University, Ph.D.Google Scholar
  52. Hague, G., & Mullender, A. (2006). Who listens? The voices of domestic violence survivors in service provision in the United Kingdom. Violence Against Women, 12(6), 568–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Haimovich, P. (1990). El concepto de los malos tratos. ideología y representaciones sociales. In V. Maquieira & C. Sánchez (Eds.), Violencia y sociedad patriarcal (1st ed., pp. 81–104). Madrid: Pablo Iglesias.Google Scholar
  54. Hare, S. C. (2006). What do battered women want? Victims’ opinions on prosecution. Violence and Victims, 21(5), 611–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Hartman, J. L., & Belknap, J. (2003). Beyond the gatekeepers: Court professionals’ self-reported attitudes about and experiences with misdemeanor domestic violence cases. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 30(3), 349–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Hirschel, D. (2012). The Benefits of More “Victim-Focused” Coordinated Community Responses to Intimate Partner Violence. Violence Against Women, 18(8), 897–905.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801212456984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Íñiguez, L., & Antaki, C. (1994). El análisis del discurso en psicología social. Boletín de Psicología, 44, 63.Google Scholar
  58. Jaime, M. A. (2006). La respuesta de las leyes a la violencia familiar. La violencia contra las mujeres: Realidad social y políticas públicas. Madrid: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.Google Scholar
  59. Jefferson, G. (1984). Transcription notation. In J. M. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of social interaction (pp. 158–166). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Jiménez Rodrigo, M. L., & Guzmán Ordaz, R. (2015). O caleidoscópio da violência contra as mulheres no casal a partir da desigualdade de gênero: Uma revisão de abordagens analíticas. The Kaleidoscope of Violence against Women in Union Based on Gender Inequality: A Review of Analytical Approaches, 2015(54), 93–106.  https://doi.org/10.7440/res54.2015.07.Google Scholar
  61. Johnson, I. M. (2007). Victims’ perceptions of police response to domestic violence incidents. Journal of Criminal Justice, 35(5), 498–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. King, M., & Batagol, B. (2010). Enforcer, manager or leader? The judicial role in family violence courts. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 33(5–6), 406–416.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.09.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Koss, M. P. (2000). Blame, shame, and community: Justice responses to violence against women. American Psychologist, 55(11), 1332–1343.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.11.1332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. La Fond, J. Q., & Portwood, S. G. (2000). Preventing intimate violence: Have Law and public policy failed? UMKC Law Review, 69(1), 3–13.Google Scholar
  65. Larrauri, E. (2003). Motius per entendre per què algunes dones maltractades retiren les denúncies. Fòrum. La Revista Del Centre d’Estudis Jurídics i Formació Especialitzada, I(2), 24–29.Google Scholar
  66. Larrauri, E. (2005). ¿Se debe proteger a la mujer contra su voluntad? Cuadernos Penales José María Lidón, 2, 157–181.Google Scholar
  67. Larrauri, E. (2007). Criminología crítica y violencia de género. Madrid: Trotta.Google Scholar
  68. Leisenring, A. (2004). Battered women and identity work: Negotiating agency, responsibility, and justice with the state. Ph.D.: University of Colorado at Boulder.Google Scholar
  69. Littleton, C. A. (1989). Feminist jurisprudence: The difference method makes. Stanford Law Review, 41, 751–784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. MacKinnon, C. A. (1987). Feminism unmodified: Discourses on life and law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Maqueda, M. L. (2006). La violencia contra las mujeres: Una revisión crítica a la reforma penal de 2004. In Instituto Andaluz de la Mujer (Ed.), Mujer, violencia y derecho (1st ed., pp. 123–137). Cádiz: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cádiz.Google Scholar
  72. McDermott, J. M., & Garofalo, J. (2004). When advocacy for domestic violence victims backfires: Types and sources of victim disempowerment. Violence Against Women, 10(11), 1245–1266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. McPhail, B. A. (2007). An integrative feminist model—The evolving feminist perspective on intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women, 13(8), 817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Mills, L. G. (1996). Intuition and insight: A new job description for the battered woman’s prosecutor and other more modest proposals. UCLA Women’s LJ, 7, 183.Google Scholar
  75. Mills, L. G. (2003). Insult to injury: Rethinking our responses to intimate abuse. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Milner, J. (1997). Research evaluation of programmes for violent men—Dobash, R, Dobash, R, Cavanagh, K, Lewis, R. British Journal of Social Work, 27(3), 462–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Montalbán, I. (2004). Perspectiva de género: Criterio de interpretación internacional y constitucional. Madrid: Consejo General del Poder Judicial.Google Scholar
  78. Montalbán, I. (2006). La ley integral contra la violencia de género 1/2004 como instumento normativo. balance de un año en el ámbito judicial. In Consejo General Del Poder Judicial (Ed.), La violencia de género: Ley de protección integral, implantación y estudio del a problemática de su desarrollo (pp. 13–60). Madrid: Consejo General del Poder Judicial.Google Scholar
  79. Muñoz, J. (2005). Análisis cualitativo de datos textuales con ATLAS.ti 5. Available from http://antalya.uab.es/jmunoz/cuali/Atlas5.pdf.
  80. Niemi-Kiesiläinen, J. (2006). Feminist policy against violence in Sweden. In U. V. Bundeson (Ed.), Law and morality (pp. 289–300). Copenhagen: Thomson.Google Scholar
  81. Olsen, F. (2000). El sexo del derecho. In A. Ruiz & C. Amorós (Eds.), Identidad femenina y discurso jurídico (1st ed., pp. 25–43). Buenos Aires: Biblos.Google Scholar
  82. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  83. Ptacek, J. (1999). Battered women in the courtroom: The power of judicial responses. Boston: Northeastern University Press.Google Scholar
  84. Pujal, M. (2003). La tarea critica: Interconexiones entre lenguaje, deseo y subjetividad: A partir del construccionismo social. Política y Sociedad, 40(1), 57–70.Google Scholar
  85. Renzetti, C. M. (1998). Connecting the dots: Women, public policy, and social control. In Sage (Ed.), Crime, control and women (pp. 181–189). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  86. Renzetti, C. M., & Curran, D. J. (2003). Women, men & society. Michigan: Michigan University.Google Scholar
  87. Rhodes, N. R., & McKenzie, E. B. (1999). Why do battered women stay? Three decades of research. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 3(4), 391–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Ricoeur, P. (2000). Narratividad, fenomenología y hermenéutica. Anàlisi: Quaderns De Comunicació i Cultura, 25, 189–207.Google Scholar
  89. Rose, L. E., & Campbell, J. (2000). The role of social support and family relationships in women’s responses to battering. Health Care for Women International, 21(1), 27–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Ruiz, A. (2000). La construcción jurídica de la subjetividad no es ajena a las mujeres. In H. Birgin (Ed.), El derecho en el género y el género en el derecho (1st ed., pp. 19–30). Buenos Aires: Biblos.Google Scholar
  91. Ruiz, J. I. (2003). Metodología de la investigación cualitativa (3rd ed.). Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto.Google Scholar
  92. Ruiz, A., & Amorós, C. (2000). Identidad femenina y discurso jurídico. Buenos Aires: Departamento de Publicaciones, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos.Google Scholar
  93. Russell, M., & Light, L. (2006). Police and victim perspectives on empowerment of domestic violence victims. Police Quarterly, 9(4), 375–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Schmal, N., & Camps, P. (2008) Repensando la relación entre la ley y la violencia hacia las mujeres. una aproximación a los discursos de los/las agentes del ámbito judicial en relación a la ley integral de violencia de género en España. In Psicoperspectivas (Vol. VII, pp. 32–58).Google Scholar
  95. Schneider, E. M. (2000). Battered women & feminist lawmaking. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  96. Smart, C. (1994). La mujer del discurso jurídico. In E. Larrauri (Ed.), Mujeres, derecho penal y criminología (1st ed., pp. 167–189). Madrid: Siglo Veintiuno.Google Scholar
  97. Smart, C. (1995). Law, crime and sexuality: Essays in feminism. London; Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  98. Tolman, R. M., & Weisz, A. (1995). Coordinated community intervention for domestic violence: The effects of arrest and prosecution on recidivism of woman abuse perpetrators. Crime & Delinquency, 41(4), 481–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Walby, S. (2004). The European Union and gender equality: Emergent varieties of gender regime. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 11(1), 4–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Autonoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations