Critical Criminology

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

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

  • Jenny Cubells
  • Andrea Calsamiglia


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.



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.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Autonoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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