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Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen x Jaar 2010 x
Artikel

Omstreden gelijkheid

Over de constructie van (on)gelijkheid van vrouwen en mannen in partnergeweld

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 8 2010
Auteurs R. Römkens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) changed from a private problem to a public concern over the last decades. It has become subject of various discourses in different domains. In the social sciences the gender-based discriminatory nature of IPV is contested by some researchers who claim a gender equality in IPV. They call for a gender-neutral approach to IPV as a family problem, de-contextualized from gender-based inequalities. In the Netherlands this degendering is reflected in current policy discourse. However, in the international legal human rights domain, IPV is unequivocally considered to be an issue that affects women disproportionately as a form of women's discrimination that is the result of unequal power relations. Both international binding human rights law and recent ruling of the ECHR impose binding duties to acknowledge this. This article addresses the paradox that is reflected in these two positions and how to get beyond it.


R. Römkens
Prof. dr. Renée Römkens is als hoogleraar Huiselijk geweld verbonden aan het International Victimology Institute (Intervict) van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    There are two conflicting viewpoints about partner violence: either that it involves a considerable degree of mutual combat or that it generally involves male perpetrators and female victims. In general, results supporting the former viewpoint are usually reported in studies of general population samples, while data that supports the latter viewpoint is usually collected in samples that were recruited in shelters, through victim support, or that was studied through police and court data. This article describes results from a Dutch study that investigated two different research groups: a sample of respondents from the general population and a group of offenders who had been in contact with the police and the law for domestic violence. In line with the literature on this topic, one of the most striking differences between the research groups from the general population and the judicial population is the fact that the former group consisted of more women than men (57.8% versus 42.2%), whereas the second group consisted nearly only of men (93.1% were men). This article explores a number of possible explanations for the strongly divergent proportion of men and women in the two research groups. The most probable explanation seems to be that, although both men and women commit domestic violence, the more serious types of injury are caused more often by men, as a result of which predominantly men come into contact with the police and the law for domestic violence. Moreover, there are some indications in the literature that male victims are less likely to report domestic violence to the police.


L.M. van der Knaap
Dr. Leontien van der Knaap is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan het International Victimology Institute van de Faculteit Rechtswetenschappen van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

S. Bogaerts
Prof. dr. Stefan Bogaerts is als hoogleraar Forensische Psychologie en Victimologie eveneens verbonden aan dit instituut.
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