Straffrätt och mäns våld mot kvinnor : Om straffrättens förmåga att producera jämställdhet
Sammanfattning: Men’s physical and psychological violence against women in intimate relationships is a serious social problem and contravenes the political goal of gender equality. Over the last few decades men’s violence against women has become a central issue in Swedish gender equality politics. Criminal law reforms have been carried through with the objective of enhancing criminal legal protection for women and promoting gender equality.The starting point of this thesis, however, is that the ability of criminal law to promote gender equality must be questioned. Instead criminal law is at risk of producing and reproducing hindrances to gender equality and criminal legal protection for women. It is such processes in criminal law that are explored and analysed in this thesis, inspired by feminist legal theory and social constructionist theory, and through the application of discourse analysis.The main purpose of the thesis is to explore and analyze how violence, perpetrator and victim are constructed in the criminal legal discourse of men’s physical and psychological violence against women in intimate relationships and what legal or social consequences these constructions might have. A second aim of the thesis is to throw a light on and analyze two major criminal legal aspects of men’s physical and psychological violence against women in intimate relationships. Firstly, how criminal law deals with issues of responsibility for the violence. Secondly, how questions about the use of criminal law are linked to possibilities and problems from a crime victim-perspective.The analysis indicates two major problem areas. In the first, the victim is treated in relation to stereotypical conceptions of women exposed to violence. A male-gendered discourse on responsibility limits the possibilities for women to behave as actors in relation to men and still being offered the subject position of victim. In addition, a focus on questions such as “Why doesn’t she leave?” and “Why doesn’t she cooperate with the criminal justice system?” produces an understanding of the main problem of violence as being related to the victim. The second problem area concerns a tension between how criminal legal reforms, aimed at enhancing criminal legal protection for women and promoting gender equality, have been justified by the legislator and how mainstream criminal legal scholarship argues in the issue of use of criminal law.
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