Violence against women in South Asian communities in the UK: a culture of silence

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/92275
Title:
Violence against women in South Asian communities in the UK: a culture of silence
Authors:
Gill, Aisha
Abstract:
The central issue in this chapter is how, and to what extent, notions of culture dominate UK criminal justice approaches to dealing with violence against women (VAW), especially when its victims are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) – and particularly South Asian – communities. It is argued that the concept of intersectionality – which highlights the complex and interconnecting web of relationships that frame the context in which VAW arises – offers a possible remedy to the pitfalls inherent in current responses to VAW, including those that derive from a misunderstanding of how to embrace diverse cultural traditions in a multicultural society. This concept occupies the first part of this chapter, which then moves on to examine how other contextual difficulties, such as under-reporting of VAW(and especially crimes of sexual violence), complicate criminal justice system approaches to dealing with such crimes. VAW often derives at least in part from the social structures that support it. Therefore, the chapter examines one particular case – that of Zoora Shah, who was convicted of murdering her abusive partner – to illustrate how concepts of ‘honour’, shame and blame are used to mediate sexual violence and abuse. This case study demonstrates that official criminal justice responses often do not adequately address the complex interplay of social and psychological elements that support VAW. For instance, they do not address the fact that victims of VAW, especially South Asian ones, frequently find it difficult to discuss the crimes that have been committed against them, even as mitigation for offences that they may have committed towards their abuser(s). To move forwards, it is argued that the criminal justice system must engage with more complex discourses about agency, justice and culture in relation to VAW. The chapter then concludes with a discussion of how intersectionality – a victim-centred approach that seeks to more fully address the complexities of VAW – offers such a way forward. The chapter also highlights the need for the integration of victimsupport services with services that attempt to prevent VAW; and it touches upon the importance of providing adequate funding for specialist services for BME communities in the UK.
Publisher:
Routledge
Issue Date:
2011
URI:
http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415610667/
Type:
Book chapter
Language:
en
ISBN:
9780415610667
Appears in Collections:
Department of Social Sciences Collection

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorGill, Aishaen
dc.date.accessioned2010-02-16T12:37:42Z-
dc.date.available2010-02-16T12:37:42Z-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.isbn9780415610667-
dc.identifier.urihttp://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415610667/-
dc.description.abstractThe central issue in this chapter is how, and to what extent, notions of culture dominate UK criminal justice approaches to dealing with violence against women (VAW), especially when its victims are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) – and particularly South Asian – communities. It is argued that the concept of intersectionality – which highlights the complex and interconnecting web of relationships that frame the context in which VAW arises – offers a possible remedy to the pitfalls inherent in current responses to VAW, including those that derive from a misunderstanding of how to embrace diverse cultural traditions in a multicultural society. This concept occupies the first part of this chapter, which then moves on to examine how other contextual difficulties, such as under-reporting of VAW(and especially crimes of sexual violence), complicate criminal justice system approaches to dealing with such crimes. VAW often derives at least in part from the social structures that support it. Therefore, the chapter examines one particular case – that of Zoora Shah, who was convicted of murdering her abusive partner – to illustrate how concepts of ‘honour’, shame and blame are used to mediate sexual violence and abuse. This case study demonstrates that official criminal justice responses often do not adequately address the complex interplay of social and psychological elements that support VAW. For instance, they do not address the fact that victims of VAW, especially South Asian ones, frequently find it difficult to discuss the crimes that have been committed against them, even as mitigation for offences that they may have committed towards their abuser(s). To move forwards, it is argued that the criminal justice system must engage with more complex discourses about agency, justice and culture in relation to VAW. The chapter then concludes with a discussion of how intersectionality – a victim-centred approach that seeks to more fully address the complexities of VAW – offers such a way forward. The chapter also highlights the need for the integration of victimsupport services with services that attempt to prevent VAW; and it touches upon the importance of providing adequate funding for specialist services for BME communities in the UK.en
dc.description.provenanceSubmitted by Aisha Gill (a.gill@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2010-02-15T17:29:41Z No. of bitstreams: 0en
dc.description.provenanceApproved for entry into archive by Pat Simons(p.simons@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2010-02-16T12:37:42Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 0en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2010-02-16T12:37:42Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 0 Previous issue date: 2010en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherRoutledgeen
dc.titleViolence against women in South Asian communities in the UK: a culture of silenceen
dc.typeBook chapteren
dc.title.bookRethinking Rape Law: International and Comparative Perspectives-
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