Supporting Victims of Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control

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We are a pro-bono group that gives to victims what they can't get from the legal system.

We investigate, research, and assist in case preparation.

This costs money.

Every dollar you spend here gives us the financial resources we need to give victims access to the pro-bono support we provide in situations of domestic abuse in family law and family violence legal proceedings in Australia.

Language, gender and ‘reality’: Violence against women

Legal thinking and communication strongly reflect masculine language styles, morals and values because our current legal system has evolved from an institution run entirely by males (Easteal, 2010).

Its history has meant that it has ultimately suffered the same fate as our gender and identity roles, in that what was once a performance is now viewed only as natural. Simone de Beauvoir summed it up nicely when she stated, ‘men have created the legal world in their own image, confusing it with the absolute truth’ (de Beaviour, as cited in Davies, 1994, p. 168).

It is our argument that the male values which our criminal justice system is based upon are consistently reinforced by the gendered language systems used within our criminal justice system.

The ‘voice’ of the law is male, with its emphasis upon abstract rules, instead of the female whisper of connectedness. 

Patricia Easteal, Lorana Bartels, Sally Bradford - School of Law, University of Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia