Violence in the Domestic Sphere
Violence in the domestic sphere appears to be a theme full of dilemmas in need of academic research and pragmatic solutions. In this book, State responsibility for violations of citizens rights is assumed, based on human rights standards and case law, also of human rights bodies. The principle of due diligence is accepted when States fail to prevent, investigate, or punish acts of domestic violence, or when they fall short as regards providing legal remedies and reparation. Violence in the domestic sphere may transgress various boundaries. Violence by intimates does not necessarily happen at the domicile, while harm at home is not exclusively inflicted by intimates. It has become clear that dependency creates vulnerability and subsequently a great diversity of victims and perpetrators exists. To complicate matters even more, some people may be both victim and perpetrator, either simultaneously or at different stages of their lives.
Women, regardless of their social status, seem to be predominantly targeted by violence in the domestic sphere, while socio-cultural diversities are reflected in the various manifestations of such violence. Some risk factors are indicated such as post-war aggression, poverty and intergenerational violence, whereas the realization of some human rights standards, like adequate housing, or the participation of women in public life, labour and education seems to be a deterrent to violence. New risks may arise, however, especially in societies and institutions in transgression.
Although families differ all over the world, generally speaking, not all family members are equally empowered. Family relations are gendered in many ways. Children are often powerless and because of that the most vulnerable within the family. In addition, their vulnerability is gendered, too.
In this book different backgrounds and approaches of the authors become apparent. The chapters are placed in an order that reveals the variety of approaches, which makes the topics relevant to both scholars and students.
The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights supervises research in the field of human rights conducted at Maastricht University's Faculty of Law. http://www.rechten.unimaas.nl/humanrights