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Retribution or restoration? Anglo-Australian's views towards domestic violence involving Muslim and Anglo-Australian victims and offenders

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The current study explored how gender, group membership and different emotional reactions to the crime of domestic violence predict attitudes and endorsement of restorative or retributive justice practices. The experiment consisted of a 2 (victim group membership: Muslim- or Anglo-Australian)×2 (offender group membership: Muslim- or Anglo-Australian)×2 (Sex of participant) between-participants factorial design. Anglo-Australian participants (43 men; 50 women) were randomly assigned to one of the four manipulated conditions, and completed an online questionnaire that involved viewing a short video clip of a woman describing her experience as a domestic violence victim. Results revealed strong preferences for restorative justice in dealing with domestic violence, with women supporting this practice more than men. The crime was perceived as most severe and retribution was endorsed most strongly when the victim was Anglo-Australian (i.e. an in-group member). Intra-group violence was also perceived to be a greater breach of shared Australian values than inter-group (i.e. cross-cultural) domestic violence. Emotional reactions further predicted participants' responses, with hatred predicting stronger support of retributive ideals and sympathy for the victim predicting greater endorsement of restoration.
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Keywords: ethnicity; family violence; justice experience; stereotypes; violence against women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia 2: School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia 3: Yale University, Yale School of Management, New Haven, USA

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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