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Constructing the Symbolic Complainant: Police Subculture and the Nonenforcement of Protection Orders for Battered Women

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This exploratory study examines the effect of patriarchy on police subcultural and individual attitudes toward the enforcement of protective court orders for battered women. Police officers (N = 13) and justice officials (N = 8) in the Municipality of Delta were interviewed for their opinions on the efficacy of both Criminal Code peace bonds and Family Relations Act (R.S.B.C., amended 1986) civil restraining orders. Interview data suggest that both protective orders are rarely treated seriously by the police or the courts. It is argued that the occupational culture of the police leads to exaggerated patriarchal notions of women, marriage, and family that are conservative; blame the victim; point the finger at other institutions; foster images of women as manipulative; and produce a fictitious narrative of battered women.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: York University

Publication date: 1995-01-01

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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