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Communities, identities and crime$
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Basia Spalek

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348043

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348043.001.0001

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Gender, crime, and criminal justice

Gender, crime, and criminal justice

(p.105) five Gender, crime, and criminal justice
Communities, identities and crime

Basia Spalek

Policy Press

This chapter examines gender in relation to crime, victimisation and criminal justice. It argues that apparently neutral, objective scientific research, when applied to women, is actually underpinned by sexist assumptions. As a result, feminist researchers have challenged gender-biased distortions by using the voices of female offenders and by concentrating upon their experiences to provide a more accurate picture of women offenders. At the same time, feminist work has questioned some of the male-orientated assumptions underpinning traditional victimological work, which has led to women's behaviour being judged and implicated in the crimes that have been committed against them. This chapter also highlights how researchers, policy makers, and practitioners increasingly acknowledge diversity amongst women, and discusses criminal justice responses to sexual and domestic violence. In particular, it considers legal changes to the issue of consent in cases of rape, along with the implementation of initiatives aimed at supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence. Finally, it looks at community safety issues and women's fear of crime and the management of their personal safety.

Keywords:   gender, crime, victimisation, criminal justice, women, women offenders, community safety, personal safety, sexual violence, domestic violence

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