1st Edition

Domestic Violence as State Crime A Feminist Framework for Challenge and Change

By Evelyn Rose Copyright 2022
    216 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Domestic Violence as State Crime presents a provocative challenge to the way that domestic violence is understood and addressed. Underpinned by a radical feminist perspective, the central argument of this book is that domestic violence against women constitutes a patriarchal state crime. By analysing the international, collective, structural, and institutional dimensions of this harm, the author outlines a spectrum of state complicity ranging from passive bystander to active producer, participant, and perpetrator.

    The wide-ranging analysis in this book draws on data from comparable liberal-democratic contexts including Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, in order to comprehensively show how domestic violence state criminality functions in practice – even in the present and in supposedly progressive contexts. This analysis provides valuable insight into why this epidemic-scale crime is ever resistant to a diversity of contemporary interventions. Drawing its concepts into a cohesive whole, the book then posits an overarching feminist typological theory of domestic violence as state crime. It also considers how domestic violence might be addressed if we confront its state crime dimensions and adopt a more holistic and transformative approach to remedy, redress, prevention, and justice.

    An accessible and compelling read, Domestic Violence as State Crime offers an innovative scholarly and activist contribution to the study of violence against women, feminism, criminology, and the broader critical study of law, politics, and society. It will appeal to anyone who is interested in thinking differently about domestic violence and the state.


    Part I: Domestic violence, feminism, and state crime  1. The need to radically rethink domestic violence  2. Reasserting radical feminism: Being, feeling, knowing, thinking, doing  Part II: The state crime dimensions of domestic violence  3. Domestic violence as state crime against humanity  4. Domestic violence as micro-state crime  5. Domestic violence as structural state crime  6. Domestic violence as omissive institutional state crime  7. Domestic violence as agentic institutional state crime Part III: Theorising and addressing domestic violence as state crime  8. A typological theory of domestic violence as state crime  9. Responding to domestic violence as state crime




    Evelyn Rose is an Honorary Fellow in Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

    "A major contribution to feminist criminology, Evelyn Rose’s book shifts the debate about domestic violence law and policy to an international plane. By implicating the structures, institutions and agencies of the state in a spectrum of harms to women and children separate from the original domestic violence victimization, she identifies a ‘state crime’ of domestic violence susceptible to management by increments of justice and equity. A game-changer."

    - Evan Stark, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University, New Jersey, United States. Author of Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life (Oxford, 2007).

    "Evelyn Rose’s valuable new book joins those of MacKinnon, Pateman and Tickner in deepening our analyses of how and why patriarchal states and their officials are complicit in, and perpetrators of, violence against women. Domestic Violence as State Crime has sharpened my feminist understandings."

    - Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor of Political Science, Clark University, Massachusetts, United States.

    "This searing and necessary book provides a new conceptual architecture for addressing domestic violence and holding states accountable for male violence against women. In a vital paradigm shift, Rose brings into focus the failure and complicity of states in the ongoing epidemic of domestic violence, re-invigorating radical feminist critiques of state power."

    - Michael Salter, Associate Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

    "Eloquent, passionate and ambitious, this book examines the role of the state in the perpetration of domestic violence. Evelyn Rose cogently argues that there has been a failure to recognise and address domestic violence as a systemic, institutional and structural problem. She argues that the state is often presented as a neutral arbiter of harm, but in practice is implicated in domestic violence as an initiator, contributor and participant. This book is original, refreshing and compelling, and a must read for scholars, activists, policymakers and practitioners."

    - Nicola Henry, Associate Professor of Social and Legal Studies, Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

    "This innovative and transformative book names domestic violence as state crime and will change the way we think about violence against women. Identifying state complicity in domestic violence from passive bystander to active agent, Rose’s original and compelling intervention shows why new approaches are needed to this most devastating of crimes."

    - Jennifer Balint, Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies and Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.