Responding to Family Violence as State Crime

Evelyn Rose4
4School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

Family violence is the most prevalent form of violence worldwide, and is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women and children. Yet despite the epidemic scale, cross-cultural nature, and historical and contemporary endurance of this harm, it continues to be discussed and approached as a problem of individual pathology or harmful cultural and behavioural norms. Mainstream and official discourses, as well as the academic and the practitioner fields, offer narrow and partial frameworks for understanding family violence and how best to address it. Broadly, they fail to consider collective, institutional or state culpability for the harm. This work explains how family violence can be understood as a state crime, and explores alternative ways of responding to the problem that account for its structural, systemic and institutional dimensions.


Evelyn Rose is a PhD Candidate at University of Melbourne. Her thesis theorises Family Violence as form of structural injustice and a state and institutional crime, and she has published an overview of these original arguments in Women’s Studies International Forum. Evelyn has also published in Theoretical Criminology and The Melbourne Journal of Politics, and has engaged in research on feminist theory, human rights, sexual violence, child abuse, conflict, genocide, trauma and atrocity, transitional justice, and documentary film.


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