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Knowledge, over the last century, has been grounded mainly in the institution of empirical science. This epistemological tradition is tightly linked to positivism and objectivity. Feminists from various disciplines, including that of Criminology, have become disillusioned in the ability of traditional empiricism to produce knowledge that is relevant, historically and socially, to women, and based in their everyday experience. Feminists have proposed alternative epistemological frameworks to explore questions driven by political feminist agendas. In the present article, an overview of these new epistemological frameworks is presented to develop an evaluation grid. Using this grid, studies from different traditions in the area of family violence and violence against women are examined and critiqued to determine how each epistemological framework can advance (or not) the feminist agenda.
This paper applies a broad definition of violence to the physically and economically vulnerable situation of Canadian military wives. Its reports some of the results of an institutional ethnography of Canadian military wives ' work which was carried out during the early 1990s, and which made some important discoveries about how the military's priorities and forms of organization structure the way the military treats wives, tries to control wives, and benefits from wives' unpaid work. The military's major priority, combat readiness, necessitates the control the military exercises over its members and the specific mechanism of military control known as combat unit bonding. Combat bonding is in turn characterized by cultural homogeneity and its corollaries of sexism, racism, derogation of, and violence against women. Nevertheless, the military extends a diluted form of combat bonding to military wives, in order to exert control over them and appropriate their unpaid labour, loyalty — and frequently, silence. Combat-related obsession with unit morale also often translates into the cover-up of problems, which is a consideration that adds to the isolation of the many survivors of woman abuse who are members of the military community. The greater public accountability of the Canadian military which may result from the Somalia Inquiry makes this an especially opportune time to study woman abuse and other forms of family violence in the Canadian military community.
This paper presents the results of an exploratory study on the control exerted by men over their spouse. Four groups of 15 men each, were compared: 1) men with no criminal record and who had volontarily taken part in a community program for violent men; 2) men accused of spouse abuse, exclusively; 3) men accused of spouse abuse and other crimes; 4) men selected at random from the community. The type of sample was non probabilistic. Three questionnaires were administered: 1) a demographic questionnaire 2) the "Abusive Behavior Inventory" (Shepard and Campbell, 1992) and 3) the "Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory" (Tolman, 1989). The results demonstrated that the control group (group 4) displayed "stability" in comparaison with the groups of accused men (groups 2 and 3) where important difficulties and "marginality" were observed. "Non accused" spouse abusers (group 1) obtained middle ranged scores. Scores from the four sub-scales in the two attitudinal inventories corrrelated significantly and were in the predicted direction. As the level of psychological or physical abuse increased, so did the desire to dominate and isolate women. Given the small sample size and the quasi-experimental nature of the design, the results are not considered as definitive; however, they provide directions for future research.
This article focuses on a rarely discussed and relatively unknown type of elder abuse: elder abuse by a spouse. The data presented comes from a study examining the dynamics of elder abuse cases in three CISC's in Quebec (Local Centre for Community Services). Firstly, the characteristics associated with forms of abuse and both the abused spouse and the abusive spouse are described. Cases of elder abuse by a spouse are also compared with the other cases of elder abuse in the sample: abuse by a child, another family member, a friend or an acquaintance. Secondly, the authors examine more specifics situations of elder abuse by a spouse such as situations where one of the spouses has cognitive impairment and how that differs from situations where both spouses are lucid. For each of these situations, the different elements having an impact on the dynamics of abuse are discussed.
This article deals with formal and informal resources used by women victims of conjugal violence in their search for help. It explores the type of resources used and their relationship with a number of factors such as the socio-economic characteristics of the women and, the nature and duration of the violence which they have suffered. Prior to reporting on the results of a specific case of formal resources utilization, this article presents a review of the literature on the process of seeking help, then it focuses on the major role played by the social support network. Also, it reviews the major studies dealing with the strategies used by women victims of conjugal violence in obtaining help. Finally, the article reports on the main results of a study conducted in the context of a pilot project to bring help to victims of conjugal violence by the police and the Local Community Services Centers (CLSC) of the Montreal Urban Community. This pilot project started in 1990 has since been extended to the entire territory covered by the Montreal Urban Community. The results of this study show that the majority of the women referred by the police officers did receive help at the CLSC. However, only one third of the women referred did meet with a social practioner following the referral. Also, it was observed that when the period between the referral and the first contact by the social practitioner was short, the women more easily accepted to meet with a worker from the CLSC. A third of the women referred already had a file with the CLSC, which indicated that the violence problem was known in one case out of four. Meeting with a CLSC worker was found to provide a greater diversity in the type of help received.
The evaluation of the self-help program "Le groupe d'entraide Amorce" for pedophilic men showed they were progressing regarding certain pedophilic characteristics, particularly with respect to a better integration of their adult sexuality. However, nobody in this program claimed to be "treating" pedophilia directly. In fact, all of them relied upon the sharing and supporting dynamics of a self-help group to face other related problems and to reach the preliminary but necessary steps for deeper changes. The beneficial effect of the program was felt regarding mainly stopping withdrawal, changing attitudes, increasing empathy, motivating for change, improving communication skills, discharging emotions, clarifying immediate problems, repositionning as adults, supporting when depressed or decreasing anxiety. The triangulation of the points of view of facilitators, external parties, and participants did confirm these results both regarding pedophilia and other problems. Beyond these effects, the evaluation showed that the main strengths of the program were: the support and sharing of experiences between participants ; the motivation and availability of those involved ; the openness to external critics, novelty, uniqueness, pro-gressiveness, communal, non-medical, and preventive approach of pedophilia ; and the respect for and "responsibilisation" of the participants. Some aspects of the program also needed to be improved and specific recommendations were provided to the administrators.