The invisibility of gendered power relations in domestic violence policy

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This exploratory study seeks to illustrate how the policy context shapes the way policy actors engage with concepts of gender and practices of racism. The paper draws on two case studies in the context of family and domestic violence (FDV) policy and service development in an Australian State Government context. The first case study uses document analysis of a major public inquiry into Government agency responses to FDV in Indigenous communities. The second uses a policy audit tool to examine a policy development process in a department responsible for coordinating human service agencies, services and funding of community-sector FDV projects. These case studies reveal that both Aboriginal women and non-Aboriginal women can disappear from the concerns that FDV policy purports to solve. To demonstrate our argument, we show how the policy terminology of both 'domestic violence' and that of 'family violence' can render gender and racism invisible
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-333
JournalJournal of Family Studies
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2008

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