Violence in the Domestic Sphere

In this book, State responsibility for violations of citizens’ rights is assumed, based on human rights standards and case law, also of human rights bodies.

Ingrid Westendorp, Ria Wolleswinkel
Maastricht Series in Human Rights
book | published | 1st edition
October 2005 | vii + 201 pp.


ISBN 9789050955263

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‘Violence in the domestic sphere’ appears to be a theme full of dilemmas in need of academic research and pragmatic solutions. In this book, State responsibility for violations of citizens’ rights is assumed, based on human rights standards and case law, also of human rights bodies. The principle of due diligence is accepted when States fail to prevent, investigate, or punish acts of domestic violence, or when they fall short as regards providing legal remedies and reparation. Violence in the domestic sphere may transgress various boundaries. Violence by intimates does not necessarily happen at the domicile, while harm at home is not exclusively inflicted by intimates. It has become clear that dependency creates vulnerability and subsequently a great diversity of victims and perpetrators exists. To complicate matters even more, some people may be both victim and perpetrator, either simultaneously or at different stages of their lives.

Women, regardless of their social status, seem to be predominantly targeted by violence in the domestic sphere, while socio-cultural diversities are reflected in the various manifestations of such violence. Some risk factors are indicated such as post-war aggression, poverty and intergenerational violence, whereas the realization of some human rights standards, like adequate housing, or the participation of women in public life, labour and education seems to be a deterrent to violence. New risks may arise, however, especially in societies and institutions in transgression.

Although families differ all over the world, generally speaking, not all family members are equally empowered. Family relations are gendered in many ways. Children are often powerless and because of that the most vulnerable within the family. In addition, their vulnerability is gendered, too.

In this book different backgrounds and approaches of the authors become apparent. The chapters are placed in an order that reveals the variety of approaches, which makes the topics relevant to both scholars and students.

The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights supervises research in the field of human rights conducted at Maastricht University's Faculty of Law.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (p. 0)

Introduction (p. 1)

It’s in our hands. Stop violence against women (p. 7)

Domestic violence against women in international law (p. 35)

Ineke Boerefijn

Domestic violence against women and torture (p. 59)

Theo van Boven

In the shadow of no law. Navigating cultural legitimacy and legal protection of women against violence in Afghanistan (p. 71)

Renée Römkens

Female genital mutilation: a matter for criminal justice? (p. 99)

If home is no haven: women’s right to adequate housing in cases of domestic violence (p. 123)

Ingrid Westendorp

The legal arrangement of eviction (p. 143)

Children’s rights and the prevention of child abuse and neglect: the Quest for a trias pedagogica of children, parents and society (p. 151)

Jan C.M. Willems

Domestic homicide - an offence at the extreme end of a violent continuum (p. 183)

Note on contributors (p. 199)

Open access content

Parts of this book have been made open access. We make chapters open access because they are particularly topical, or provide a useful introduction to the subject. They may be available for a limited time or indefinitely. Some books are entirely and permanently open access.

Table of Contents (p. 0)
Note on contributors (p. 199)

About the series:

Maastricht Series in Human Rights

The Maastricht Series in Human Rights facilitates and supports research in the field of human rights at the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights of Maastricht University’s Faculty of Law. The research is interdisciplinary, with a focus on public international law, criminal law and social sciences.

Volume in the series have been peer reviewed under the responsibility of the Board of the Centre. The Series is published under the editorial supervision of Professor Menno Kamminga and Professor Fons Coomans.

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