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The 'problems' with Jane: violence against criminalised women with cognitive and psychosocial disability

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • The issues surrounding violence against women with disability have been explored in feminist disability, legal and criminological scholarship. Yet there has been little attention in the scholarship to violence against criminalised women with disability. In this presentation I examine police responses to violence against criminalised women with disability. I draw on the case study of 'Jane', a woman with diagnoses of intellectual disability and psychosocial disability, who has had contact with the criminal justice as an offender, a victim and under the Mental Health Act since her childhood. Through a discussion of the recorded police narratives of Jane's contact with police, I argue that she is framed by police as a legal and institutional problem, rather than as a victim. I urge greater scholarship on violence against criminalised women with disability, which is located at the intersections of gender, disability, criminality and the law. This has the potential to challenge existing approaches to advocacy and policy around sexual and domestic violence against women and provide new openings for addressing violence against criminalised women with disability.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • L. Steele, ''The ''problems'' with Jane: violence against criminalised women with cognitive and psychosocial disability'' (Paper presented at the Legal Intersections Research Centre: Disability at the Margins: Vulnerability, Empowerment and the Criminal Law, Wollongong, Australia, 27 Nov 2013).

Abstract


  • The issues surrounding violence against women with disability have been explored in feminist disability, legal and criminological scholarship. Yet there has been little attention in the scholarship to violence against criminalised women with disability. In this presentation I examine police responses to violence against criminalised women with disability. I draw on the case study of 'Jane', a woman with diagnoses of intellectual disability and psychosocial disability, who has had contact with the criminal justice as an offender, a victim and under the Mental Health Act since her childhood. Through a discussion of the recorded police narratives of Jane's contact with police, I argue that she is framed by police as a legal and institutional problem, rather than as a victim. I urge greater scholarship on violence against criminalised women with disability, which is located at the intersections of gender, disability, criminality and the law. This has the potential to challenge existing approaches to advocacy and policy around sexual and domestic violence against women and provide new openings for addressing violence against criminalised women with disability.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • L. Steele, ''The ''problems'' with Jane: violence against criminalised women with cognitive and psychosocial disability'' (Paper presented at the Legal Intersections Research Centre: Disability at the Margins: Vulnerability, Empowerment and the Criminal Law, Wollongong, Australia, 27 Nov 2013).