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Policing Violence Against Minority Women in Multicultural Societies: "Community" and the Politics of Exclusion

NCJ Number
Police & Society Issue: 7 Dated: April 2003 Pages: 105-133
Date Published
April 2003
29 pages
Through a focus on the policing and politics of domestic violence in Israel, the article explores how issues of multiculturalism shape the way police respond to violence against minority women.
Violence against women has been criminalized in many countries around the world. As such, in most cases, local police forces are charged with protecting women from violence at the hands of their intimate male partners. The article examines how the push toward community policing in multicultural societies may become problematic when police espouse dominant community ideologies and mischaracterize or misunderstand minority communities and their members. The article explores which community members are protected by police and which are criminalized; and it questions whether sexism, coupled with racism, shapes the victims’ and the police responses to domestic violence. In addition it analyzes the literature on policing violence against minority women, with a special focus on Arab women in Israel, and argues that gendered racism and racialized sexism shape how police respond to violence against women laws in minority communities. The result is that violence against women in minority communities is under-policed. The authors recommend that police form coalitions with non-traditional community leaders and organizations in order to challenge myths and stereotypes about minority men and women. Community policing programs must analyze whether all members of a community are fairly represented by local police. Notes, references

Date Published: April 1, 2003