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Violent and victimized bodies: Sexual violence policy in England and Wales

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alison PhippsORCiD


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This paper uses the notion of the body to frame an archaeology of sexual violence policy in England and Wales, applying and developing Pillow's ideas. It argues that the dominant construction is of sexual violence as an individualized crime, with the solution being for a survivor to report, and with support often instrumentalized in relation to criminal justice objectives. However, criminal justice proceedings can intensify or create further trauma for sexual violence survivors. Furthermore, in addition to criminalizing the violent body and supporting the victimized one, there is a need for policy to produce alternative types of bodies through preventative interventions. Much sexual violence is situated within (hetero) sexual dynamics constructing a masculine aggressor and a feminine body which eventually yields. Prevention must therefore focus on developing embodied boundaries, and narratives at the margins of policy could underpin such efforts. © The Author(s), 2010.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Phipps A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Critical Social Policy

Year: 2010

Volume: 30

Issue: 3

Pages: 359-383

Print publication date: 01/08/2010

Online publication date: 29/07/2010

ISSN (print): 0261-0183

ISSN (electronic): 1461-703X

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/0261018310367673


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