Addressing Domestic Violence in Canada and the United States: The Uneasy Co-Habitation of Women and the State
In this paper we interrogate the role of the state in addressing domestic violence, especially in the context of immigration in the neo-liberal era. By doing so we problematize state regulation of gender itself. Mobilization by the battered women’s movement in the last few decades, increased media attention, and legislation at the state / provincial and federal levels have increased both government awareness and support to address violence against women. However, activists and researchers have also critiqued the problems with invoking the power of the state in seeking a solution. Drawing on a multi method approach, we critically examine how Canada and the U.S approach the problem of domestic violence. In particular we focus on how domestic violence has been framed; how the US and Canada engage at the micro, meso and macro level in ending domestic violence; how abused women and mainstream and immigrant organizations that address domestic violence encounter the state; and what are the most common forms of intervention and outcomes. Finally, what the gaps in the discourse are as they emerge from the experiences of domestic violence in the US and Canada.