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Injustice Disrupted : Experiences of Just Spaces by Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence

Antonsdóttir, Hildur Fjóla LU (2019) In Social and Legal Studies
Abstract

Given the limitations of the criminal justice system to address cases of sexual violence, feminist scholars are increasingly exploring alternative approaches to justice. Here I ask: What is the role of space in the way victim-survivors of sexual violence can experience justice outside the criminal justice system? Can an understanding of space help us develop justice responses to sexual violence? Interviews were conducted with 35 victim-survivors of sexual violence in Iceland. In cases where offenders remained or re-entered their life space in some way, many participants described feelings of profound fear and anxiety. Participants used a variety of different socio-spatial strategies to ensure that they would not find themselves in the... (More)

Given the limitations of the criminal justice system to address cases of sexual violence, feminist scholars are increasingly exploring alternative approaches to justice. Here I ask: What is the role of space in the way victim-survivors of sexual violence can experience justice outside the criminal justice system? Can an understanding of space help us develop justice responses to sexual violence? Interviews were conducted with 35 victim-survivors of sexual violence in Iceland. In cases where offenders remained or re-entered their life space in some way, many participants described feelings of profound fear and anxiety. Participants used a variety of different socio-spatial strategies to ensure that they would not find themselves in the same space as the offenders. Based on the context as well as the networks and mechanisms available to them, these included surrendering, avoiding, negotiating, fighting for, protecting and (re)claiming spaces. Drawing on the concept of the continuum of sexual violence, I suggest that participants’ experiences can be conceptualized on a continuum of injustice. To the degree that participants were able to create what I call just spaces, they gained a sense of belonging, empowerment and freedom, which I suggest can be understood as disrupting this continuum of injustice.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Justice, sexual violence, space, victim-survivors
in
Social and Legal Studies
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85077163410
ISSN
0964-6639
DOI
10.1177/0964663919896065
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7c36b0f5-7cf8-49f4-afa3-a897d285d524
date added to LUP
2020-01-14 14:38:16
date last changed
2020-01-16 04:09:36
@article{7c36b0f5-7cf8-49f4-afa3-a897d285d524,
  abstract     = {<p>Given the limitations of the criminal justice system to address cases of sexual violence, feminist scholars are increasingly exploring alternative approaches to justice. Here I ask: What is the role of space in the way victim-survivors of sexual violence can experience justice outside the criminal justice system? Can an understanding of space help us develop justice responses to sexual violence? Interviews were conducted with 35 victim-survivors of sexual violence in Iceland. In cases where offenders remained or re-entered their life space in some way, many participants described feelings of profound fear and anxiety. Participants used a variety of different socio-spatial strategies to ensure that they would not find themselves in the same space as the offenders. Based on the context as well as the networks and mechanisms available to them, these included surrendering, avoiding, negotiating, fighting for, protecting and (re)claiming spaces. Drawing on the concept of the continuum of sexual violence, I suggest that participants’ experiences can be conceptualized on a continuum of injustice. To the degree that participants were able to create what I call just spaces, they gained a sense of belonging, empowerment and freedom, which I suggest can be understood as disrupting this continuum of injustice.</p>},
  author       = {Antonsdóttir, Hildur Fjóla},
  issn         = {0964-6639},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {Social and Legal Studies},
  title        = {Injustice Disrupted : Experiences of Just Spaces by Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0964663919896065},
  doi          = {10.1177/0964663919896065},
  year         = {2019},
}