Book | Finland
English title: Violence in Marriage
Keyword(s): marriage | marriage law | violence | family | domestic violence | rapes | legislation | experiences | personal narratives
Manifest: view document
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The book is based on women’s personal accounts of violence in marriage. Quotations of these stories and interviews are combined with feminist analysis of domestic violence and references to international research. The authors underline the need of research, noting that statistical data and research of the issue were almost non-existent in Finland. Current legal situation is presented and discussed: at the time divorce was often difficult to get and rape in marriage was not criminalised. Legislation changes are demanded and suggestions given about how the society should deal with the problem and provide help for the victims.
Cultural roots of violence and the current situation are discussed based on the notion that domestic violence is a wider and deeper phenomenon than has been recognised. Motherhood, sexuality and children’s position in violent homes and violence against pregnant women are presented through women’s personal stories and these stories analysed as examples of patriarchal power relations. Myths of motherhood and dominant family ideology are challenged. The book also provides an overview of women’s different ways of seeking help and obstacles of finding it. Women’s vulnerable economic positions are seen as a major question.
The role of police, medical personnel and other authorities is discussed. The need for women’s shelters and telephone help-lines is underlined.