Battered women in court: Ethnography as a method to understand “law in action”

Ricardo Rodríguez Luna, Encarna Bodelón González

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8 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. This paper analyses the development of the right to access justice by women who brought a claim of violence by their partner and/or ex-partner and who went to court. The approach to this subject of study was carried out by means of ethnographic observation at specialised courts dealing with violence against women in the city of Barcelona. As a result of the research, amongst others, it is highlighted how the judicial practices by the operators of the criminal system had a negative impact on some of the rights of the women. In particular, the following was detected and documented: infringement of the right of information, lack of specialised training by the law professionals, ‘resistance’ to investigate further around regular violence. Likewise, it was verified that victims, far from being the protagonists of the criminal process, receive a treatment that does not protect their dignity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-126
JournalRevista de Antropologia Social
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Access to justice
  • Courts
  • Ethnographic observation
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Judicial practices
  • Victims
  • Women


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