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FR / EN

No 22 - 2015

Des violences conjugales aux violences intrafamiliales: quelles définitions pour quelles compréhensions du problème?
Directed by Marylène Lieber, Marta Roca i Escoda




Family Violence and Institutional Responses
Marylène Lieber, Marta Roca i Escoda

While in general, the family is a synonym of intimacy and trust, it can also be a place of abuse, control, and violence. Since the 1970s, the various forms of violence that take place in private have been denounced by feminist movements and have been the subject of various policies and state actions whose general goals are to defend and assist victims, punish and treat perpetrators, and re-establish broken family relationships. This article examines how domestic violence has been defined in different cultures—in Europe, North America, and Latin America— in order to reveal the various perspectives covered by categories of state action as diverse as conjugal violence, domestic violence, intra-family violence or even femicide or feminicide, and the consequences that these different visions of the problem have on how it is dealt with. Broadly influenced by gender studies and the sociology of public issues, this article investigates—in particular through contributions that make up this issue of Enfances Familles Générations—notions of gender violence within the family, the boundaries of which fluctuate and are variously encompassed, as well as the forms of institutionalization of the problem and possible solutions.

Keywords: violence against women, domestic violence, conjugal violence, gender, public policy, public issues


Conjugal, Domestic, and Structural Violence: Toward an Integrative Perspective of Knowledge
Geneviève Lessard, Lyse Montminy, Élisabeth Lesieux, Catherine Flynn, Valérie Roy, Sonia Gauthier, Andrée Fortin

Conjugal violence is a serious and persistent social problem; one-third of all women globally have been a victim of it. This article will discuss the empirical and theoretical links between conjugal, domestic, and structural violence. The article will start with a short background describing how conjugal violence has been shaped as a socio-criminal problem in Québec. It will then identify the primary knowledge gaps in the field, thereby demonstrating the need to better understand the complex links between conjugal, domestic, and structural violence, three concepts whose definitions could be enhanced and made mutually complementary. The article will stress the importance of considering the diverse realities faced by those involved in these types of violence (women, men, and children), focusing on a broad analysis that integrates not only individual and interpersonal factors but also social and structural factors, in particular oppression based on gender or other social identity markers. The discussion will be enhanced by theoretical models that describe various dynamics of conjugal and domestic violence, as well as by intersectional feminism, which has proved useful in analyzing structural violence. The conclusion will deal with the possible effects of analyzing links between conjugal, family, and structural violence on social policy and intervention programs for victims, committers, and children exposed to conjugal violence.

Keywords: conjugal violence, violence against women, domestic violence, structural violence, intersectionality

Fatherhood and Conjugal Violence: Retrospective and Prospective Outlooks
Michel Labarre, Valérie Roy

This article examines the progression of research in the fields of fatherhood and of conjugal violence in order to better understand how the two intersected at the turn of the 20th century. On one hand, research into fatherhood, along with social policies and programs promoting fatherhood, have contributed to a social climate that values paternal engagement. On the other hand, certain research topics on conjugal violence (e.g., the consequences of violence on children) and certain areas of intervention (e.g., youth protection) have raised concerns about the engagement of fathers who exhibit violent behaviours. These factors have gradually led to the social recognition of the issue of fatherhood in situations where conjugal violence is involved and, subsequently, to practical and scientific initiatives in this area. Our analysis brings to light the need to find a balance between support and monitoring with respect to practices and policies related to fatherhood when conjugal violence is involved. It also suggests several avenues of thought with respect to program evaluation and further research.

Mots-clés: fatherhood, conjugal violence, intervention, program evaluation

Parental Conflict or Control of Women by Men? Experiences and Perspectives of Children and Adolescents Exposed to Domestic Violence
Simon Lapierre, Isabelle Côté, David Buetti, Amélie Lambert, Geneviève Lessard, Marie Drolet

This article presents the findings of a study conducted with children and adolescents who have been exposed to domestic violence. The goal of the study was to better understand their experiences and perspectives on the issue. This article focuses on how young people define domestic violence. Drawing upon a qualitative and participative methodology, focus groups were conducted with 20 participants, followed by 46 individual interviews. The research participants were French-speaking children and adolescents from Québec and Ontario, all of whom had been exposed to domestic violence. Overall, the research findings reveal that while the participants’ definition focused on the intensification of violence and conflicts, reinforcing the notion of gender symmetry in domestic violence, their actual experiences tended to highlight gender inequalities as well as men’s power and control over women.

Mots-clés: domestic violence, child, qualitative research, feminist perspective, adolescent, conjugal violence

Domestic Violence and the Social State: A Comparison of the United States and France
Pauline Delage

Conjugal violence is a serious and persistent social problem; one-third of all women globally have been a victim of it. This article will discuss the empirical and theoretical links between conjugal, domestic, and structural violence. The article will start with a short background describing how conjugal violence has been shaped as a socio-criminal problem in Québec. It will then identify the primary knowledge gaps in the field, thereby demonstrating the need to better understand the complex links between conjugal, domestic, and structural violence, three concepts whose definitions could be enhanced and made mutually complementary. The article will stress the importance of considering the diverse realities faced by those involved in these types of violence (women, men, and children), focusing on a broad analysis that integrates not only individual and interpersonal factors but also social and structural factors, in particular oppression based on gender or other social identity markers. The discussion will be enhanced by theoretical models that describe various dynamics of conjugal and domestic violence, as well as by intersectional feminism, which has proved useful in analyzing structural violence. The conclusion will deal with the possible effects of analyzing links between conjugal, family, and structural violence on social policy and intervention programs for victims, committers, and children exposed to conjugal violence.

Mots-clés: domestic violence, France, United States, social state, public policy, prevention of violence, ethnographic approach, socio-historical approach

Feminicidio / Femicidio: Theoretical and Political Issues of Defining Violence Against Women
Marylène Lapalus

This article examines how Latin-American intellectuals in Mexico and Costa Rica have reformulated the discourse on and definition of violence against women over the past 20 years. Its goal is to identify the defining strategies used in the concepts femicidio and feminicidio to denounce, conceptualize, and politicize violence experienced by women, especially in a private context. By combining inputs from sociology and linguistics, this article highlights the intersecting dynamics between the contexts of mobilization, discursive formulation of new concepts, and how new legal categories are brought to the public agenda.

Mots-clés: feminicidio, femicidio, violence against women, gender violence, conjugal violence, domestic violence, feminism, criminalisation of violence

Understanding Violence against Women as a Public Problem in Post-Dictatorships: A Comparative Study of Spain and Chile
Fabiola Miranda-Pérez, Anne-Claire Sanz-Gavillon

Since the end of the dictatorships in Spain and Chile, increasing importance has been placed on equality policies, in particular toward action by women’s and feminist movements, which have produced new means of analyzing the social reality. In this context, violence against women has been conceptualized as a public problem, and the fight against it has gradually transformed into one of the primary means of public action in terms of gender equality. The two states studied have dealt with this issue through a series of negotiations involving various political stakeholders, resulting in two laws that reflect two different perspectives on the phenomenon, represented by the expressions “gender violence” (violencia de género) and “intra-family violence” (violencia intrafamiliale). This article analyses the contexts that have influenced how the problem of violence against women is understood in Spain and Chile, investigates the two approaches used by these countries—“gender violence” and “intra-family violence”—and examines the impacts of these choices.

Mots-clés: public policy, women, conjugal violence, Chile, Spain

Revealing Sexual Violence Within the Family: Support for the Visibility of Sexual Violence in French Statistics?
Alice Debauche

Sexual violence was recognized as a social problem in the 1970s and 80s thanks to efforts by feminists on social and legal fronts. Various statistics in France on sexual violence—whether from administrative sources (police, courts), from survey data, or from organizations that assist victims of sexual violence—all show an upward rise since the early 1980s. A detailed analysis of these data highlights the central role that sexual abuse of minors, especially within the family, plays in this increase. This type of violence—which, since the mid-1990s, has received increasing attention from both the media and politicians and is often deemed the ultimate crime—seems to be more frequently reported than other forms of sexual violence, both by victims and by various child protection workers. The significant increase in convictions between the early 1980s and the 2000s is therefore primarily due to an increase in convictions for rape by a relative or by a person of authority and for rape in which the victim is under the age of 15.

Mots-clés: sexual violence, sexual abuse, intrafamily violence, government statistics


Un double ancrage : liens familiaux et insertion sociale des enfants d’immigrés philippins en France
Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot

The migration of Filipino parents to France triggers a family separation that ends when the migrant parent decides to return permanently to his country of birth or when his children formerly “left behind” come and join him in France. These children then become part of the “generation 1.5” – immigrants who spent part of their childhood or adolescence in their country of origin and part in their receiving country. How do these individuals with complex upbringings describe their relationships with their parents before and after family reunification ? What role does their family, and more specifically their parents, play in their integration into the receiving society ? This article examines the migratory path of the generation 1.5 of Filipino immigrants in France and their family experiences. Fieldwork in France shows that “left-behind” children maintain with their parents a long-distance relationship characterized by an emotional gap that only becomes apparent to them when they arrive in France. However, despite this effect of family separation, children of Filipino immigrants turn first to their parents and to their extended family to cope with the challenges posed by their immigration. At the same time as they develop their anchoring in France, these young migrants keep their emotional ties with their country of origin, a double anchoring that shows the specificity of this group among children of immigrants.

Keywords: generation 1.5, family reunification, social integration, divided loyalties, generation, migrant, Philippines

Représentations sociales et parentalité : les points de vue des parents présentant une déficience ou une lenteur intellectuelle
Élise Milot, Daniel Turcotte, Sylvie Tétreault

The present article describes the results of a Quebec exploratory study dealing with the social representations (SR) of parenthood experienced by people with intellectual disabilities or cognitive difficulties (ID/CD). Nine parents took part in individual semi-standardized interviews. As regards the five interviewees who have maintained guardianship of their children, parenthood symbolizes access to an extremely desirable role, the exercise of which stimulates pride, personal uplift, social recognition and commitment. For those whose parenthood is subject to the foster placement of their children, their arguments are blemished due to their feelings of injustice, of suffering and of demotion. These feelings are indeed made clear in their discussions with the child protection representatives and members of their families. The ideas proposed deal with factors likely to slow down or to encourage the development of a positive parental identity and a sufficient parenthood support network.

Mots-clés: social representation, attitudes, parenthood, family support, parental identity

Quand les jeunes issus de familles nombreuses envisagent de devenir parents : l’influence de la socialisation primaire sur le nombre d’enfants souhaités
Martine Court, Julien Bertrand, Géraldine Bois, Gaële Henri-Panabière, Olivier Vanhée

Since the 1980s, many studies have indicated that descendants from large families tend to desire, and indeed to have, many children. However, such adult duplication of the kind of family one knew in one’s own childhood cannot be taken for granted. The fact of having grown up with numerous siblings is not itself sufficient to foster the wish of such persons to have many children themselves. The emergence of such a desire presupposes a certain number of social conditions. This article analyses such conditions with a particular focus on the role of primary socialization. More specifically, it describes three kinds of socializing experience likely to support or, quite to the contrary, to oppose the construct of a desire amongst young people born within large families to themselves have many children. These are : the great or lesser happiness of their childhood memories ; the role they played in looking after their younger siblings ; their perception of their parents’ lifestyle. The present article demonstrates that in each one of these situations, the socializing experiences underlying the desire to oneself have many children are not evenly distributed within the social space.

Mots-clés: large families, socialization, fertility, gender, social inequality




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