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Animals as disregarded pawns in family violence : exclusionary practices of feminist based refuge policies

journal contribution
posted on 2007-06-01, 00:00 authored by Sharon Brennan-OlsenSharon Brennan-Olsen
Commonly agreed upon is the relationship between family violenceand violence toward nonhuman animals. Workers in the field of family violence also acknowledge that women may delay leaving a violent home due to loyalty to their nonhuman counterparts, and because refuge policies often do not allow them to accompany humans into safe shelter. The recent work of Clifton Flynn has indicated the relationship between nonhuman animals and human animals to be one of responsive interaction, with theoretical analyses most often based upon Goffman’s theory of symbolic interaction. Despite literature indicating the level of harm inflicted upon nonhuman family members in violent homes, and requests from women and children that they accompany them to safe shelter, refuge policies often negate the possibility of this occurring. This article critiques the feminist ideals on which refuge policies are based, and in doing so, argues that justice is denied to nonhuman animals. Their existence in the violent home is maintained by lack of choices available to their human counterpart, and is enforced by feminist ideals, which are ironically based upon equity. Unless feminist principles are challenged, nonhuman family members will continue to be denied justice in violent families where escape is the only option to ensure safety.

History

Journal

Electronic journal of sociology

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 9

Publisher

International Consortium for Alternative Academic Publication

Location

[Athabasca, Alberta]

ISSN

1198-3655

Language

eng

Publication classification

C3.1 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal

Copyright notice

2007, Electronic Journal of Sociology

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