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The other side of the story on domestic abuse

Remarkably, a PhD student in Criminology at the University of Toronto, Alexandra Lysova, has been awarded one of 14 2011 scholarships from the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

I say "remarkably" not because Ms. Lysova herself is unworthy -on the contrary -but because of the nature of her research project. Of which more anon.

According to the Foundation's spokesperson, "The Trudeau Foundation rewards excellence [in the humanities and social sciences] and provides young researchers with the best conditions to ground their work in the real world."

In academia, for ideological reasons, there have always been, and continue to be, areas where "the real world" makes an uncomfortable fit with sacred myths based in theory, not evidence. One such theory is that in domestic violence -or "intimate partner violence (IPV)," as it is now called -women always are either passive victims of male aggression or violent only in self-defence. This myth has so permeated the academy, social service agencies, charities, schools, the police and the legal system, that the truth about the "real life" of intimate partners caught up in dysfunctional scenarios has been ignored, suppressed or attacked to the point that most researchers stay far away from it.

Read on...

Alexandra is a PhD student at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies. Tom


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