The Newsletter 67 Spring 2014

Culture, power and narratives in domestic violence law

Zarizana Abdul Aziz

This article presents the theoretical foundation for the claim that societal acceptance or rejection of domestic violence is shaped by those in positions of power and influence. The modern Westphalian state is uniquely invested with power to politically determine and mediate cultural narratives, as it can legitimize ethos, values, and practices through both legal and political machinations, as well as action and – more crucially – inaction. The state is thus imbued with the responsibility to encourage and create cultures free of domestic violence.