Cultural Encounters in Interventions against Violence
This project has taken a dual approach to cultural encounters as they play out in ethics, justice and citizenship, through a focus on the fundamental rights of women and children to safety from violence.
The project examined:
- national, legal and institutional cultures as they affect practices of intervention
- the growing diversity within European countries, where symbolic boundaries of cultural belonging can define social exclusion and inclusion
Four countries – Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom – were studied. Differing institutional structures and traditions of law, policing and social welfare intervention were contextualised in the history of colonialism, democracy, migration and diversity.
CEINAV has explored on the one hand why, despite an explicit European consensus on stopping violence against women and protecting children from harm, the practices of intervention and the rationales behind them differ between countries, and on the other hand, how policies and institutional practices, despite the common intention to ensure the ‘best interests of the child’ and the freedom and safety of women from violence, may have quite different effects for disadvantaged minorities within each country.
In consultation with 12 associate partners, who represent networks of practitioners and stakeholders, the project focused on three forms of violence for which state responsibility is well established:
- intimate partner violence
- physical child abuse and neglect
- trafficking for sexual exploitation
The aims of the project were to:
- contribute to dialogue among the discourses on multiculturalism and diversity in the different European languages and disciplines
- clarify the implications of European norms, national legislation and practices of protection and prevention for cultural encounters, taking account of multiple and intersecting structures of power and oppression
- analyse the ethical issues of rights and discrimination arising from interpretations of the state’s duty to protect, as embedded in policies and intervention procedures within four European countries
- frame an intersectional approach to intervention that recognises the voice and agency of diverse victims
- build a transnational foundation for ethical guidelines for good practice
The objectives were pursued in five streams of theoretical, empirical and creative work.