Domestic violence: comparative analysis of German and UK research findings

Ursula Smartt, H. Kury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. This article examines the notion of the family and within its postmodern definition the research undertaken in the field of domestic violence and its consequences for criminal justice agencies in the United Kingdom and Germany. Has the notion of the family changed in Western culture? How has legislation changed regarding domestic violence in line with criminologists' and social scientists' hypotheses, reflections, and recommendations? How are victims and witnesses protected from perpetrators? Methods. The authors discuss how legislation in both countries has changed to meet the needs of victims and witnesses of domestic violence. The article looks at different forms of law enforcement in domestic violence and how the agencies assess future dangerousness. Results. Research analyses show that domestic violence is now taken seriously in both countries' legislation. But what is the impact on policing domestic violence in both countries? It is argued that U.K. law enforcement agencies are more advanced that the German police in dealing with domestic violence in a practical and pragmatic fashion. Conclusions. The authors explore the shift in cultural beliefs affecting male dominance in the family setting, how public attitudes to domestic violence have changed, and how law enforcement agencies are now dealing with violence within the family in both countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1280
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


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