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Between The Devil And The Deep-Blue Sea: Victims’ Experiences Of Policing In Marital Violence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shifts the focus to female victims of intimate violence. It explores the views of victims of marital violence in terms of their relationship with the criminal justice system, particularly the police. The chapter seeks to contextualise how such relationships take place within the boundaries set by the authoritarian, paternalistic and patriarchal Singapore State. In documenting women's experiences with the police, the data indicated that a large majority of victims never called the police and that, even among women who called the police, fear of separation dissuaded many women from seeking arrest, and dissuaded many more from seeking prosecution. Many of these women felt 'trapped' between their desire to leave their violent husbands, on the one hand, and the fear of being isolated in an unknown world on the other - thus as the title of this chapter suggests, 'between the devil and the deep-blue sea '.

Keywords: criminal justice system; deep-blue sea; devil; female victims; marital violence; police culture; Singapore



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