Oratie. Met recht 'n zorg? Overdenkingen bij wet- en regelgeving over geweld in de privésfeer
This paper is a summary of the inaugural
lecture presented as Chair on Interpersonal
Violence, in particular violence in the private
domain, at Tilburg University. It addresses
shifts in perspective on domestic violence
over the past thirty years in the Netherlands.
Domestic violence has moved from an activist
concern in the political margin to a
mainstream concern in legal and policy developments.
The paper focuses on shifts in
legal regulation, and critically addresses the
criminalization of domestic violence. Empirical
evidence underlines unintended and at
times counterproductive consequences of
the(criminal) law in action, certainly from a victim’s
From a Foucauldian perspective it is argued
that domestic violence has moved to
the center of a multi-faceted disciplinary and
self-disciplinary regime. At the same time,
however, criminal law tends to have increased
its power, despite its limited effectiveness.
It is argued that this illuminates structural
dynamics of the legal system as a uniquely
legal disciplinary regime.