One consequence of the feminist resurgence of the past two decades has been the rise of a social movement against domestic violence. This text describes the movement, from the establishment of refuges in the 1970s to law reform and crisis services in the 1980s. It shows how developments in this area have resulted from the combined efforts of refuge workers and feminist bureaucrats, examines the strategies they used, and relates them to strategies used by other social movements. The book focuses on the establishment of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service in Canberra - a service with a feminist philosophy built into its constitution. It discusses the operation of the Service and its interaction with the police, courts and lawyers, as well as with the victims of violence themselves. The authors highlight the need for further change in the way the legal system handles domestic violence, and argue that domestic violence must be treated as a criminal offence and not as a matter for conflict resolution. The text examines issues within feminist theory and practice, particularly the rle of femocrats in government and the matter of feminist organizational structure.
It also addresses the basic question confronted by all social-movement activists of how best to bring about social change.