https://i2.wp.com/genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/violencereduction-1-e1526403485513.jpg?fit=1008%2C962 962 1008 Debra Fitzpatrick http://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gendereport.png Debra Fitzpatrick2018-05-15 17:25:032018-05-15 17:25:03Why Shaming Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence Harms Survivors
A judge ordering a shaming sentence for a perpetrator of intimate partner violence (IPV) may seem rational. Perpetrators commonly belittle, humiliate, and disgrace their partners within a larger pattern of physical abuse, and survivors often report feeling an abiding sense of shame as a result. Thus, humiliating a perpetrator may seem particularly apropos. Judicially imposed shaming sentences also appear to serve the criminal system’s retributive goals, sending a clear public message of intolerance for abusive behavior. These sentences may further be meant to rehabilitate, assuming that moral education flows from public humiliation. But even if these stigmatizing sentences have some legitimate purpose, any benefit is outweighed by the fact that they undermine the goals of violence reduction and survivor safety. Shaming perpetrators makes their victims more vulnerable, not less.