It's a Matter of Trust : Policing Domestic Violence in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-101
Journal / PublicationJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


This article aims to examine the intervention approach of the police in handling domestic violence and the reasons behind the inactive response of police to domestic violence situations in Hong Kong. The study adopted a qualitative approach to data collection that included 20 in-depth interviews to survivors and 2 interviews to police officers. Findings of this study show that the police are likely to adopt a non-intervention or mediation approach rather than arrest approach because of their distrust of abused women. The police have different reactions in responding to domestic violence issues namely (1) stereotyping the victims, (2) cynical interpretation of women's motivation in reporting, and (3) disbelieve the problem is solvable. All these reactions are associated with the trust of the police that hold on domestic violence issues stems from the dominant patriarchy ideology. The beliefs of police are shaped by the male-dominated police occupational culture, which is characterized by sexism and suspicion. Such beliefs coupled with traditional family values and the dependency discourses prevalent in society have concealed the truth and reality of domestic violence. © The Author(s) 2013.

Research Area(s)

  • battered women, domestic violence, legal intervention, perceptions of domestic violence