Law and Cheating – Again? Autonomy and Equality in the «Crisis Centre Act»

Laugerud, S. (2014). Juss og juks - igjen? Om uavhengighet og likestilling i krisesenterloven : [Law and Cheating – Again? Autonomy and Equality in the «Crisis Centre Act»] Norwegian only. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, 38(3/4), 287-301.

In 2009, the «Crisis Centre Act» was passed by the Norwegian government. The reason behind the Act was to make the municipalities responsible for offering victims of domestic violence a crisis centre. 

In Norway, the shelter movement for battered women was initiated in 1976. The shelter movement started with small women’s groups working for liberation through consciousness-raising and based on a flat, as opposed to a hierarchical, structure. The shelter movement demanded funding from the government, but refused to give up their autonomy.

Although a few shelters have offered help to men before, most shelters have been helping women and their children exclusively. With the «Crisis Centre Act» the shelters have to give up their autonomy and they might have to offer help to men as well.

In this article, I argue that the «Crisis Centre Act» is an example of how the law will not, or cannot, «translate» feminist claims to legal acts, and I illustrate how a feminist claim that was supposed to protect women, paradoxically might end up doing the opposite when the claim is made on legal terms.