In most societies, violent crimes against women are punished less severely than similar crimes against men. Because violent crime against women usually takes place within the family and other intimate relationships, it is considered a private matter, difficult to investigate or prove. Authorities often express their inability to intervene in cases of violence against women. Research has revealed the continuous and serious nature of typical forms of violence against women (Dobash and Dobash, 1979; Kelly, 1987; Skjøorten, 1988 and 1994). Feminists have claimed that the response from the criminal justice system should be equally serious regardless of where the violence takes place. Some have even argued that violence in an intimate relationship or at home, in a place of trust and peace, should be considered a more serious crime than violence elsewhere.