Source: (2002) Forum Qualitative Social Research. 3(1).

Research on the efficacy of criminal law intervention involves social processes and due to its nature, the processes require the use of qualitative methods. It is about processes of change, about development, or fixation and about the influence, various criminal law interventions exert onto these processes. In addition there is the content of the subject matter that is conducive to the application of qualitative methods: violence in intimate relationships constitutes intricate and complex fabrics of power and love, of dependency and sexuality. The instruments of collecting data consisted of observing of criminal processes and mediation procedures that provided access to the parties and the opportunity for intensive talks with men and women as the core piece of research. They were complemented by expert-interviews with judges and mediators. The analysis of the data involved using an "ideal type"-process analysis guided by a triangulation of perspectives as presented by the different actors. The qualitative, "interactive" method of doing research on processes of change calls for continued intervention in criminal policy—something that goes beyond presenting evaluation results. I will present and analyze the difficulties encountered when using this approach.

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