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Loyola Law Review

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In Good-Bye Earl, the Dixie Chicks ("Chicks") tell an old, all-too-familiar story. After high school graduation, a young woman looks for opportunities in her small town and "all she could see was Earl." A short, miserable marriage later, she files for divorce. But Earl "walked right through that restraining order and put her in intensive care." Before leaving the hospital, she telephones her old friend. They cook a special batch of black-eyed peas for Earl, which soon makes him "a missing person who nobody missed at all."

This is not a song about vigilante justice; it is a song about women creatively and effectively confronting domestic violence. It does not have to be a shameful secret, a merely "personal" tragedy, the Chicks insist. Domestic violence is a crime against women, and calls for effective methods to combat it have become part of popular culture. The word is out.

And the word is out in many languages, in many countries, on many continents. Domestic violence is a global problem and international lawyers deal with it in three specific contexts. My purpose here is simply to introduce those contexts to the non international lawyer or law student and, as a corollary, to introduce the relevant domestic violence law to international lawyers.


Paper presented at Integrating Responses to Domestic Violence Symposium held at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law on October 26 - 28, 2000.



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