This article describes the findings of research into judicial decision making in Ontario courts in cases of intimate violence against women. Judges are condemning the violence, issuing relatively harsh sentences, and arguing that the intimate context of the violence is an aggravating factor. The analysis also reveals that judges often rely on stereotypes and traditional notions of marriage, family, and femininity. As records of decisions, the documents suggest a high level of understanding that wife abuse is a crime. As judicial discourse, they reveal how the justice system regulates intimate relationships and how traditional ideologies persist despite the harsh sentences.