Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism

Univ. of California. Jan. 2023. 296p. ISBN 9780520391109. $85. LAW
There are women who suffer at the hands of domestic abusers, rapists, and traffickers until they snap and fight back, which often leads to their own arrest and conviction. That is especially true of abuse survivors who are women of color, trans, or gender nonconforming people, all deserving of civil rights and strong legal defenses like everyone else. Goodmark’s (law, Univ. of Maryland; Decriminalizing Domestic Violence) latest book argues that the way to protect criminalized survivors is to dismantle the carceral system and consider problems and solutions from a social justice lens. This book tells the stories of women who survived domestic violence but did not receive fair treatment under the law. Readers will not have heard most of these stories on the news, but these women’s voices are undeniably important and add depth to any discussion of the rights of those who have experienced domestic violence.
VERDICT An essential read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the concept of abolition feminism and supports the rights of all survivors of domestic violence, regardless of their race or life circumstances.
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