Against the Grain

Criminalizing the Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

What happens to survivors of violence — often perpetrated by intimates — who defend themselves against their attackers? According to legal scholar Leigh Goodmark, it often depends on whether those survivors look suitably victim-like. She discusses the circumstances that frequently lead to the criminalization of survivors of violence –- and makes the case for the abolition of a punitive legal system.


Leigh Goodmark, Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism UC Press, 2023


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