Law & Disorder

Decriminalizing Domestic Violence w/ Leigh Goodmark

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we’re going to spend some time exploring community responses to domestic or interpersonal violence. Every year nearly 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence occurs in the United States among women 18 years and older. Intimate partner violence results in nearly 1,300 death and two million injuries every single year. If we are ever going to end or even reduce this epidemic, we have got to do something different.

Our guest in this episode is Leigh Goodmark, the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law. Professor Goodmark co-directs the Clinical Law Program, teaches Family Law, Gender and the Law, and Gender Violence and the Law, and directs the Gender Violence Clinic, a clinic providing direct representation in matters involving intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, trafficking, and other forms of gender violence. Goodmark has been questioning the criminal legal system’s response to gender-based violence for more than twenty years. In her books, articles, and media appearances Professor Goodmark has argued that the criminal legal system fails to decrease or deter gender-based violence and punishes the victims of that violence. Professor Goodmark’s critique of the criminal legal system is grounded in her twenty-five years of representing people abused by their partners and incarcerated survivors of violence abused by the state. Today, we discuss her 2018 book, Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence.
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