The Politicization of Safety: Critical Perspectives on Domestic Violence Responses
Edited By Jane K. Stoever
Domestic violence is commonly assumed to be a bipartisan, nonpolitical issue, with politicians of all stripes claiming to work to end family violence. Nevertheless, the Violence Against Women Act expired for over 500 days between 2012 and 2013 due to differences between the U.S. Senate and House, demonstrating that legal protections for domestic abuse survivors are both highly political and highly vulnerable. Racial and gender politics, the move toward criminalization, reproductive justice concerns, gun control debates, and political interests are increasingly shaping responses to domestic violence, demonstrating the need for greater consideration of the interplay of politics, domestic violence, and how the law works in people’s lives.
The Politicization of Safety provides a critical historical perspective on domestic violence responses in the United States. It grapples with the ways in which child welfare systems and civil and criminal justice responses intersect, and considers the different, overlapping ways in which survivors of domestic abuse are forced to cope with institutionalized discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. The book also examines movement politics and the feminist movement with respect to domestic violence policies. The tensions discussed in this book, similar to those involved in the #metoo movement, include questions of accountability, reckoning, redemption, healing, and forgiveness.
What is the future of feminism and the movements against gender-based violence and domestic violence? Readers are invited to question assumptions about how society and the legal system respond to intimate partner violence and to challenge the domestic violence field to move beyond old paradigms and contend with larger justice issues.
"This book is a fresh and sophisticated analysis of domestic violence policy, firmly grounded in social science research and legal theory. For anyone who wants to more deeply understand how we can improve the safety of assault victims without committing further injustices in the 'New Jim Crow' era."—Karla Fischer, Ph.D., J.D., Psychological Expert, (Battered Women’s Self Defense) and Retired Professor, University of Illinois College of Law
"The Politicization of Safety is full of paradigm-shifting discussions - each at the intersection of intimate partner violence and other fields, such as immigration, child neglect, firearms laws, police abuse, and many more. Each author is at the top of her field, and every thesis is out of the box. If you want to know where the domestic violence field is going, read this book."—Joan S Meier, Professor of Clinical Law, George Washington University Law School