Adult Ed — Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism

Sunday, October 2

Since the 1970s, anti-violence advocates have worked to make the legal system more responsive to gender-based violence. But greater state intervention in cases of intimate partner violence, rape, sexual assault, and trafficking has led to the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of victims, particularly women of color and trans and gender-nonconforming people. In her new book, Imperfect Victims, Leigh Goodmark argues that only dismantling the system will bring that punishment to an end.

Professor Leigh Goodmark will give us a personal guide to the themes of her book, Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism, a provocative, profound, and compelling argument for abolition feminism. She argues that to protect criminalized survivors of gender-based violence, we must dismantle the carceral system. Since the 1970s, anti-violence advocates have worked to make the legal system more responsive to gender-based violence. But greater state intervention in cases of intimate partner violence, rape, sexual assault, and trafficking has led to the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of victims, particularly women of color and trans and gendernonconforming people. Professor Goodmark argues that only dismantling the system will bring that punishment to an end, and that abolition feminism is the only politics and practice that can undo the indescribable damage inflicted on survivors by the very system purporting to protect them.