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Restorative Justice and Violence Against Women$
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James Ptacek

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335484

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335484.001.0001

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Resisting Co-Optation

Resisting Co-Optation

Three Feminist Challenges to Antiviolence Work

(p.5) 1 Resisting Co-Optation
Restorative Justice and Violence Against Women

James Ptacek

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the recent interest in restorative justice among feminist activists and scholars. The interest is in part a response to the co-optation of antiviolence activism by the criminal legal system. Feminist investigations of restorative justice are placed in the context of several other developments in community organizing. This includes the “safety and accountability audit” designed by Ellen Pence, and efforts to address violence against women of color by Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. While many feminists have been critical of using restorative justice for crimes against women, others have found restorative approaches beneficial in these cases, especially when they are adapted to meet the needs of survivors. These three developments—safety audits, organizing around violence against women of color, and restorative justice—present three different challenges to previous forms of antiviolence work.

Keywords:   feminism, restorative justice, violence against women, domestic violence, rape, women of color, community organizing

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