Contextualising violence: An anti-carceral feminist approach.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Women have always been marginal within the criminal justice system, which was conceived, designed and realised with the male subject at its centre. Two dominant feminist approaches to gendered violence and harm manifest – ‘carceral feminism’ and ‘anti-carceral feminism’. The relationship between carceral feminist anti-violence work and criminal justice can also enact explicit harm for many victims, resulting in an interface with policing that leads to Black, Latina, queer, immigrant and sex-working women experiencing increased violence of criminalisation. This chapter examines what anti-carceral feminists are enacting instead, in response to violence in their communities. The anti-carceral critique draws attention to the harms enacted, not only by deficits in criminal justice responses, but by the explicit violence of policing experienced by some women, and criminalisation of their experiences of harm. In Northern Ireland the vacuum in gender responsive justice can perhaps be reinterpreted as allowing space for emancipatory and transformative grassroots action to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSexual Violence on Trial: Local and Comparative Perspectives
EditorsRachel Killean, Dowds Eithne, Anne-Marie McAlinden
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


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