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In recent years, we have seen a shift towards soft law policy-making within EU gender equality policies, embracing a new rationale of evidence as a promising panacea for the ills of democratic deficit. This shift has been fostered by the establishment of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), which both promote tools of benchmarking, ranking and good-practice sharing. Focusing on the relative impact of Europeanisation, this case study sheds light on the various processes of negotiating and resisting these indicator-based tools of policy-making by national actors in the field of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence is a normatively divided policy field in which actors struggle for limited resources. By viewing the accounts of the respondents through the framework of usage of Europe, we discuss the practices the actors engage in when employing the work of FRA and EIGE at the national level.

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From the denial of abortion rights in Ireland to sexual violence against British South Asian women in England, the state and its institutions continue to fail women. This book offers a counter-narrative to contemporary injustices and a persistent culture of victim-blaming. The academic and activist contributions to this collection explore contemporary research areas and pursue new discursive directions in order to present a feminist criminology, built on feminist praxis, for the 21st century. Providing a direct challenge to regressive and ineffective theory, policy and practice, this book resists the politics of gendered victimization through extending feminist analyses of the state and documenting feminist interventions into contemporary injustices.

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This chapter advocates for a radical shift in the existing treatment of, and responses to, girls involved in the justice system. The chapter begins by critically exploring the experiences of girls in the youth justice system and their neglect within criminological and youth justice scholarship and policy discourse. Focusing on the themes of welfare and justice, risk management and gender-responsivity, the chapter explores the gendered implications youth justice policy and practice has had for justice-involved girls. The arguments presented emphasize the need for alternative, feminist-informed responses to justice-involved girls. Thus, building upon the recommendations made by Carlen (1990) for a ‘woman-wise’ penology, the chapter lays out the framework and principles for a ‘girl-wise’ penology that consists of an anti-carceral feminist response to girls embroiled in the youth justice system.

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Official discourse on child sexual abuse (CSA) has the power to frame the issue and to shape responses to it. It is therefore crucial to critically engage with this discourse as it has, and continues to, contribute to dominant understandings of CSA that do not take into account its gendered nature. This chapter engages with the discursive framing of CSA between the years of 2010 and 2015 through some official responses to two high-profile cases – those of widescale CSA in the English towns of Rochdale and Rotherham. The chapter does this in order to provide a critical analysis of how CSA was ‘officially’ dealt with in this period, and whether this response opened up, or shut down, space for critical feminist understandings of the issue.

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Criminology’s focus on desistance theory is illustrative of its phallocentric occupation. This chapter considers the implications of this wilful acceptance in criminal justice policy and practice on the experiences of criminalized women while considering an alternative anti-carceral, intersectional feminist way forward. First, the drive of desistance praxis which has perpetually encouraged criminalized women to (re)enter and engage with ‘conventional society’ and develop and maintain social bonds that will support desistance trajectories is critiqued. It is argued that ‘re/integration’ is often not possible, nor desired. Second, it is contended that a concentration on agentic, individualized desistance, as well as uncritical promotion of relational desistance, has resulted in state support for responsiblized criminalized individuals making changes to their own lives, in the absence of robust structural support mechanisms. Finally, it is outlined how the bulk of desistance literature has not critiqued the role of the prison, nor the wider aspects of the criminal justice system in creating social harm, beyond contributing to, or standing as a barrier to, desistance from crime. The chapter is concluded by putting forward a vision for anti-carceral, intersectional feminist desistance research, theory, policy and practice.

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From the denial of abortion rights in Ireland to sexual violence against British South Asian women in England, the state and its institutions continue to fail women. This book offers a counter-narrative to contemporary injustices and a persistent culture of victim-blaming. The academic and activist contributions to this collection explore contemporary research areas and pursue new discursive directions in order to present a feminist criminology, built on feminist praxis, for the 21st century. Providing a direct challenge to regressive and ineffective theory, policy and practice, this book resists the politics of gendered victimization through extending feminist analyses of the state and documenting feminist interventions into contemporary injustices.

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2: Denying Violence against Women a Future: 1 Feminist Epistemology and the Struggle for Social Justice

This chapter critically explores the limited progress made in protecting women from male violence through examining the nature and operation of the state and, crucially, the legal system. The chapter begins by outlining feminist analyses of the criminal justice system and asserts that it is only these contributions, underpinned by feminist epistemology, which have the capacity to adequately analyse this continued failure. Next, the symbiotic relationship between feminist epistemology and theory is applied to the case of Fri Martin, who received a life sentence in 2015 after being found guilty of murdering her abusive partner, to demonstrate its continued importance in uncovering women’s victimization. Finally, the chapter considers the impact that modern technology has had on generating new forms of gendered violence and social control in the 21st century. Overall, the chapter argues that the impact, value and contribution of feminist epistemology is vital in the struggle for social justice and preventing male hegemony from achieving full domination.

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From the denial of abortion rights in Ireland to sexual violence against British South Asian women in England, the state and its institutions continue to fail women. This book offers a counter-narrative to contemporary injustices and a persistent culture of victim-blaming. The academic and activist contributions to this collection explore contemporary research areas and pursue new discursive directions in order to present a feminist criminology, built on feminist praxis, for the 21st century. Providing a direct challenge to regressive and ineffective theory, policy and practice, this book resists the politics of gendered victimization through extending feminist analyses of the state and documenting feminist interventions into contemporary injustices.

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Politics, Intervention, Resistance

From the denial of abortion rights in Ireland to sexual violence against British South Asian women in England, the state and its institutions continue to fail women. This book offers a counter narrative to contemporary injustices and a persistent culture of victim-blaming.

The academic and activist contributions to this collection explore contemporary research areas and pursue new discursive directions in order to present a feminist criminology, built on feminist praxis, for the twenty-first century.

Providing a direct challenge to regressive and ineffective theory, policy and practice, this book resists the politics of gendered victimisation through extending feminist analyses of the state and documenting interventions into contemporary injustices.

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This chapter seeks to reassert the case that policing is, and always has been, a feminist issue. By examining current police responses to women in a range of contexts, the chapter argues that policing requires a renewed feminist analysis that should be central to a feminist criminology in the 21st century. The chapter begins by examining a range of contemporary issues that highlight problems in the police response to women and girls and, as a result, points to the enduring relevance of gender to analyses of policing. It then explores how policing was critically examined in foundational feminist criminological work in the 1980s and considers the extent to which the central ideas remain relevant and useful to us today. From this point, the chapter seeks to demonstrate that feminist theory and a critical theory of police power can be brought together to help us understand the role of gender in the vision of order pursued by police. Finally, the chapter suggests that we need to understand both the gendered forms that policing takes and the role that policing plays in (re)producing gender norms.

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