This book examines the legal system's responsiveness to the complex and variable needs of women who are victims of domestic violence from an anti-essentialist perspective. Anti-essentialism rejects the notion that one set of solutions is appropriate for every woman subjected to abuse, and instead advocates the creation of space for individual women to express their own needs, goals, and values as well as make their own choices. Anti-essentialist feminism brings the voices of underrepresented women to the fore. This book argues that the legal response to domestic violence in the United States has been problematic for many battered women. It calls for a shift in our theoretical frame of reference from dominance feminism to anti-essentialist feminism and proposes an extra-legal response to domestic violence, one that provides women with opportunities to seek justice without relying on the state-run justice system, provides opportunities for women's economic empowerment, and involves the wider community in establishing accountability for domestic violence.
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