CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Shay on Gender-Inclusive Conceptions of Rape and Intimate Partner Violence

Shay giovannaGiovanna Shay (Western New England University School of Law) has posted [Including But Not Limited To] Violence Against Women (Southwestern University Law Review, Vol. 42, p. 801, 2013) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Article focuses on the increasing attention commentators and the criminal justice system pay to male sexual victimization and same-sex intimate partner violence. In particular, it highlights three recent developments in criminal justice: the FBI’s adoption of a gender-neutral definition of rape; the debate regarding the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); and the promulgation of new Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA). 

These recent developments reveal a growing movement towards more gender-inclusive conceptions of rape and intimate partner violence.

Twenty-five years ago, reformers’ project was to “expose fully the sexism of the law,” and stories of institutionalized misogyny and male power dramatized some of the most egregious injustices. Today “governance feminism” has established itself as a prevailing criminal justice paradigm, and feminist law reforms, albeit imperfect and incomplete, have achieved important gains. 

The Article concludes by observing that the change to a more gender-inclusive approach will have many implications for criminal justice policy and institutions. One critical project is to ensure that courts and prosecutors adopt competent and fair practices in cases involving same-sex intimate partner and sexual violence.

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