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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

2014

Criminal Law

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How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing The Path To Mandatory Criminal Intervention In Domestic Violence Cases, Claire Houston Oct 2014

How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing The Path To Mandatory Criminal Intervention In Domestic Violence Cases, Claire Houston

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Our popular understanding of domestic violence has shifted significantly over the past forty years, and with it, our legal response. We have moved from an interpretation of domestic violence as a private relationship problem managed through counseling techniques to an approach that configures domestic violence first and foremost as a public crime. Mandatory criminal intervention policies reflect and reinforce this interpretation. How we arrived at this point, and which understanding of domestic violence facilitated this shift, is the focus of this Article. I argue that the move to intense criminalization has been driven by a distinctly feminist interpretation of domestic ...