This essay powerfully articulates the abolitionist feminist perspective, with a searing indictment of how the criminal legal system offers a false promise to survivors, often criminalizing us and furthering the violence we experience. It also challenges activists to consider healing and accountability outside of police and prisons through the lens of abolitionist feminism. Regardless of your views on the appropriate response to sexual violence perpetrators, this article will make you think about unconventional possibilities.
“While the left has generally advocated curbing prison expansion and shrinking the scale of the police state, many have held on to the belief that prisons remain a necessary feature of our society for people who have committed uniquely violent acts, in particular rape and murder. In refusing to ground in an abolitionist politic, the left has been complicit in our continued reliance on the prison-industrial complex.”