In the earliest days of the movement against intimate partner violence, the primary focus of the work was men’s use of violence against their female intimate partners. As part of this focus, early activists and providers also worked to seek justice for women who fought back against the violence they faced. Now, more and more women who use force, including those engaging in resistive violence, are finding themselves entangled in the criminal legal system and even referred to abusive partner intervention programs, often due to a lack of complete understanding of the context behind women’s use of force.
While more programs are working with women who use force, it’s important that these strategies integrate traditional understandings of intimate partner violence with a broader understanding of the context in which violence is used by women. During the webinar, presenters Doris O’Neal, Melissa Scaia, and Dr. Carolyn West share their insights on not only the different types of intimate partner violence caused by women, but on best practices for responding to their needs, strengths, and stories. With respect to the criminalization of survivors, they also explore the impacts of the criminal legal system at the intersection of gender, race, and intimate partner violence.