Who, they ask, will protect women against domestic abuse and sexual violence, if not the police?
One of the goals of the women’s movement in the 1960s and ’70s was to change that, and over the next few decades, states passed a flood of laws mandating arrests in domestic violence incidents and increasing punishments for such crimes.
At the time, some women of color warned that making police the central response for domestic violence conflicts would backfire.
BYP100, a youth-centered group, has launched a national campaign to increase interventions for Black women and girls facing domestic violence that do not rely on contact with the police.
Instead, violence against women has long been exploited by policymakers as justification for expanding the criminal justice system and shutting down reform, as sujatha baliga, a leader in the restorative justice space who advises on domestic violence cases across the U.S., has observed.