Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date





City University of New York




The growing calls for the “securitization of body and property,”[ii] documented by Jonathan Simon in his book Governing Through Crime, illustrates a deep tension in our understanding of the role of criminal law as a tool for societal transformation.[iii] For some, including communities of color, the criminal legal system is a place where inequality flourishes;[iv] for others, including those feminists who have support criminal law interventions, it has become a tool to realize equality.[v] The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, reauthorized in 2013 as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA),[vi] relies heavily on the criminal law to obtain its goals. Countering the conventional reliance on criminal law, critical feminist legal scholars concerned about the detrimental impact on poor communities and communities of color. They critique the criminal law orientation of TVPA and VAWA for contributing to the destabilization of communities, particularly, communities of color.[vii] The carceral aspects of VAWA/TVPA also raise difficult questions for anti­violence advocates concerned about the war on crime, including, mass-­incarceration. How has this “feminist war on crime,”[viii] backfired?

Find on SSRN Link to Publisher Site



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.