The Violence Against Women Act and the Construction of Multiple Consciousness in the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements
Journal of Law & Policy, Vol. 4, p. 463, 1996
34 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009
Date Written: 1996
While the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act is undeniably a victory for feminism, serving as a vehicle for a sophisticated national discourse on violence between intimate partners, it is also a civil rights victory. This Article argues that the Violence Against Women Act provides a unique opportunity for collaboration between the civil rights and feminist movements, recognizing that the civil rights movement can be gender-conscious and gender-responsive, and that the feminist movement can speak to issues of race and ethnic discrimination. The Article describes the similar, yet conflicting history of the civil rights and feminist movements and provides concrete examples explaining how the current political climate threatens to dismantle advances of both the feminist and civil rights movements. It also identifies the VAWA provisions of particular interest for women of color, especially Latinas and immigrant women. The Article concludes that cooperation between the two movements has the unique potential to maximize VAWA's reform provisions, and encourages the two movements to expand their collaborative efforts, and combine their considerable experience and strengths to end the multiple forms of intimate partner violence against all women.
Keywords: latinas, latinos, hispanics, domestic violence, violence against women act, intimate partner violence, civil rights, feminism, women's rights
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