Equal Protection for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: From Criminalization to Law Enforcement Accountability
5 U. Miami Race & Soc. Just. L. Rev. 401 (2015)
21 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2015
Date Written: July 1, 2015
In this essay, I argue that strengthening the accountability of law enforcement to survivors of abuse and violence, such as survivors of domestic and sexual violence, is a necessary step toward ending gender-based violence and ensuring justice for survivors.
While reforms often have focused on criminalizing domestic and sexual violence and investigating and punishing perpetrators, law enforcement accountability for their responses to gender-based violence serves as an important complement and counterpoint. Advocacy to hold law enforcement accountable acts as a check on misconduct and impunity by: 1) connecting state-perpetrated, state-created, and state-condoned violence; 2) preserving criminal justice responses for survivors who seek them; and 3) building survivors’ power. I also describe how tools and strategies from the civil and human rights frameworks can be used to enhance law enforcement oversight and community engagement.
Keywords: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, rape, sexual assault, police practices, police misconduct, law enforcement, gender-based violence, civil rights, human rights, equal protection
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