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Communities Engaged in Resisting Violence

General Material

"Communities Engaged in Resisting Violence is part of a growing movement in Chicago of community-based initiatives seeking to resist violence against women, to create community accountability for the perpetuation of violence, and to develop strategies to end violence and the oppressive systems that support it. While the women's anti-violence movement has made many inroads in the past 35-40 years, the groups and initiatives in this report are rejuvenating the movement, and taking the work in exciting new directions. The goals of this report are to highlight these inspiring initiatives, to encourage exchange and coalition between groups, and to generate more community antiviolence projects."

This report offers critiques of the mainstream movement centering around six themes: 1) One size fits all, 2) Over-reliance on the criminal legal system, 3) Reliance on state funding, 4) Narrowing the definition of violence, 5) Focus on individual interventions, and 6) Professionalization of the work. "As a result, the antiviolence movement now manages individual incidents of violence, rather than transforming the systems that perpetuate violence." The authors offer alternatives to broaden the movement's focus on social change, highlighting several successful groups that "recognize that there is no one strategy to end violence; rather, we must use multiple approaches that arise from within communities rather than being imposed from the outside. In fact, many of the groups do not reject the need for services for violence survivors, or antiviolence laws, but rather reject the notion that these responses will, on their own, end violence."

Contents include:

  • Communities Engaged in Resisting Violence
  • How Anti-Violence Groups Develop Their Approach
  • How Anti-Violence Groups Structure Their Projects
  • Strategies You Can Use To End Violence!
  • What You Can Do
  • For More Information