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A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System Hardcover – December 1, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Named CHOICE Oustanding Academic Title for 2012.

"[A] compelling reappraisal of domestic violence . . . outstanding for collections on women and the law, domestic violence, and victimization. Highly recommended."-D. Schultz,CHOICE

“We all think we know what 'justice' is, what it looks like. But in this thoroughly researched and carefully argued book, Leigh Goodmark demonstrates that justice has multiple meanings, depending on who is doing the defining. She also makes clear that women who have been abused often find their ability to define and seek justice usurped by others who believe they know 'what's best.' Goodmark's analysis highlights the possibilities and limits of law for abused women seeking justice, and proposes extra-legal remedies that will undoubtedly spark debate, but ultimately may prove appealing to the true experts on domestic violence: women who have experienced abuse.”

-Claire M. Renzetti,author of Feminist Criminology

“In this important book, Goodmark bravely exposes the range of feminist premises about violence in the home, steadfastly confronts the paradoxical reality of under- and  over-enforcement of existing law, and calls for a wide new range of remedies far beyond the ken of dominance feminism’s crabbed penal imagination. Respect for women’s agency and women’s strategies in and through sex and power animate this dramatic, comprehensive, immensely readable, completely new approach. Goodmark’s anti-essentialist feminism is the voice of a new generation. It could change the program of legal feminism, vastly for the better.”

-Janet Halley,author of Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism

"She uses both theory and legal case studies to build her narrative: it is an effective strategy, one that makes Goodmark's criticism of the current legal system convincing." -Women's Studies Journal

"A Troubled Marriage is powerful and spot-on in its challenges to those of us who have given over so much to the state through law and funding.  It is a must read for everyone involved in crafting law, litigating for reforms, creating new services and assistance (which may or may not be what battered women would chose) and surrendering to the power of the state in so many ways. I urge activists to come together for conversation and debate about A Troubled Marriage."
-Barbara J. Hart,co-founder, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

"Goodmark's synthetic, accessible, and critical account of the development, current condition, and possible futures of legal remedies for women subjected to abuse tracks the progress and perils of three decades of inspired feminist legal activism.  Goodmark raises important questions about feminist theory and legal advocacy while engaging longstanding debates about strategies for social change and the limits and possibilities of the state as a terrain of feminists struggle."-Lisa D. Brush,Tulsa Law Review

"Leigh Goodmark's book effectively explains why scholars and practitioners have reached this conclusion and makes inroads to setting a new direction. In her analysis, the root of the problem is linked to the influence of 'dominance' feminism on reform practices and the solution is found in developing responses to domestic violence 'beyond the law.'"-Criminal Law Bulletin

About the Author

Leigh Goodmark is Professor of Law, Director of Clinical Education, and Co-Director of the Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law. 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814732224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814732229
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,482,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a thoughtful, careful, and extremely innovative book about domestic violence. Professor Goodmark, who has a wealth of experience as a lawyer, law professor, and clinical director, documents various forms of abuse (such as economic and psychological)for which the law does not provide protection. She also explains how stereotypes about victims of intimate violence cause prosecutors and judges to misunderstand and trivialize these harms. If you read only one book about domestic violence in law or psychology, read this one: it outlines methods of "creative legal advocacy to develop remedies for women subjected to abuse that are responsive to the harms that women seek to redress."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is required reading if you want to understand how advocates for domestic violence victims think. If neither you nor anyone you know is a victim or a perpetrator of domestic violence, why is this understanding useful? It turns out that domestic violence considerations are hugely influential in shaping all kinds of family law. If you're sued for divorce, custody, child support, or alimony, for example, the way that the case is resolved may be influenced by the domestic violence world.

Separately, as a citizen and a taxpayer, this book is important for understanding the extent to which the law is working to protect victims of domestic violence. (Short answer: not very well, despite the fact that advocates for domestic violence victims have pretty much gotten everything that they've asked for.)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an important analysis of where the service and policy design to reduce intimate partner violence should go forward, toward a less coercive, more empowering for women, more helpful to men, approach. It's a must read for thinking about what we could be doing better in this critical field.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sad reality but great read that keeps your attention.
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