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Feminism, Rape and the Search for Justice

McGlynn, C

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Justice for rape victims has become synonymous with punitive state punishment. Taking rape seriously is equated with increasing convictions and prison sentences and consequently most feminist activism has been focused on reforming the conventional criminal justice system to secure these aims. While important reforms have been made, justice continues to elude many victims. Many feel re-victimized by a system which marginalizes their interests and denies them a voice. Restorative justice offers the potential to secure justice for rape victims, but feminist resistance has resulted in few programmes tackling such crimes. In After the Crime, Susan Miller evidences the positive outcomes of a restorative justice programme tackling serious offences including rape and recommends their development. However, her vision is ultimately limited by her recommendation of only post-conviction restorative processes and the implicit endorsement of the conventional criminal justice system. I argue that feminist strategy and activism must rethink its approach to what constitutes justice for rape victims, going beyond punitive state outcomes to encompass broader notions of justice, including an expansive approach to restorative justice.


McGlynn, C. (2011). Feminism, Rape and the Search for Justice. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 31(4), 825-842.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011-10
Deposit Date Sep 21, 2011
Publicly Available Date Oct 12, 2013
Journal Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
Print ISSN 0143-6503
Electronic ISSN 1464-3820
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 4
Pages 825-842
Keywords Feminism, Rape, Restorative justice.


Accepted Journal Article (145 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Oxford journal of legal studies following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version McGlynn, C. (2011) 'Feminism, rape and the search for justice.', Oxford journal of legal studies., 31 (4). pp. 825-842 is available online at:

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