Up Against a Wall: Rape Reform and the Failure of Success

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NYU Press, Jan 7, 2013 - Law - 344 pages
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Rape law reform has long been hailed as one of the most successful projects of second-wave feminism. Yet forty years after the anti-rape movement emerged, legal and medical institutions continue to resist implementing reforms intended to provide more just and compassionate legal and medical responses to victims of sexual violence. In Up Against a Wall, Rose Corrigan draws on interviews with over 150 local rape care advocates in communities across the United States to explore how and why mainstream systems continue to resist feminist reforms.

In a series of richly detailed case studies, the book weaves together scholarship on law and social movements, feminist theory, policy formation and implementation, and criminal justice to show how the innovative legal strategies employed by anti-rape advocates actually undermined some of their central claims. But even as its more radical elements were thwarted, pieces of the rape law reform project were seized upon by conservative policy-makers and used to justify new initiatives that often prioritize the interests and rights of criminal justice actors or medical providers over the needs of victims.

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The Failure of Success
2 The AntiRape Movement and the Turn to Law
3 Listening to Rape Care Advocates
Following the Leaky Pipeline of Rape Reporting
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Programs
Emergency Contraception and the Failure of Policy Success
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Statutes
The Troubled Legacy of Rape Law Reform
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About the author (2013)

Rose Corrigan is Associate Professor of Law and Politics at Drexel University. In addition to holding degrees from Bryn Mawr College and Rutgers University—New Brunswick, she was a direct service provider in the fields of sexual and domestic violence for more than ten years.

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