As an abolitionist I am opposed to “penal solutions” to conflicts, harms and disputes. Penal law and criminal justice sanctions are unjust and fail to protect us. My position, and in particular my opposition to imprisonment almost inevitably provokes the response ‘but what about the rapists?’
In this chapter I seek to provide a full response. My two main points are that firstly that there are non-criminal justice responses. My second is that criminal justice responses comprehensively fail to both reduce sexual violence and to respond subsequently to its harms. I conclude that although although non-criminal justice system responses are not a panacea, they offer far more hope than a continued reliance on penal law. But ultimately responding effectively to sexual violence involves far more fundamental social change.
The chapter was published in the book Penal Abolition in 2016 and the full chapter can be downloaded below:
Moore, J. M. (2016) ‘What about the rapists – An abolitionist response’. in Beckman, A., Moore, J.M. and Wahidin, A. Penal Abolitionism: Papers from the Penal Law, Abolition and Anarchism Conference Volume I London: EG Press