Session: Nevertheless We Persist: Resisting and Subverting Neoliberalism and Carceral Logics in Domestic Violence Work (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

115 Nevertheless We Persist: Resisting and Subverting Neoliberalism and Carceral Logics in Domestic Violence Work

Friday, January 18, 2019: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Golden Gate 4, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Violence against Women and Children (VAWC)
Symposium Organizer:
Stephanie Wahab, PhD, Portland State University
Kalei Kanuha, PhD, University of Washington
In the past 40 years, there has been a proliferation of research, practice, activism, and advocacy regarding issues of domestic violence (DV) and gender based violence (GBV). However, scant attention is paid to the political and economic conditions that create and shape anti-violence work. Over time, women of color have argued that the anti-violence movement's reliance on the state (for funding, policy engagement, and criminal legal response) has foreclosed a radical vision of DV that incorporates an analysis and response to both individual and institutionalized violence, resulting in policies and interventions that have had disproportionate negative effects on indigenous, undocumented, communities of color, and other marginalized groups.

The papers in this symposium will offer a critical examination of the ways macro forces shape organized support and services to people experiencing domestic violence in the United States and Canada. Specifically, the papers in this symposium will present research and practice projects that explicitly contend with the ways that neoliberalism, criminalization, professionalization, white supremacy, and xenophobia shape and constrain anti-violence work. These forces have, among other things, shaped social work DV analysis and engagement away from structural changes towards individual change. They have also supported carceral logics and approaches to dealing with DV, fetishized physical safety over other forms of violence, and limited who can do the DV through a more professionalized DV work force.

The first paper in this symposium will explore how the production of temporary and precarious status impacts how front-line service providers provide support and advocacy for immigrant women who are facing gender-based violence in Canada. This paper mobilizes research conducted by the Migrant Mothers Project (MMP) between 2015-2018. The MMP is a University-Community collaboration that employs feminist, participatory, and action research methods to understand the broad spectrum of violence that women face in relation to their immigration status, specifically migrant caregivers and sponsored spouses in Canada. We compare two groups of immigrant women—migrant caregivers and newly sponsored spouses—to identify how deportability shapes how services providers support and respond to immigrants who facing gender-based violence.

The second paper will present a case study of Oregon's Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault's 40 hour online training curriculum for DV advocates. In this study, we explore the complexities of how “the braid” (intersections of neoliberalism, criminalization and the professionalization of DV) is both reinforced and resisted through (1) the ways that advocates are trained to participate in anti-violence work; (2) and the development of the State legislation that confers advocate confidentiality through the training. The case study included a policy analysis of State legislation conferring confidentiality privilege to DV advocates, a content analysis of the actual training, and qualitative interviews with key community stakeholders.

The final paper will offer an analysis of a statewide initiative to shift IPV service delivery towards inclusion of community-based or social network approaches to IPV intervention. Using an organizational change framework and building upon implementation and dissemination research, this paper discusses organizational factors that impact “readiness” for implementation of community-based or social network interventions.

* noted as presenting author
Ties That Bind: Advocating for Immigrant Women in the Shadow of the Deportation State
Rupaleem Bhyuan, PhD, University of Toronto; Catherine Schmidt, University of Toronto
Bound By the State: Re-Centering Survivors amidst Professionalization, Criminalization and Structural Violence
Gita Mehrotra, PhD, Portland State University; Ericka Kimball, PhD, Portland State University; Stephanie Wahab, PhD, Portland State University; Kelly Meyers, MSW, Portland State University; Stephanie Ng Ping Cheung, MSW, Portland State University
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