VAW Social Change Resource Center
Writing of Violence Against Women Activists
As early as the 1970’s, modern feminists began to name battering as a problem. For the next 20 years, activists wrote about gender and power in women’s lives. Through their writings, these grassroots activists used their own experience to define a social movement.
From this page you can link to movement classics and materials from programs. You’ll find debates and controversies of the Battered Women’s Movement. And we raise again the question of whether the Master’s Tools can truly effect change.
These works offer very rich and complex feminist thinking by social change activists.
They represent what is called a praxis-nexus.
Highlights of the movement, by decade. Written in 2000 by founding mothers Beth Richie & Anne Menard.
AEGIS Magazine on Ending Violence Against Women. Archive of Newsletters from 1974 to 1987.
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter Archive, 1974-75.
Deb Friedman notes how professionals in an organization can shift the work away from the
foundations of feminist organizing (self-help, political analyses, accountability) and maintain
class distinctions. 1975
Resources for Organizing
In the Community
Papers on advocacy, theory, services for advocates interested in a social change perspective
of policy work. DVD also available. National Resources Center, 2005
Anannya Bhattacharjee takes a hard look at how the movement has limited relevance for some
women and calls for "alternative community based strategies" to address domestic violence. 2001
Jo Freeman (Joreen) argues the need for structure to combat elitism and political impotence in feminist organizations. Outlines basics of democratic structure. Classic 1970!
Co-optation and Absorption
Kathleen Carlin speaks to the importance of language and connection to women's lives for
the battered women's movement. For Men Stopping Violence, 2001
Andrea del Moral speaks to the effect of Nonprofit status on social change vision and
revolutionary goals. 2005
Loss of radical focus as nonprofits chase government funding. Suzanne Pharr outlines
concerns and possibilities. 2004
Karla Mantilla presents a powerful summary of speakers at 2nd annual Color of Violence
Conference sponsored by INCITE! Includes Beth Richie & Catlin Fulwood from the Battered
Women's Movement. Cherie Moraga author of This Bridge Called My Back.
Social Change Resource Center © 2007, Afterwords, Inc.