VAW Social Change Resource Center

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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 programsYou’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.

Movement Classics

Activist Writings


Educational Tools/Handouts


           Important Stages of the Battered Women’s Movement in the United States

Highlights of the movement, by decade.  Written in 2000 by founding mothers Beth Richie & Anne Menard.


Favorite readings


             AEGIS Archives

                          AEGIS Magazine on Ending Violence Against Women.  Archive of Newsletters from 1974 to 1987. 

                FAAR Archives

                                Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter Archive, 1974-75.

Program Materials


Alternative Programs

Direct Services



Program Administration



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


             Domestic Violence Awareness: Action for Social Change

Papers on advocacy, theory, services for advocates interested in a social change perspective

of policy work.  DVD also available.  National Resources Center, 2005


             In Programs


Putting Community Back in the Domestic Violence Movement

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


The Tyranny of Structurelessness

Jo Freeman (Joreen) argues the need for structure to combat elitism and political impotence in feminist organizations.  Outlines basics of democratic structure.  Classic 1970!


Staff/Advocacy Training

Master’s Tools

Co-optation and Absorption


             When the Diagnosis is “Family Violence”

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


Non-profit status


The Revolution will not be Funded

Andrea del Moral speaks to the effect of Nonprofit status on social change vision and

revolutionary goals.  2005


Funding our Radical Work

Loss of radical focus as nonprofits chase government funding. Suzanne Pharr outlines

concerns and possibilities. 2004


Re-creating Racism


             Color of Violence 2002:  Building a Movement

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.




        Reflection                  Action



Introduction to Social Change

Reflections on Social Change

  Cultural Supports

  Oppression & Privilege

  Questions of Research


Strategies for Action

  Activist Writings



Domestic Violence


  Power & Control Tools