Publication Date

April 2019


Kerwin Kaye


College of Social Studies


English (United States)


This thesis explores how alternative justice processes – that is, processes that work outside of the criminal legal system to pursue accountability for sexual violence – create new images of what it means to be a “good survivor” and “accountable perpetrator.” These cultural images matter insofar as they create narratives to which people must adhere, or else risk falling outside of the boundaries of respectability. Restorative justice processes create new biopolitical imperatives that define victims’ and offenders’ emotional and social responses to sexual violence. Though these new expectations for survivors and perpetrators diverge slightly from those created by the US criminal legal system, they fail to challenge the underlying gendered and racialized power dynamics that shape instances and images of sexual violence.



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