Leigh Goodmark Advocates for Non-Punitive Responses to Violence Against Women

Leigh Goodmark (’95), Professor of Law and Co-Director, Clinical Law Program at University of Maryland School of Law, published a piece for Alchemist examining how the Violence Against Women Act may be reimagined to support a non-carceral response to domestic violence as the House considers a new version of the legislation (“Beyond Criminalizing Domestic Violence,” Mar. 18). “[F]ar from deterring intimate partner violence, criminalization exacerbates some of the strongest factors that correlate with it, including economic instability and trauma. . . . Biden has an opportunity to design a new VAWA—one that shifts away from the criminal system and toward prevention and non-punitive responses. A non-carceral VAWA would be a major step toward developing and implementing responses that might make the change we so desperately need. In the end, our goals are the same: stopping intimate partner violence.