In-Person Event: IMPERFECT VICTIMS by Leigh Goodmark

Join us for an in-person reading and discussion about IMPERFECT VICTIMS: CRIMINALIZED SURVIVORS AND THE PROMISE OF ABOLITION FEMINISM by Leigh Goodmark.  For this event, Leigh will be in conversation with Rachel White-Domain. This event is being held in partnership with Chicago Books to Women in Prison.

Please note: Pre-registration for this event is required. By pre-registering, you are verifying that you are fully vaccinated and will wear a mask throughout the entirety of the event.


A profound, compelling argument for abolition feminism—to protect criminalized survivors of gender-based violence, we must dismantle the carceral system.
Since the 1970s, anti-violence advocates have worked to make the legal system more responsive to gender-based violence. But greater state intervention in cases of intimate partner violence, rape, sexual assault, and trafficking has led to the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of victims, particularly women of color and trans and gender-nonconforming people. Imperfect Victims argues that only dismantling the system will bring that punishment to an end. 
Amplifying the voices of survivors, including her own clients, abolitionist law professor Leigh Goodmark deftly guides readers on a step-by-step journey through the criminalization of survival. Abolition feminism reveals the possibility of a just world beyond the carceral state, which is fundamentally unable to respond to, let alone remedy, harm. As Imperfect Victims shows, abolition feminism is the only politics and practice that can undo the indescribable damage inflicted on survivors by the very system purporting to protect them.

Leigh Goodmark is Marjorie Cook Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and the author of Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence and A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System.

Rachel White-Domain (she/her) is an attorney at the Illinois Prison Project, where she serves as the Director of the Women & Survivors Project. She also serves as an adjunct clinical professor at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Rachel is a nationally recognized expert on post-conviction remedies for incarcerated gender-based violence survivors and on trauma-informed legal advocacy. Before joining IPP, Rachel served as the Policy Director for the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH) where she developed and managed a national policy portfolio to address systemic issues impacting domestic violence survivors. Rachel also developed and has trained nationally on the Trauma-Informed Legal Advocacy (TILA) Project, which was the first comprehensive national training module on trauma-informed services that was designed specifically for domestic violence legal advocates and attorneys. She served on the Steering Committee during the creation of the National LGBTQ Domestic Violence Capacity Building Learning Center and also worked as a pro bono attorney with the Illinois Clemency Project for Battered Women and with Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM), where she provided legal assistance on family law issues to clients in jails and prisons. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers Guild's (NLG) Chicago chapter, as well as a long-time active member of the NLG's Mass Defense Committee, through which she has provided legal coordination support for social justice activists targeted by police in Illinois and several other states. Rachel graduated summa cum laude from DePaul College of Law in 2010. Before law school, she worked in reproductive health care, including as a client services advocate at Planned Parenthood.

Chicago Books to Women in Prison is an all-volunteer, donation-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and they send free paperback books to women and trans people in prisons nationwide. They couldn't do it without the support of friends like you. Learn more at their website and visit their wishlist HERE

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the bookstore, which is an accessible space. For any questions or accessibility requests, please email 

Image Description: A pink graphic with the faint background of open books. To the right, two photos, one of the author, LEIGH GOODMARK, and one of the conversation partner, RACHEL-WHITE DOMAIN. Centered between this two pictures is a small image of the book cover. The text reads, "Women and Children First Presents Leigh Goodmark in conversation with Rachel-White Domain, Thursday April 27th, 7pm CT, masks and proof of vaccination required." 

Event date: 
Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism (Gender and Justice #8) By Leigh Goodmark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520391123
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: University of California Press - January 31st, 2023