Added: May 20, 2006 – Last updated: January 2, 2016


Author: Nancy A. Matthews

Title: Confronting Rape

Subtitle: The Feminist Anti-Rape Movement and the State

Place: London and New York, NY

Publisher: Routledge

Year: 1994

Pages: xxii + 188pp.

Series: International Library of Sociology

ISBN-10: 0415064910 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0415114012 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Society: Anti-Rape Movement, Rape Crisis Centers



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  Acknowledgements (p. viii)
  Abbreviations (p. x)
  Introduction (p. xi)
    A changing movement and the state (p. xii)
    Rape crisis services today (p. xv)
    The research (p. xvi)
      The interviews (p. xix)
        Access (p. xix)
      Documents (p. xx)
    How this book is organized (p. xxi)
  Chapter 1
Feminism, the state, and the anti-rape movement: theoretical underpinnings (p. 1)
    Feminism and the anti-rape movement (p. 1)
    The state and professionalization of reform (p. 5)
  Chapter 2
The national context (p. 9)
    Institutional targets (p. 11)
    Cultural change (p. 13)
  Chapter 3
The birth of the Los Angeles anti-rape movement (p. 16)
    Local context (p. 17)
    The founding of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (p. 18)
      The Crenshaw Women's Center (p. 19)
      The Thursday Night Group and the Westside Women's Center (p. 22)
      Merging the two groups (p. 25)
    Founding of the Pasadena YWCA rape hotline (p. 28)
    Founding the East Los Angeles rape hotline (p. 32)
    Conclusion (p. 38)
  Chapter 4
Surviving the early years (p. 41)
    Leadership and decision-making (p. 42)
      The collectivist style in LACAAW (p. 43)
      The professional network style in Pasadena (p. 46)
      Cross-cutting styles in East Los Angeles (p. 48)
    Recruitment and training (p. 52)
    Funding (p. 56)
      LACAAW's funding sage (p. 60)
      A crisis deepens (p. 64)
    Relationshups with other agencies (p. 66)
      Police (p. 66)
    Hospitals (p. 71)
    Conclusion (p. 73)
  Chapter 5
The politics of crisis and a crisis of politics (p. 75)
    The Alliance (p. 77)
    Crisis in the movement (p. 79)
      LACAAW's crisis (p. 80)
      LACAAW's transformation (p. 82)
      Crisis and renewal in East Los Angeles (p. 88)
    Founding of the Valley hotline (p. 93)
      Surviving in a changed context (p. 97)
  Chapter 6
Politics and bureaucracy: OCJP funding (p. 105)
    Prior government funding of rape crisis work (p. 106)
    The OCJP Sexual Assault Program (p. 108)
      Early work of the OCJP's sexual assault branch (p. 110)
      Division in the Coalition (p. 112)
      The relationship between OCJP and the Coalition (p. 116)
      OCJP funding and bureaucratization (p. 120)
    Conclusion (p. 126)
  Chapter 7
The expansion of racial diversity (p. 128)
    Feminism, race, and rape (p. 128)
    Women of color and the local anti-rape movement (p. 130)
      OCJP response (p. 133)
      Two new rape crisis centers (p. 135)
      Consequences of founding: a different approach (p. 136)
      Bureaucratic contradictions (p. 139)
      Victims' rights)
    Continuing issues of race and ethnicity (p. 143)
      The dynamics of interpersonal racism and homophobia (p. 1439
  Chapter 8
From stopping violence to managing rape (p. 149)
    Feminism, violence, and the state (p. 151)
    Feminism, bureaucracy, and the state (p. 154)
    Implications for theory and practice (p. 161)
      Informing social movement theory (p. 161)
      Feminism (p. 163)
      The state (p. 164)
  Appendix A
Interviewees (p. 167)
  Appendix B
Interview schedule (p. 169)
  Notes (p. 172)
  Bibliography (p. 176)
  Index (p. 183)


»Confronting Rape documents two decades of anti-rape activism. From grassroots efforts to the institutionalization of state-funded rape crisis centers, the movement has changed public thinking significantly about sexual assault. Activists in rape crisis centers across the US have created a feminist success story, although not always as they would have chosen. Confronting Rape explores how the state has reshaped rape crisis work by supporting the therapeutic aspects of the anti-rape movement's agenda and pushing feminist rape crisis centers toward conventional frameworks of social servive provision, while submerging the feminist political agenda of transforming gender relations and preventing rape.
Through a rich comparative history of six organizations in Los Angeles, Nancy Matthews explores the complexities within a movement that includes radicals, moderates, women of color, lesbians – all working within varying frameworks. Originally critical of the state's handling of rape and distrustful of co-operation, most rape crisis centers eventually came to rely on state funding for organizational survival. But have the resulting compromises gone too far? Confronting Rape reveals significant, often covert, local level resistance and struggle against the mainstreaming of rape crisis work. Bureaucratic routines and discourses are both the tools through which the state redefines rape crisis work and the terrain of activists' resistance.« (Source: Book)


Hirst, Gillian. The Journal of Sexual Aggression 1(2) (1994-95): 129-132.

Lees, Sue. Feminist Review No. 51 (Fall 1995): 125-127. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Millns, S. Journal of Gender Studies 4(3) (November 1995): 377-378.

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Feminist movement: Anti-rape movement