How did feminists end up turning to the police and the law to make them safe?
The abduction and murder of Sarah Everard by London Met officer Wayne Couzens and the sharing photos of the bodies of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry by constables revealed something rotten about policing in Britain. Every week it seems there is a fresh scandal involving abhorrent, racist, misogynist behaviour by serving officers. Yet, these are the very people that women are supposed to seek help from when they face violence. And many feminists continue to hope that the criminal justice system can be used to make women safe: fighting for stronger laws and longer sentences for those who harm them.
Why Would Feminist Trust the Police? traces the history of British feminism’s alliances and struggles with the law and its enforcers, to ask: how did feminists come to rely on the police to make them safe? And how can we change course? Drawing on the history of Black British feminism and police and prison abolition, Leah Cowan issues a corrective: the police are not feminists, and they will not bring us safety.