When violence occurs in the family, will bringing together those who have been harmed,
those who have caused harm, and their respective supporters do more harm? Common responses
to this question often reveal a deep-seated distrust of families and their cultural
networks. This distrust reinforces carceral interventions that have a disproportionate
impact on racialized and low-wealth communities. In her recently published book, A
Restorative Approach to Family Violence: Feminist Kin-Making (Routledge, 2023), Joan
Pennell sets forth a theory of feminist kin-making to explain why family-centered
restorative approaches are well suited to addressing gendered and intergenerational
harm. Donna Coker and Mimi Kim reflect on feminist kin-making in the context of their
own work: Donna on liberatory practices and Mimi on transformative justice.
Joan Pennell is Professor Emerita of Social Work at North Carolina State University and was the
Founding Director of the Center for Family and Community Engagement. She has conducted
research on restorative justice, family violence, child welfare, and fathering. She
has a long-term commitment to social movements for gender, racial, Indigenous, economic,
and environmental justice. firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Coker is Professor of Law at University of Miami. Her research concerns the connection
between economic vulnerability and IPV; restorative justice responses to IPV and sexual
harm; and the intersections of gender and race subordination in criminal law doctrine,
policy, and application.
Mimi Kim is Associate Professor of Social Work at California State University at Long Beach
and the editor-in-chief of Affilia. She is a long-time anti-domestic violence advocate
in Asian immigrant and refugee communities and remains active in the promotion of
community organizing, community accountability, and transformative justice approaches
to violence intervention and prevention.