Insurgent Love

Abolition and Domestic Homicide

By Ardath Whynacht  

Domestic homicide is violence that strikes within our most intimate relations. The most common strategy for addressing this kind of transgression relies on policing and prisons. But through examining commonly accepted typologies of high-risk intimate partner violence, Ardath Whynacht shows that policing can be understood as part of the same root problem as the violence it seeks to mend and provides an abolitionist frame for the most dangerous forms of intimate partner violence. This book illustrates that the origins of both the carceral state and toxic masculinity are situated in settler colonialism and racial capitalism and sees police homicide and domestic homicide as akin. Describing an experience of domestic homicide in her community and providing a deeply personal analysis of some of the most recent cases of homicide in Canada, the author inhabits the complexity of seeking abolitionist justice. Insurgent Love traces the major risk factors for domestic homicide within the structures of racial capitalism and suggests transformative, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, feminist approaches for safety, prevention and justice.

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  • Prologue
  • Domestic Homicide and Abolition?
  • Butcher
  • Settler Colonialism and Intimate Terrorism
  • Portapique
  • Occupation: Racial Capitalism and the Familicidal Heart
  • Desmond
  • Insurgent Love
  • Transformative Justice for Domestic Homicide
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Index


  • Ardath Whynacht

    Ardath Whynacht is an activist and writer who works for and with survivors of state and family violence. She teaches sociology at Mount Allison University and lives on unceded Mi’kmaw territory.

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