Adding to the trauma of patriarchal violence is the experience of being criminalized explicitly for the strategies that bring people safety, security, healing, and self-determination — or even for just existing in the world.
For some people — especially Black people, queer and trans, non-US citizens, young people, people with mental illness, disabled people, neurodivergent people, people who use drugs, people living outside, people living with HIV— the criminalization of survival exists as a method for social control and makes them more vulnerable not only to imprisonment, but also to poor health outcomes, abuse, and exploitation. People with these identities and life experiences are also those who have been historically excluded from public health discourse, stigmatized, exploited by public health research, practice, and institutions.
The following selected resources provide insight into criminalized survival practices with the hopes of illuminating the need for alternatives to carceral solutions for people whose survival is criminalized.
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Last updated May 2021