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The Violence of Care


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Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments vii Introduction: Sexual Violence in the City 1 1. "The Hand of God": DNA and Victim Subjectivity in 37 Sexual Assault Intervention 2. Making Time: Temporalities of Law, Healing, and Sexual Violence 57 3. On Truth and Disgust: Managing Emotion in the Forensic 76 Intervention 4. Re/production: Articulating Paths to Healing and Justice 103 5. Facing Victims: Vision and Visage in the Forensic Exam 130 6. Documentary Agency: Institutional Dispositions toward 152 Gender and Rape Myths 7. There Is No Place Like Home: Home, Harm, and Healing 176 8. Patient and Victim Compliance: Drugs, AIDS, and Local 195 Geographies of Care Conclusion: "We're Not There for the Victim": The Violence 217 of Forensic Care Notes 231 Bibliography 243 Index 267 About the Author 277

About the Author

Sameena Mulla is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Sciences at the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences at Marquette University. She is the author of The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention, which won the 2017 Margaret Mead Award presented by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.


"Once in a while comes along a book that not only adds a new dimension to existing knowledge of a phenomenon but changes our angle of vision on it. The Violence of Care is such a book. Through the lens of forensic nursing, Sameena Mulla rearranges categories of law, violence, care, kinship, and obligation, shifting our horizon of thought and allowing new aspects of these familiar categories to dawn on us. A stunning achievement."-Veena Das,Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University"Mulla offers a rich and harrowing ethnographic investigation of what happens to Baltimore's sexual assault victims, and to the nurses and the rape crisis center volunteers who care for them. The book highlights how nurses are mobilized as agents of the prosecution team; victims are regulated as 'good' or 'bad' witnesses; and 'public health hospital-based services' are increasingly de-politicized in the service of the state. In Mulla's beautifully written and disturbing account, the politics of rape and the labors of nurses are both muffled in the production of judicialized outcomes, rather than support of victims and the healthcare providers who work with them. Let the reader be forewarned: this is a great and troubling read!"-Rayna Rapp,New York University

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