Inequality across State Lines: How Policymakers Have Failed Domestic Violence Victims in the United States, Wendy J. Schiller and Kaitlin Sidorsky

Reviewed by Angie Torres-Beltran

How do institutional and political responses to domestic violence affect gender equality? In Inequality across State Lines: How Policy Makers Have Failed Domestic Violence Victims in the United States, Kaitlin Sidorsky and Wendy J. Schiller answer this question by offering a compelling and necessary assessment of existing federal-, state-, and local-level responses to domestic violence to help us understand why domestic violence policy adoption and implementation have failed to keep women safe. Through the lens of political science, public policy, and policy implementation, the book marks a welcome shift to the underlying gender inequalities that federalism creates for domestic violence victims. By highlighting variations across and within state’s domestic violence laws and complementary firearm amendments, the book effectively addresses how, despite the existence of national domestic violence policies, the government has failed women.

Across seven chapters, the authors carefully track the policy history of the federal government’s response to domestic violence and then provide detailed analyses of state-level responses to domestic violence. Sidorsky and Schiller argue that federalism creates four levels of gender inequality for women who experience domestic violence, whereby women are unequal: (1) relative to men in human security, (2) amo

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