Summary: “The Bonobo Sisterhood”

How to revolutionize the way we handle gender-based violence

Thanks to Tanya Korpi, Northern Minnesota Valvoline franchise owner, for underwriting this series


Diane Rosenfeld, director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School, talked with us about her book “The Bonobo Sisterhood: Revolution Through Female Alliance” as part of the Values & Vision discussion series of Changemakers Alliance.



Changemakers Alliance, an action-oriented spinoff of Minnesota Women’s Press, hosted a virtual discussion about the book on January 5. Summary will appear in the February “Books” magazine issue.

From a 1994 Chicago Tribune editorial from Diane Rosenfeld:

“Batterers selectively lose control when they get home because something tells them that violence behind the walls of the home is shielded from the eyes of the law. … When she leaves or attempts to leave, the abuser’s actions become more violent, as the need to control her becomes more desperate … If police and the courts understood the danger and difficulty separation presents to a victim, resources could be focused on safely separating the parties. Intervention at this critical juncture could make the difference between life and death …. [such as] detaining the batterer in prison for several hours to teach him that his behavior is criminal and unacceptable, and putting the victim in touch with advocacy services to give her the strength and self-esteem needed to proceed through the criminal justice system.”

Often, she considers herself to be a victim only to the extent that society considers him to be a criminal.

  • A second, deeper discussion will be held February 23.
  • On March 25, we will feature a conversation with Rosenfeld at our “Bodily Autonomy” event in Minneapolis.

Sign up for the March 25 event here

Related series: Reducing gender-based violence