Carisa R. Showden argues in her latest book that victim and agent are not mutually exclusive categories. Anna Edman considers her belief that survivors of domestic violence, women using assisted reproduction and women in prostitution are still able to assess their situation and wrest some control
The press release of Choices Women Make: Agency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work states that Carisa R. Showden’s understanding of women’s agency ultimately leads her to review possible policy and legal interventions that could improve the conditions within which agency develops – and which could positively enhance women’s abilities to increase and exercise their political and personal options.
In this review agency refers to an individual’s freedom to act. In order to have agency you need to be free from constraints which would prevent or restrict your ability to act. You also need a social or political environment in which you can act freely, the means to live and the knowledge to ensure rational action.