Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault in Popular Culture
by Laura L. Finley
April 2016, 188pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3794-4
$53, £40, 45€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3795-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

More women ages 15–45 are killed due to violence by men than due to cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.

Using historical and current examples from film, television, literature, advertisements, and music, this book reveals the ways that rape and abuse are typically presented—and misrepresented—and evaluates the impact of these depictions on consumers.

Incidences of domestic abuse and sexual assault aren’t only commonplace nationwide and the source of a shockingly large number of serious injuries and deaths; they’re also problems that are often subject to myths and misleading depictions in popular culture and media. The author of this important book seeks to shed light on the situation by examining the specific issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault, from the scope and extent of the problem to victim and offender characteristics, and from common misconceptions to societal, cultural, and judicial responses and prevention efforts.

Each chapter discusses movies, music, literature, and other forms of popular culture that address issues of domestic abuse and sexual assault, identifying both accurate depictions and problematic examples. The final section of the book addresses how our culture responds to and attempts to prevent domestic abuse and sexual assault, covering depictions of police response to these kinds of crimes in popular culture, how the justice system handles these cases, and individual and community efforts to curb domestic abuse and sexual assault. A compendium of films, documentaries, popular books, and song lyrics featuring domestic abuse and sexual assault enables readers to easily investigate the subject further.


  • Addresses both positive and negative depictions of domestic abuse and sexual assault from recent popular culture, utilizing examples from film, television, literature, music, advertisements, and more
  • Presents information that is ideal for undergraduate courses in gender studies, sociology, and psychology as well as communications and popular culture classes
  • Utilizes the most current research on dating and domestic and sexual violence to clearly demonstrate the importance of how these issues and crimes are depicted in popular culture
  • Provides a comprehensive appendix of additional resources that directs students in investigating the topic further
Laura L. Finley, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and criminology at Barry University, Miami Shores, FL. She has been involved in training and education about dating and domestic violence for more than 10 years and currently serves as board chair of No More Tears, a South Florida nonprofit that provides services to victims. Finley is also co-organizer of the College Brides Walk, an educational initiative held each February in South Florida, and has 14 books as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles to her credit. She has twice been the recipient of the Broward County Domestic Violence Volunteer of the Year award. In 2013, she received the Public Peace Intellectual Award from PeaceVoice and the Outstanding Social Justice Collaboration Award from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Finley has also received several awards from her university for engaged scholarship and mentorship of students.


"Finley’s work is an exceptional study of societal, family, and individual issues related to domestic abuse and sexual assault and the perceptions of these issues through the eyes of pop culture."—PsycCRITIQUES, October 27, 2016

"Because the text covers familiar territory for students, this is an ideal volume to spark discussion in introductory courses in women’s studies, cultural studies, and sociology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General, public, and undergraduate libraries."—Choice, November 1, 2016
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