Violence against Women in Families and Relationships
by Evan Stark and Eve S. Buzawa, Editors
June 2009, 888pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
4 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99846-2
$227, £175, 198€, A311
eBook Available: 978-0-275-99847-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Since the first shelters for battered women opened in the early 1970s, the age-old notion that men have the right to physically subjugate their female partners has been challenged on a number of fronts. But despite the programs and protections that have been instituted, are women really safer today than they were 40 years ago?

This comprehensive overview of domestic violence against women and children in America covers the services meant to combat it, the legal approaches to prosecuting it, the public's attitudes toward it, and the successes and failures of systems meant to address it.

The fight to end domestic violence consists of community-based services for battered women, laws and policies to combat the problem, a broad spectrum of frequently-innovative programs to protect or otherwise support abused women and children, a dramatic shift in media portrayals of violence against women, and a growing public critique of unacceptable forms of power and control in relationships. These volumes offer another weapon in that battle.

Violence against Women in Families and Relationships takes stock of all of the ways in which legislation, programs and services, and even public attitudes have impacted victims, offenders, and communities over the last few decades. Contributors pay special attention to how race, class, and cultural differences affect the experience of abuse. They explore the efficacy of interventions, and they provide compelling real-life examples to illustrate issues and challenges. Our society has made an enormous investment in stopping abuse in families and relationships, but numerous questions still remain. Many of those questions are answered in these pages, as experts uncover the realities of domestic violence and the toll it takes on families, individuals, communities, and society at large.

Evan Stark is professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, and chair of the Department of Urban Health Administration at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Public Health.

Eve S. Buzawa is professor and the chairperson of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, MA.


Outstanding Academic Title, 2009—Choice, January 1, 2010


"In this major contribution to understanding the 'domestic violence revolution,' Stark (public affairs and administration, Rutgers U., Newark, New Jersey) and Buzawa (criminal justice, U. of Massachusetts-Lowell) introduce this four-volume set with the story about the first shelter in the US for battered women in 1972. Experts examine the progress that has been made in this area and continuing challenges. The themes of volume one include community responses including the shelter movement, the mutually-reinforcing effects of poverty and domestic violence, and how those escaping this cycle are re-building their lives. Volume 2 examines the family context of domestic violence including the effect on child witnesses, and the conflicting approaches of the child welfare and family court responses to child custody in cases of ‘coercive control.’ The legal system’s handling of such cases and examples of programs for men who batter occupies volume 3. Volume 4 treats media representation of abuse and victim empowerment and how it shapes attitudes."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2009

"Even though it covers a touchy subject that stirs all sorts of reactions, this is an important resource that every public and academic library should own."—Library Journal, October 1, 2009

". . . an outstanding summation of and contribution to research-based, social change-oriented knowledge. Individually, the pieces are concise, accessible examples of work by researchers, advocates, and activist-scholars able to gracefully juggle the editors' mandate to address technically demanding specialists as well as intelligent, curious lay readers. Whether the writer is a senior figure in advocacy or research or a relative newcomer, the contributions are uniformly full of astute observations, carefully recounted debates, feminist interpretations, and fair assessments and syntheses of research findings, innovative service practices, and legal and political strategies. Collectively, the volumes are comprehensive and informative. . . Perhaps most remarkable, the editors put forth a consistent vision of the varieties of manipulation, shame, threats, exploitation, and physical violence that have become the dominant technologies of men's coercive control of their wives and girlfriends. This invaluable set belongs in every academic and public library. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries."—Choice, December 1, 2009
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