Sexualized Violence against Women and Children: A Psychology and Law Perspective

By Lyness, Anne M. Prouty | Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Sexualized Violence against Women and Children: A Psychology and Law Perspective


Lyness, Anne M. Prouty, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy


Cling, B. J. (Ed.). (2004). Sexualized violence against women and children: A psychology and law perspective. New York: Guilford Press, 305 pp., $38.00.

Cling, with the contributions often of her colleagues, has constructed a thoughtful and comprehensive examination of sexualized violence against women and children. What makes this book a unique contribution to the literature is also what makes it an important resource to clinicians: Each chapter reviews both historical and current perspectives of the field of psychology and the American legal system-two professions whose language and goals are distinct. The legal aspects are well translated with several brief case examples and references to case law across the United States.

This edited book is well-written and thorough, while maintaining good flow via similar structure throughout the chapters. The authors cover several aspects of sexualized violence. The first section covers rape, battered woman syndrome, women who kill their batterers, stalking, and workplace sexual harassment. The second section covers child sexual abuse and the memory debate. The third section covers offender management, Megan's law, and mothers who kill. The authors treat the topics with the respect of straightforward writing from feminist lenses that provide both social critique and a voice for human vulnerability, while avoiding bitterness.

Cling provides a resource for clinicians at all levels of expertise, and those who wish to be effective expert witnesses. …

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