Domestic Violence: A Reference Handbook

Domestic Violence: A Reference Handbook

Domestic Violence: A Reference Handbook

Domestic Violence: A Reference Handbook

Excerpt

Domestic Violence: A Reference Handbook is the revised edition of the book I authored in 1995. Since the first edition, there has been an explosion of information because of increased research about domestic violence and the enormous amount of information available on the Internet.

This book is intended to provide comprehensive and up-todate information about domestic violence: what it is, theories about its causes, the extent of the problem, who is affected, how people are affected, available services, and some possible solutions. Throughout the book the term “domestic violence” is used somewhat interchangeably with the term “intimate partner violence.” Although I prefer the more inclusive and definitive term of intimate partner violence, I include both in my definition.

To provide the reader with a broad and in-depth examination of domestic violence, the issue is explored from historical, social, psychological, and legal perspectives. The problem of domestic violence is very old, but public acknowledgment of the issue as a societal problem is still in its infancy. A thread I found running through all of the research from all societies was that which I call the “curtain of silence.” Occasionally, a case involving domestic violence becomes a media event. And for a while, as happened after the O.J. Simpson case in the 1990s, public figures give the issue their attention and a small amount of progress is made. But when the interest dies down, the curtain comes down and domestic violence is once again relegated to a place where the issue is discussed only by professionals, advocates, and activists. Many people throughout the world look at domestic violence as a private family matter that should be dealt with in . . .

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