Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Article excerpt

Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence and Abuse. Ed. by Laura L. Finley. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2013. 2 vols. acid free $189 (ISBN: 978-1-61069-001-0). E-book available (978-1-61069-002-7), call for pricing.

The Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence and Abuse from ABCCLIO is a traditional two-volume set with twin aims of informing on and promoting awareness of a pervasive problem still too often relegated to niche status. Editor Laura L. Finley, assistant professor of sociology and criminology at Barry University, has culled the work of sixty academics who have authored over 170 entries each with byline and bibliography of suggested further reading resources.

The set's organizational structure begins with three special tools, which include comprehensive alphabetical and subject-based lists of entries followed by an extensive timeline of significant events related to domestic violence ranging from the first Roman marriage laws codifying women's obeisance to their husbands in 753 BC to the recent determination in 2011 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the US Supreme Court erred in declaring there is no entitlement to restraining order enforcement. Finley also pens the introductory essay in which she places domestic violence within the larger struggle for international human rights and constructs her own narrative timeline which catalogs recent legislative successes on various national and world playing fields while also attempting to identify where further work remains to be done.

The subjects covered reflect the international scope of the work right out of the gate with an entry on "Acid Throwing," a prevalent practice in several south-central Asian nations in which predominantly men throw or pour acid on women and children as a means of nonlethal intimidation. This entry also highlights a common theme of domestic abuse in nearly all guises in that incidences routinely go underreported and therefore accurate statistics are often difficult to accumulate. In addition to entries on the various methods of abuse employed around the globe, subjects are generally clustered around biography (categories of victims and abusers as well as key individuals and organizations involved in the struggle against domestic violence), psychology (understanding and explaining abuse, effects, and correlates of abuse) and history (legislation, the courts, and activism). …

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