Sexual Violence and Abuse: An Encyclopedia of Prevention, Impacts, and Recovery

By Melssen, Maria C. | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Sexual Violence and Abuse: An Encyclopedia of Prevention, Impacts, and Recovery


Melssen, Maria C., Reference & User Services Quarterly


Sexual Violence and Abuse: An Encyclopedia of Prevention, Impacts, and Recovery. Ed. by Judy L. Postmus. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013. 2 vols. acid free $189 (ISBN 9781-59884-755-0). E-book available (978-1-59884-756-7).

The purpose of Sexual Violence and Abuse: An Encyclopedia of Prevention, Impacts, and Recovery is to provide a single, comprehensive resource that covers all aspects of sexual violence and abuse that is useful to students, the general public, and social workers. Postmus has not only fulfilled this purpose, but has accomplished far more. This resource stands out among the various texts on sexual abuse and violence. Postmus's work is comprehensive, authoritative, and unique. The 264 entries encompass a variety of topics related to sexual violence and abuse, from descriptions of perpetrators and therapeutic interventions to how technology alters both the solicitation of sexual abuse and violence, as well as the recovery process.

Additionally, the encyclopedia covers the impact sexual violence and abuse have on various issues such as the economy, legislation, health of the victim and perpetrator, and society as a whole. Postmus strives to address the effect sexual abuse and violence have on many individuals, including members of different ethnic and religious groups. She examines not only the traditional heterosexual male and female groups, but also those who identify with the lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender community. This encyclopedia is straightforward and to the point: there are no images, charts, graphs, or similar features. Entries are organized alphabetically, though there is a "Topical List of Entries," which aids in the use of this resource. A list of recommended resources, detailed information regarding the editor and contributors, and an index at the end of volume 2 is available. The encyclopedia is also available as an e-book.

The entries, which vary in length from a few paragraphs to several pages, include "see also" references, lists of further readings, and selected websites when available. …

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