Domestic and Family Violence Victimization Issues

Further Reading for Victim/Survivors & Facilitators

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Alisen, Paige. Finding Courage to Speak: Women’s Survival of Child Abuse, Northeastern University Press, 2003.

Blending her own painful experiences of child abuse with the powerful testimonies of other survivors, Paige Ailsen presents a disturbing yet inspiring account of childhood trauma and its long-term consequences for women’s mental and physical well-being. Haunted by their horrific pasts and suffering in silence, girls traumatized by severe child abuse often endure debilitating medical ailments and serious psychiatric problems well into adulthood. They withstand clinical depression, anorexia, sleep dysfunction, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, and one of the most extreme conditions-dissociative identity disorder (DID), the development of multiple personalities.  Paige Alisen, herself diagnosed with DID as a result of repeated sexual, ritual, and psychological abuse, skillfully blends her own painful experiences with the powerful testimonies of other survivors, to present a disturbing yet inspiring account of childhood trauma and its long-term consequences for women’s mental and physical well-being. She also delivers a strong indictment against a society that permits and perpetuates the brutal treatment of women and children, and offers an informative, practical, and encouraging guide for survivors on the journey to healing and recovery.


Allen, Charlotte Vale. Daddy’s Girl: A Very Personal Memoir, Island Nation, 2002.

This is a memoir of childhood sexual abuse. Charlotte Vale Allen grew up in the thrall of an incestuous relationship with her father that began when the author was seven years old and did not end until she was seventeen.  Twenty years after she escaped the nightmare world she inhabited, she was at last able to tell the truth about incest and its damaging effects on a child’s life.  In writing it Allen decided that for her book to have validity it would be necessary not only to show the past but also to give a picture of the present-illustrating how the events of my childhood affected me at the time, as well as later in life as an adult and a parent.  So the book weaves back and forth between past and present (the present being 1979, when the final version was completed).   Given that she wrote the book in the first place as a document that she hoped would be useful to others who’d suffered abuse and also to professionals, she felt it was very important to present detailed portraits of the child she was and the woman she grew to be (in large measure as a result of trying to cope with the long-term effects of the abuse.)  She also strives to illustrate how fallout from the abuse can be felt down through the generations, if one fails to exercise awareness and caution.  Survivor Story.


Anderson, Vera. A Woman Like You: The Face of Domestic Violence, Seal, 1997.

Designed to help other battered women as well as educate all readers about the everyday realities of family violence, this book provides 40 photo-essays of battered women who found the courage to leave their abusive partners.  Each photo is accompanied by an essay, in the woman’s own words, of her experience with domestic violence.  It is a powerful way to feel what the victim of Domestic Violence goes through.


Armstrong, Louise. Kiss Daddy Goodnight: A Speak-Out on Incest, Hawthorn, 1978

A survival story that interweaves with the experience of other survivors of incest, to create a speak-out of experiences, breaking the conspiracy of silence which was prevalent in the seventies.  It includes sections entitled: My father. Me; It’s natural; Our brazen poise; The grisly details, part one; The family album; Being faithful; The grisly details: not yet; Mother’s fault; Prisms of hate; Present tense; Forgive and forget; The psychic center violated; Insist: the pornographic principle ; Gone fishing; The grisly details; Touch me again and I’ll kill you; Orphaned, emotionally; Brothers and sisters; Rape. Really; The pillar of the community and the pillar of strength; Another grisly detail; Shampoos, yet; She tempted me and I fell; Bad thoughts; Recipe. Getting on with it.   Includes and bibliography and index.


Armstrong, Louise. Kiss Daddy Goodnight: Ten Years Later, Pocket Books, 1987.

Ten years after her first powerful expose’ of incest, Louise Armstrong has updated her story to reveal what has–and hasn’t–changed for victims of incest.   A chilling account  of the contemporary backlash process working to silence victims and their mothers once more.  Includes new victimization/survival stories of childhood sexual abuse committed by a family member narrated to the author, also a victim of sexual abuse by her father.  It also discusses the psychology and different opinions by psychiatrists and therapists about how this type of abuse will affect the victims in the long run.


Bachman, Ronet. Death and Violence on the Reservation: Homicide, Family Violence, and Suicide in American Indian Populations, Auburn House, 1992.

This volume is the first major attempt to systematically examine the etiology of violence in American Indian communities. Using fieldwork as well as quantitative and qualitative research, Bachman first presents an overview of American Indians from historical and contemporary perspectives, before she focuses specifically on violence and its causes. Homicide, suicide, and family violence are analyzed in depth, and the destructive impacts of alcohol and other addictive substances are documented.  Dr. Bachman effectively uses personal stories and narratives given by American Indians to illustrate the living reality behind the statistics she presents. She concludes with a variety of policy recommendations that will be of interest not only to policymakers, but also to academic researchers and students in criminology, ethnic relations, sociology, and anthropology.


Bancroft, Lundy. Why Does He DO That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, Berkeley, 2002.

A groundbreaking look into the minds of abusive men.  In this book Lundy Bancroft, a counselor and leading authority on abusive relationships, offers women detailed guidelines on how to improve and survive an abusive relationship, discussing various types of abusive men, analyzing societal myths surrounding abuse, and answers questions about the warning signs of abuse, how to identify abusive behavior, how to know if one is in danger, and more.


Barnett, Ola W., and LaViolette, Alyce D. It Could Happen to Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay, Sage, 2014.

It Could Happen to Anyone offers a unique amalgamation of the practical clinical experience of Alyce LaViolette and the extensive research of Ola Barnett on battered women and their batterers. Fully updated and revised, this Third Edition includes a wealth of new material and case examples, while retained sections have been carefully rewritten to reflect contemporary thinking. This important text continues to provide understanding and empathy regarding the plight of battered women as they attempt to find safety. The integration of current knowledge with learning theory explains how any woman’s previous life experiences along with the effects of battering might influence her to stay with her abuser. The book’s content also explains how some social institutions, such as the criminal justice system, cannot be counted upon to protect her, thus making it dangerous for her to leave or stay. In extreme cases, she may even be killed. From a more optimistic viewpoint, the book describes many innovations geared to assist battered women through shelters, transitional housing, and temporary income support. This extensively revised and expanded new edition is a must read for anyone working in or training to work in a helping role for issues in domestic violence. – Publisher.


Bass, Ellen, and Davis, Laura. The Courage to Heal, [4th (Twentieth Anniversary) Edition]  HarperCollins, 2008.

First published in 1988, the groundbreaking The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse has been completely revised, updated, and expanded for its 20th Anniversary edition. Considered “a classic” and “the bible of healing from child sexual abuse,” this inspiring, comprehensive and compassionate guide provides a map of support of the healing journey and a lifeline for millions. Weaving together personal experience with professional knowledge, the authors provide clear explanations, practical suggestions, strategies, and support throughout the survival healing process — as well as help, hope and reassurance for families, friends, and caregivers. Readers will feel recognized and encouraged by hundreds of moving first-person accounts drawn from interviews and the author’s extensive work with survivors, both nationally and internationally. Available in translations, as well as in an enhanced audio format, its life-saving messages resonate across cultural, leaf.


Beaudry, M. Battered Women, Black Rose, Canada, 1985.

Ms. Beaudry, a social worker who has participated in the development of group homes for battered women, gives a perceptive account of how they work.  An good study of policies affecting the women’s shelter movement.  Looks at the network of shelters for abused women run by and for women.  The author sees these shelters as a better answer to the problem of family violence than measures taken by the conventional health and social services establishment.  A hope for personal liberation  through these shelters is described.


Blume, E. Sue. Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women, Ballentine, 1991.

Focusing on the later manifestations of incest, this reference offers a diagnostic aftereffects checklist, suggestions for healthy (rather than neurotic) coping mechanisms, and therapeutic treatment strategies. Secret Survivors is the first book to expand the definition of incest to include any adult abuser and to focus on what incest does to survivors. E. Sue Blume shows how incest is often at the root of such problems as depression, sexual and eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and phobias and panic disorders. Using this information and the author’s guidance, survivors can identify themselves, develop alternative, nondestructive survival techniques and begin again on a new path toward a rich and empowered life.


Bowker, Lee. Beating Wife-Beating, Lexington Books, 1984.

This research examines how a sample of 136 Milwaukee women ended abuse in their marriages or relationships. The women had all been previously beaten at least once by a spouse or cohabitant, but had succeeded in terminating the violence, with or without the help of the abuser, for at least 1 year prior to the study.  Also examined were the personal strategies and techniques used by the women to terminate their abuse. The four major sources of informal help used by the wives are discussed, namely, the wife’s family, in-laws, neighbors, and friends; shelter services were also identified as an informal help source. The formal help-sources identified were the police, social service agencies, lawyers and district attorneys, and clergy. Women’s groups were classified as semi-formal help sources. The husband’s efforts to end the violence were also explored. A principal focus of the study was on the wife’s judgment of her most and least successful efforts in ending the battering in the last incident as well as her global judgments about why the abuse ceased, and her specific recommendations and general advice to other battered women.


Brady, Katherine. Fathers’ Days: A True Story of Incest, Dell, 1979.

For ten years, Katherine Brady led a double life. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, she was the ideal teenager–beauty queen, honor student, and with a boyfriend from one of the town’s most elite families. But at home lived another Katherine, her father’s own ‘little girl’, unwillingly involved in a secret sexual relationship that left her shamed, isolated, fearful, and emotionally burdened for years. This book recounts her struggle through humiliation, helplessness, and anger to become a whole, mature human being.  Survivor Story.


Brewster, S. To Be An Anchor in the Storm: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women, Ballentine, 1997.   Also published in 2006 as  Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women

The survivor of an abusive relationship herself, and a licensed counselor of abused women for more than a decade, Susan Brewster teaches readers how to recognize the signs of abuse, handle negative feelings, become an effective advocate, deal with the abuser, and more. With a new introduction and updated resource section, this straightforward and compassionate book offers the information needed to help give strength to women who are trying to break free.


Browne, Angela. When Battered Women Kill, Free Press, 1987.

A compassionate look at 42 battered women who felt “locked in with danger and so desperate that they killed a man they loved”; scholarly and compelling.  Drawing on her extensive interviews and an examination of psychological, social, and legal dimensions, Browne presents a unique portrait of the dynamics and development history of conjugal violence.


Butler, S. Conspiracy of Silence: The Trauma of Incest [updated edition], Volcano Press, 1996.

A review of the scope of the problem notes that 1 girl in 4 is sexually abused before puberty and 1 in 3 by the age of 18. The book defines incest as any sexual activity or experience imposed on a child by a family member which results in emotional, physical, or sexual trauma for the victim. Incest occurs in families from all social classes and has devastating psychological effects on victims, many of which stem from the isolation, guilt, shame, and fear derived from keeping the incest a secret. Interviews with the victims are presented verbatim to indicate types of sexual abuse and the victims’ feelings about it as well as subsequent effects. Interviews with incest offenders presented verbatim explore their childhood backgrounds, marital dynamics, and feelings associated with the incest. Interviews with mothers in families where father-daughter incest has occurred demonstrate the breakdown in mother-daughter relations in incestuous families and the mother’s emotional needs in the context of incest revelations. Interviews with professionals who generally encounter incest victims reveal a general lack of training and awareness that would equip them to address incest. Interagency cooperation is generally lacking. Appendixes present California child sexual abuse statutes.  Includes chapter notes and 50-item bibliography.


Buzawa, Eva and Carl. Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response, Sage 2002.

Originally published in 1996, the new 2002 Third Edition of Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response offers a thorough and major revision of one of the top books in the field of domestic violence and is the only text to focus on criminal justice responses which provide a detailed look inside the criminal justice system. Domestic Violence is unique in its emphasis on the victim’s perspective, including the victim’s needs as well as preferences for and satisfaction with intervention. It documents the diversity of victims and how this diversity affects their service needs and the impact of interventions, including unanticipated consequences of current aggressive efforts. It also looks at diversity among batterers and how these differences affect the success of various intervention strategies. The Third Edition includes a wealth of new empirical research on how the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence have changed in the last several years.


Byerly, Carolyn. The Mother’s Book: How to Survive the Incest of Your Child, Kendall/Hunt, 1985.  (Also published in 1997 as The Mother’s Book: How to Survive the Molestation of Your Child.)

This booklet discusses ways that children have disclosed incest, common reactions of mothers to the disclosure, and helpful coping mechanisms mothers can use during this stressful time. After listing some of the needs of mothers following disclosure, suggestions are offered for taking time to meet personal needs, keeping a record, and finding support. Particular suggestions are oriented toward the battered woman, the lesbian mother, and the mother of a male child victim. Following a chapter on reporting child sexual abuse, other parenting issues discussed include whether it was the child’s fault, whether the child needs counseling, jealously toward the daughter, mother-child relations, the effect of incest on other children, and various consequences of the incest. Other issues given major attention in the booklet are incest-related cultural issues faced by mothers of a racial minority; common religious issues associated with incest; and the causes, dynamics, and remedies for incest.  7 suggested readings and a directory of incest services available in the eighties in the United States.


Campbell, Jacquelyn C. (Editor). Assessing Dangerousness: Violence by Sexual Offenders, Batterers, and Child Abusers, Sage 1995.

Assessing Dangerousness is a skillfully edited volume that brings together experts in the fields of health, mental health, and criminal justice with both clinical and research experience in predicting dangerousness.  The introductory chapter presents the theoretical and clinical issues involved in predicting violence in general.  In language accessible to clinicians, Assessing Dangerousness discusses the prediction of child abuse using the Child Abuse Potential Inventory, as well as the prediction of homicide in spouse abuse, of further violence by sexual offenders, and of further assault by batterers.  The contributors, well known in their areas of expertise, discuss accurate measurement using tested instruments as well as the role of clinical observations.  An important resource for any physical and mental health practitioner, legal or law enforcement professional and advanced student interested in methods for more accurately predicting the potential for future abuse.


Carillo, R., and Tello, J. (Editors). Family Violence and Men of Color: Healing the Wounded Male Spirit, [Second Edition] Springer, 2008.

Family violence is an international epidemic that knows no cultural boundaries, but for years research has overlooked the historical, political, and cultural factors that often lead men toward violent behavior. The first edition of Family Violence and Men of Color broke new ground by closely examining the relationship between race and family violence. This revised edition offers an even broader, cross-cultural analysis of male violence and more specialized treatment methods and approaches.


Dutton, D.G. The Domestic Assault of Women: Psychological and Criminal Perspectives, University of British Columbia, 1995.

Argues that only by understanding the psychology of both the aggressors and the victims of wife assault can we generate informed social and criminal justice policy.  It covers battered women syndrome, the abusive personality, and traumatic bonding.  Research on the treatment of batters is examined.  Through these topics it gives insight into the often asked question, “Why does she stay?”  But, the author doesn’t stop there.  He looks at root causes, and argues that intimate partner violence is not just a family problem, but a societal one as well.


Fineman, M., and Mykitiuk, R. (Editors) The Public Nature of Private Violence: The Discovery of Domestic Abuse, Routledge, 1994.

The Public Nature of Private Violence is a timely and pathbreaking book that explores the complex and diverse feminist and legal responses to domestic violence form a cross-cultural perspective.  In addition to the more general discussions of violence against women, the essays in this volume consider child abuse by mothers, battering in lesbian relationships, state sanctioned violence, non-physical violence and incest.  The contributors argue that domestic violence must be viewed in its social and cultural context, in which the state is complicit, and not simply within the private, psychological domain of the family.  In addition this book offers a vast array of practical suggestions for different governmental and non-governmental actors attempting to combat the incidents of abuse and oppression suffered by women and children.


Finkelhor, David, and Yllo, Kersti. License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives, Holt, 1985.

In the United States, approximately 1 in 10 wives is raped by her husband.  In this early eighties study, marital rape is defined as the use of ‘physical force or threat’ of it by the husband to make the wife have sex with him or in the course of sexual activity. In more than half of the States, a man can be prosecuted for raping a female, but he cannot be charged if the victim is his wife. This book examines why such abuse remains legal and why so many people still romanticize and dismiss it as a marital tiff. The discussion explores the patterns of sexual coercion, the motives of husbands who rape (based on interviews with three such husbands), and the emotional aftermath for abused wives. Myths about marital rape are challenged, including the notion that marital rape only happens to battered wives. Suggestions for short-term and long-term measures to end marital rape include criminalizing it, intensifying media exposure, and increasing the number of self-help groups and social services. Appended data from the survey, review of the California experience with a marital rape law, chapter notes, and subject index.


Finkelhor, David, Gelles, Richard J., Hotaling, Gerald T., and Straus, Murray A. (Editors). The Dark Side of Families: Current Family Violence Research, Sage, 1983.

This book grew out of the National Conference for Family Violence Researchers held in New Hampshire in 1981.  It is a unique volume attesting to the coming of age research on family violence.  Leading authorities in this interdisciplinary area offer useful insights into the common features of family abuse, wife-battering, child neglect and physical and sexual abuse of children, and criteria for distinguishing when child abuse or marital violence have actually taken place.  It concludes with addressing what factors shape professional and societal response to family violence.


Flanigan, Beverly. Forgiving the Unforgivable: Overcoming the Bitter Legacy of Intimate Wounds, Macmillan, 1992.

In Forgiving the Unforgivable, author Beverly Flanigan, a leading authority on forgiveness, defines such unforgivable injuries, explains their poisonous effects, and then guides readers out of the paralyzing anger and resentment. As a Fellow of the Kellogg Foundation, Flanigan conducted a pioneering study of forgiveness, and from that study, from her clinical practice, and from her many years of teaching, researching, and conducting professional workshops and seminars, she devised a unique six-stage program, presented here. Filled with inspiring real-life examples, Forgiving the Unforgivable is both a practical and a comforting guide to recovery and healing.


Fraser, Sylvia. My Father’s House: A Memoir of Incest & Healing, Harper Row, 1987.

A noted Canadian novelist details her tortured childhood as the victim of her father’s incestuous desires, the devastating impact of incest on her life, and her life-long struggle to overcome its effects to live a whole life: “The story I have told in this book is autobiographical.  As a result of amnesia, much of it was unknown to me until memories began to surface in 1983, four years before its publication.  It is really the story of two personalities, the ‘me’ who lived a public life, and the hidden personality I came to know as My Other Self.”  Survivor Story.


Freyd, Jennifer J. Betrayal Trauma: The Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse, Harvard University, 1998.

How can someone forget an event as traumatic as sexual abuse in childhood?  People who don’t know firsthand may wonder, and many apparently do, or controversy wouldn’t exist around the issue of recovered memories. This book explores the logic of forgotten abuse. The author’s theory shows how psychogenic amnesia happens and, if the abuse occurred at the hands of a parent or caregiver, how it is often necessary for survival. It can give professionals and victim/survivors an understanding of the lifelong effects and treatment of child abuse.


Gelles, R.J., and Cornell, C.P. (Editors). International Perspectives on Family Violence, Lexington, 1983.

These 11 papers examine family violence from an international perspective, indicating that family violence varies from country to country but is probably most common in Western, industrialized nations. Four papers developed from a cross-cultural perspective focus on family violence as a nearly universal phenomenon related to the basic aspects of human association, variations in the victimization of children around the world, definitions of child abuse and programs for dealing with it in eight countries, and the relationship between wife beating and the punishment of women. Three studies of child abuse focus on possible causal factors in child abuse cases in England and Australia and on child abuse in India as the product of an impoverished and changing society. Three papers on wife abuse emphasize the importance of understanding the context of the societies in which such violence takes place. Wife victimization in England, Scotland, Uganda, and Kenya are examined. Concluding comments emphasizing the need for cross-cultural studies of family violence, tables, figures, chapter reference lists, and an index are supplied.


Gondolf, E., and Fisher, E. Battered Women as Survivors: Alternatives to Treating Learned Helplessness, Lexington, 1988.

 In this volume. Goldolf and Fisher take on the issue of battered women as helpless victims.  They put forth the idea that battered women are survivors (rather than victims) and that they do not passively accept their battering.    A survey of 6,612 women in 50 Texas shelters for battered women forms the basis of this analysis of battered women as survivors and active helpseekers rather than passive victims.  Findings challenged the theory that battered women are subject to “learned helplessness” and therefore acquiesce in their abuse. Instead, battered women are helpseekers who persistently search for resources and support services. However, they often do not receive adequate aid. Results also suggest alternative interpretations of the process of victimization and indicate that different types of women and abusers need different types of services or treatment.  Includes tables, figures, chapter notes, appended methodological information, index, and 161 references.


Gordon, L. Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence, Boston, 1880-1960, Viking/Penguin, 1988.

Looks at the history of child abuse, child neglect, wife-beating, and incest, tells the stories of victims, and offers a fresh perspective on contemporary family violence.


Hampton, R.L. Violence in the Black Family: Correlates and Consequences, Lexington, 1987.

This encyclopedic volume begins provocatively by detailing several “unkept promises” of family violence writings.  Among the unkept promises of greatest interest to the authors is that “research will answer the difficult questions and lead to the development of efficient and effective treatments.  It includes, an index, bibliography, and the following articles:

    • Violence against black children : current knowledge and future research needs /​ Robert L. Hampton
    • The significance of ethnic and cultural differences in child maltreatment /​ James Garbarino and Aaron Ebata
    • Child rearing in black families : child-abusing discipline /​ Ruby F. Lassiter
    • Child abuse and accidents in black families : a controlled comparative study /​ Jessica H. Daniel, Robert L. Hampton, and Eli H. Newberger
    • Child sexual abuse : a black perspective /​ Robert L. Pierce and Lois H. Pierce
    • African-American women in violent relationships : an exploration of cultural differences /​ Jo-Ellen Asbury
    • See how they run : battered women in shelters in the Old Dominion /​ Maurice C. Taylor and Pamela V. Hammond.
    • Raising the awareness of wife battering in rural black areas of central Virginia : a community outreach approach /​ Melvin N. Wilson, Debra D. Cobb and Regina T. Dolan
    • Family violence and homicide in the black community : are they linked? /​ Robert L. Hampton
    • Black women who kill /​ Coramae Richey Mann
    • Devalued lives and racial stereotypes : ideological barriers to the prevention of family violence among blacks /​ Darnell F. Hawkins
    • Research issues relating to the causes of social deviance and violence among black populations /​ Coramae Richey Mann and Velma LaPoint
    • Stress resolution among middle-aged black Americans /​ Lena Wright Myers
    • A developmental perspective on black family violence /​ Johnella Banks.


Hampton, T.P. (Editor). Family Violence: Prevention and Treatment [Second Edition], Sage, 1999.

Completely rewritten to reflect recent research into family and intimate violence this Second Edition of Family Violence explores the subject from its origins to assessment and treatment. The revision offers a summary of some of the best current scholarship conducted by family researchers as of 1999.

    •  Family Violence /​ Richard J. Gelles
    • Child Physical Abuse: Theory and Research /​ Joel S. Milner and Julie L. Crouch
    • Double Exposure: Children Affected by Family and Community Violence /​ Brenda Jones Harden and Sally A. Koblinsky
    • Legal Perspectives on Family Violence Against Children /​ Theodore J. Stein
    • Preventing Child Maltreatment /​ Donna Harrington and Howard Dubowitz
    • What Do We Know Now About Spouse Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse in Families of Color in the United States? /​ Jo-Ellen Asbury
    • Physical and Sexual Violence in Marriage /​ Robert L. Hampton, Pamela Jenkins and Maria Vandergriff-Avery
    • Psychological Abuse in Marriage and Dating Relationships /​ Christopher M. Murphy and Michele Cascardi
    • Men Who Batter /​ Larry W. Bennett and Oliver J. Williams
    • Understanding Elder Abuse /​ Linner Ward Griffin
    • Substance Abuse and Family Violence /​ H. David Banks and Suzanne M. Randolph.


Herman, Judith Lewis. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, Basic, 2015.

When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, Herman’s volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large. Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism. The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Meticulously documented and frequently using the victims’ own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking.


Jacobson, N.S., and Gottman, J. M. When Men Batter Women, Simon & Schuster, 1998.

While national awareness of the issue of battering has increased in recent years, certain myths regarding abusive relationships still endure, including the idea that all batterers are alike. After their decade of research with more than 200 couples, the authors conclude that not all batterers are alike, nor is the progression of their violence always predictable. But they have found that batterers tend to fall into one of two categories, which they call “Pit Bulls” and “Cobras.” Pit Bulls, men whose emotions quickly boil over, are driven by deep insecurity and an unhealthy dependence on the mates whom they abuse. Cobras, on the other hand, are cool and methodical as they inflict pain and humiliation on their spouses or lovers. Cobras have often been physically or sexually abused themselves, frequently in childhood, and tend to see violence as an unavoidable part of life. Knowing which type a batterer is can be crucial to gauging whether an abusive relationship is salvageable (Pit Bulls can sometimes be helped through therapy) or whether the situation is beyond repair. Using the stories of several couples in their study, Jacobson and Gottman look at the dynamics of abusive relationships, refuting prevalent myths. Never underestimating the inherent risk or danger involved, the authors discuss how women in their study group prepared themselves to leave an abusive relationship, where a battered woman can get help, and how she can keep herself safe.


Jaffe, P.G., Wolfe, D.A., and Wilson, S.K. Children of Battered Women, Sage, 1990.

Considers the devastating impact of family violence on children, examines children’s views of violence, and proposes strategies for intervention and prevention. The authors provide case studies and empirical research to portray the scope of the problem.  Includes the following sections: Definition and Scope of the Problem; Family Violence and Children’s Development; Understanding the Impact of Traumatic Events in the Lives of Children; Issues in Assessment and Intervention Strategies; Implications for Children’s Services.


Johnson, Janis Tyler. Mothers of Incest Survivors: Another Side of the Story, Indiana University, 1992.

An account of incest-family mothers, this work contains stories of six mothers who relate, in their own words, their experiences as women, wives, and mothers in incest families. It tells how they discovered the incest secret, why they believed the secret was kept, the ways they responded, and how they explained what happened.


Johnson, Michael P. A Typology of Domestic Violence: Intimate Terrorism, Violent Resistance, and Situational Couple Violence, University Press, 2008.

The central theme to this book is that there is more than one type of intimate partner violence. The distinctions made among types of violence are as much about control as they are about violence. The approach taken here is to distinguish among types of violence on the basis of the control context in which they are embedded.  Intimate terrorism is violence embedded in a general pattern of coercive control. It is the violence that is encountered most often in shelter populations, in emergency rooms, and in law enforcement. In heterosexual relationships, it is perpetrated almost entirely by men. Situational couple violence is not about general control, but is a type of violence that comes from the escalation of specific conflicts. However, neither of these two types of violence looks much like the violent resistance that is seen among women trying to cope with intimate terrorism. The goal of this book is to consider what is known and what is unknown about these different types of intimate partner violence. It is a reassessment of 30 years of domestic violence research. It shows that the failure to distinguish among these types of partner violence has produced research literature plagued by overgeneralizations and ostensibly contradictory findings. The typological approach utilized in this book is relatively new, first proposed in 1995 and only recently becoming the focus of research designed to test its implications. Organized into five chapters, the book presents and outlines this new typology in domestic violence: intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence. Appendixes A-C, notes, references, and index.


Justice, Blair, and Justice, Rita. The Broken Taboo: Sex in the Family, Human Sciences Press, 1979.

Based on a review of the literature on incest, an examination of child welfare case records, and a survey of 112 families in which incest had occurred.  Included in the survey were 20 parents treated by the authors in intensive group therapy and 7 young women who had had incestuous experiences as children and who received individual therapy.    The various forms of incest are described, and the origins of the Taboo against incest are traced.   The relationship between incest and sexual misuse/abuse is considered, together with the problems parents face in drawing the line between affection and sexual stimulation.   The personality structures of parents most likely to become involved in incestuous relationships are described, as are the characteristics of incestuous families.    Conditions that act as predisposing and precipitating agenst leading to incest are discussed.  Cues that incest is taking place are described.  The psychological and emotional marks left by various types of incestuous experiences are described, with particular attention to factors that minimize or exacerbate the damage.  Parents are offered advice on how to prevent incest in their families, how to insure the sexual welfare of their children and themselves, and what can be done if incest does occur.  Case examples are interspersed throughout the text.  A bibliography, figures, and an index are provided.


Kantor, Gloria Kaufman, and Jasinski, Jana, (Editors). Out of the Darkness: Contemporary Perspectives on Family Violence, Sage, 1997.

A collection of 23 articles, a majority of which were first presented at the 4th International Family Violence Research Conference, at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.  Part one is about the prevalence of family violence, part two: child abuse and neglect,  (includes articles on a trauma events screening inventory, black mothers emotional and behavioral responses to  the sexual abuse of their children, and assessing trauma in children), part thee: wife abuse (including articles on processes of leaving, healing and moving on, a review of couples treatment programs, and expanding batterer program evaluation,) and part four is about ethical and cultural issues in family violence with an article on the priorities in the values and beliefs of practitioners.


McGillivray, A., and Comaskey, B. Black Eyes All the Time: Intimate Violence, Aboriginal Women, and the Justice System, University of Toronto, 1999.

Arising out of a 1995 Winnipeg study involving twenty-six Aboriginal women, this book is a compelling account of the domestic violence they experienced, first as children and later as wives and mothers.   It contains a foreword by C.M. Sinclair and the following chapters: Intimate Violence Today;  The Historical Context; The Experience of Intimate Violence;  The Criminal Justice System; Thinking about Reform; Rights and Relationships. It includes an appendix on The Winnipeg  Study, bibliographical references, and an index.


Myers, K. An Overview of Corrections Research and Development Projects on Family Violence, Solicitor General of Canada, 1996.

“This paper is a review of projects undertaken by the Corrections Directorate (formerly Corrections Branch) of the Policy Branch at Solicitor General Canada under the renewed federal Family Violence Initiative (1991-95). The goal of this paper is to provide an account of these projects with respect to how they have increased our knowledge with respect to the correctional issues related to violence against women, and the resulting implications for public policy.”–Preamble.  It is available online as of 3/2019 at:


NiCarthy, Ginny. Getting Free: You Can End Abuse and Take Back Your Life [Forth Edition], Seal, 2004.

Since its original publication in 1982, Getting Free extols that it has changed the lives of tens of thousands of women. Written in an accessible style, packed with practical information and answers, special exercises designed to help a woman recognize abuse, and several success stories, Getting Free remains an important resource today-and this updated edition makes it an all the more relevant resource. In this expanded edition, Ginny NiCarthy features important new information from the early millennium studies and then recent research on the subject. New chapters include an analysis of whether batterers’ treatment really works, which programs help violent men change, and which do not; the results of research on the ways that many men who batter also abuse their children, and specific reactions of children to battering; the cultural and legal issues relevant to immigrant women; and a presentation of how religious beliefs and religious communities affect the real and perceived choices of women facing violence


Okun, L. Woman Abuse: Facts Replacing Myths, State University of New York, 1986.

Data were collected from intake forms, public records, client reports, shelter and counseling staff, and direct interview. Analysis of data centered on demographic and familial characteristics of the subjects, concordance between victims’ and assailants’ reports, and factors relating to the termination or resumption of cohabitation of the battered woman and the batterer. Characteristics of these subjects varied from the general population in a number of ways, particularly in their unmarried status, receipt of welfare, younger age distribution, and drinking problems. Compared to assailants’ reports, victims’ reports indicated greater frequency, dangerousness, and violence of the abuse. Further, there was a pattern of escalating violence over the course of the abuse; assaults by substance abusers tended to be more physically dangerous than those by the temperate. Termination of the relationship was associated with lower educational level, unemployment of the batterer, higher income, and independent source of income. Women exposed to conjugal violence in childhood showed a greater tendency to terminate the relationship than those who had not. Implications of the findings are discussed. Appendixes provide supplementary research materials. Index, chapter footnotes, and 122 references.


Pagelow, M. Women Battering: Victims and Their Experiences, Sage, 1981.

Mildred Daley Pagelow draws from the largest existing sample of women victims and records their experiences and perceptions of those experiences. She integrates this material into a larger theoretical framework, challenging current myths about woman-battering.


Pence, E., and Paymar, M. Power and Control: The Tactics of Men Who Batter, Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth, Minnesota, 1986.   VHS/DVD

This curriculum uses an educational approach to working with men on ending their violence. Its strength is its usefulness to men of all education levels, races, and economic classes. The accompanying videotaped scenes provide a focal point for the groups to analyze the intent, effect, and power of abusive behaviors.


Pressman, B., Cameron, G., and Rothery, M. (Editors). Intervening With Assaulted Women: Current Theory, Research, and Practice, Lawrence Erlbaum, NJ, 1989.

Contents: B. Pressman, M. Rothery, Introduction: Implications of Assaults Against Women for Professional Helpers. B. Pressman, Power and Ideological Issues in Intervening With Assaulted Women. B. Pressman, Treatment of Wife Abuse: The Case for Feminist Therapy. J. Magill, Family Therapy: An Approach to the Treatment of Wife Assault. S.E. Palmer, R.A. Brown, Effective Interventions With Assaultive Husbands. T.E. Moore, D. Pepler, R. Mae, M. Kates, Effects of Family Violence on Children: New Directions for Research and Intervention. P.L. McDonald, Helping With the Termination of an Assaultive Relationship. P.L. McDonald, Transition Houses and the Problem of Family Violence. L.J. Fusco, Integrating Systems: Police, Courts, and Assaulted Women. A. Westhues, What We Know About Preventing Wife Assault. G. Cameron, Community Development Principles and Helping Battered Women: A Summary Chapter.


Renzetti, Claire M., and Miley, Charles H. Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships, Haworth, 1996.

Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships provides a comprehensive analysis of same-sex domestic violence, addressing the major theoretical and treatment issues for both its victims and perpetrators. Its contents raise awareness among social service providers, of the problem of same-sex domestic violence and emphasize the need for special services for both victims and perpetrators. The publication of Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships signifies the growing official recognition of domestic violence within lesbian and gay relationships as a social problem worthy of serious.


Ritchie, Beth. Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women, Routledge, 1996.

Tells the stories of battered African American women incarcerated in a New York City correctional facility and explores what happens when the criminal justice system is introduced as a repressive force in their lives. Details the ways in which African American women are hemmed into the corners of U.S. society by virtue of their vulnerability to men’s violence, and penalized for behaviors that are proscribed by societal mores of appropriate gender roles.


Russell, Diana E.H. Rape in Marriage, Indiana University Press, 1982.

A contribution to the literature of sexual assault and family violence. One out of seven American women who have ever been married has been raped by a husband or ex-husband. Written by the principal investigator for the National Institute of Mental Health study that discovered this shocking statistic, this book is a monumental, eye-opening work that dispels misinformation and illusions about a previously ignored aspect of family violence.


Russell, Diana E.H. Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls & Women, Revised Edition, Basic, 1987.

Based on a scientifically large-scale study, this book presents the most convincing evidence to date that we have grossly underestimated both the incidence and the consequences of incest.  In a new introduction to the Revised Edition, Russell explores the backlash that has followed the outpouring of reports by survivors of incest, and the controversy over “false memories.”  The books is divided into five parts: 1) The Study,  2) The Problem,  3) The Victims (who they are and how they coped, trauma through the eyes of the victims, three women’s stories, long term effects), 4) The Perpetrators (father-daughter, stepfather, brother-sister, female perpetrators, grandfather-granddaughter, uncles, brothers-in-law, first cousins and other more distant relatives), and 5) The Families.


Russell, G.W. (Editor). Violence in Intimate Relationships, PMA, New York, 1998.

This book discusses causes and precursors of violence, explores the psychological characteristics of perpetrators of violence, and describes and evaluates potential responses to it.


Sanford, Linda T. Strong at the Broken Places: Overcoming the Trauma of Childhood Abuse, Random House, 1990.

In this authoritative work which combines dedicated research and interviews with victims of childhood abuse and neglect, psychotherapist Linda Sanford passionately refutes the received wisdom that such people are trapped in a vicious cycle of abuse and will probably become perpetrators of violence themselves. In more than seventeen years of working with victims and survivors, she discovered that this simplistic formula is far from true. Most survivors, in her experience, break free from the patterns of victimization and abuse and go on to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. And the more twenty interviewed in depth by Sanford provide vivid proof that full recovery is possible. As they discuss key issues, such as self-image, intimacy, work and spirituality, we come to see what enables them, and countless others like them, to triumph over trauma and become not only strong, but often strongest where they’ve been most injured – strong at the broken places.


Spring, Jacqueline. Cry Hard and Swim: The Story of an Incest Survivor, Virago, 1987.

The true story of the childhood and therapy of an incest survivor. Jacqueline Spring was born into a Glaswegian family that appeared conventionally at ease both emotionally and materially. But the picture that emerges is one of pain and bewilderment caused by her father’s sexual advances.  Survivor Story.


Stark, Evan. Coercive Control: Entrapment of Women in Personal Life, Oxford, 2007.

This  book on domestic violence reframes spousal abuse as a liberty crime rather than a crime of assault. Evan Stark, founder of one of America’s first battered women’s shelters, shows how “domestic violence” is neither primarily domestic nor necessarily violent, but a pattern of controlling behaviors more akin to terrorism and hostage-taking. Drawing on court records, interviews, and FBI statistics, Stark details coercive strategies that men use to deny women their very personhood.


Stets, J. E. Domestic Violence and Control, Springer, 1988.

Domestic Violence and Control provides important longitudinal data on violent relationships and addresses the problem of violence from the perspective of both the perpetrator and the victim. The issue of control emerges as a central theme. Control plays a keyrole, firstly, in organizing the victim’s thoughts with regard to the batterer, and, secondly, in cases of repeated acts of violence over a length of time. The study shows acts of violence to be both “impulsive” and “instrumental” and thereby refutes competing explanations in the literature that violence is either “impulsive” or “instrumental.”.  Contents:

    1. Understanding Domestic Violence (A Brief Historical Look – Domestic Violence in Review – The Focus of This Study – Summary)
    2. The Research Study (Recruitment – Protection and Consent of Respondents – Interview Procedure – Transcription and Coding Procedure –  Analysis  -This Research and the Male Batterers Program)
    3. Participants (Demography of Respondents – Participants)


Stubbs, Julie (Ed). Women, Male Violence, and the Law, Institute of Criminology, 1994.

Is there currently effective State response to domestic violence? Has the feminist struggle of the last decade made the law more responsive to women’s needs and interests? Can this struggle succeed? And for which women? In what situations? This title addresses these issues.

    1. Introduction /​ Julie Stubbs
    2. Violence against women: a global issue /​ Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin
    3. “Ain’t no mountain high enough (to keep me from getting to you”): an analysis of the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Pilot Project /​ Ruth Busch and Neville Robertson
    4. Aboriginal women and domestic violence in New South Wales /​ Pam Greer
    5. Lawyering and domestic violence: a feminist integration of experiences, theories and practices /​ Nan Seuffert
    6. Don’t throw bouquets at me..(judges) will say we’re in love: an analysis of New Zealand judges’ attitudes towards domestic violence /​ Ruth Busch
    7. Swimming against the tide: keeping violent men out of mediation /​ Hilary Astor
    8. Battered woman syndrome: developments in Canadian law after R v Lavallee /​ Elizabeth Sheehy
    9. Battered woman syndrome in Australia: a challenge to gender bias in the law? /​ Julie Stubbs and Julia Tolmie.


Terr, Lenore. Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood, Harper & Row, 1990.

In 1976 twenty-six California children were kidnapped from their school bus and later buried in a make shift hole for motives never explained.  All the children survived. This strange event signaled the beginning of Lenore Terr’s landmark study on the effect of trauma on children.  In this book, Terr deeply explores the emotions of childhood psychic  trauma,  the mental work of childhood psychic trauma. and the behaviors of childhood trauma , with closing chapters on treatment.  It offers a unique perspective on the trauma of every human.


Thomas, T. Men Surviving Incest: A Male Survivor Shares the Process of Recovery, Launch Press, 1989.

In this book, Thomas discusses the fear of and conflict of disclosure, and the stigmatization commonly felt by male survivors. He includes issues that are specific to male survivors, helping men who suffered from incest understand that they are not alone, and provide hope for a recovery.  He does this based on a 12 step model of recovery.  69 p.


Walker, Lenore E. The Battered Woman, Harper & Row, 1979.

With descriptive case studies, Walker explores the psychology of the battered woman, including, myths and reality, the psychosocial theory of learned helplessness, and the cycle theory of violence.  She covers the following coercive techniques batterers use in relationships: physical abuse, sexual abuse, economic deprivation, family discord, and social battering, concluding finally with “The Way Out” options of safe houses, legal and medical alternatives, psychotherapy, and designing a new tomorrow.


Walker, Lenore E. Terrifying Love: Why Battered Women Kill and How Society Responds, Harper Collins, 1989.

Lenore Walker tells the dramatic story of battered women who kill in self-defense and of her own courageous efforts to secure their justice in our courts and in our society. Lenore Walker – author of The Battered Woman and nationally recognized expert on domestic violence – recounts her efforts as an expert witness in a series of precedent-setting court cases and brings home to us the terror, violence, and misguided love that shape the battered woman’s experience. Walker explains how women become trapped in abusive relationships and how, pushed to the edge out of fear for their own or their children’s lives, these women find the strength to defend themselves. She offers a piercing look at the plight of battered women in the courts, in prison, and in local law-enforcement agencies, and she gives voice not only to these women but to every woman who has experienced the silencing of her needs, her anger, her call for justice, her own truth.


Websdale, Neil.  Familicidal Hearts: The Emotional Styles of 211 Killers, Oxford  University Press, 2010.

“Oscar, physically and sexually abusive, stabbed his partner and two stepdaughters to death, buried the bodies, and fled the state with his two younger children. Paul, a respected investment banker, donned a Halloween mask and shot his wife and two children before turning the gun on himself. What drives individuals as different as Oscar and Paul to kill their families? Why does familicide appear to be on the rise?” “In Familicidal Hearts, sociologist Neil Websdale uncovers the stories behind 196 male and 15 female perpetrators of this shocking offense, situating their emotional styles on a continuum, from the livid coercive to the civil reputable. With highly detailed case studies, Websdale explores the pivotal roles of shame, rage, fear, anxiety, and depression in the lives and crimes of the killers. His analysis demonstrates how internal emotional conflict, against a backdrop of societal pressures, is at the root of familicide, challenging the widely accepted argument that murderers kill family members to assert power and control. Websdale contends Instead that most perpetrators struggle with intense shame, many sensing that they failed to live up to the demands of modern gender prescriptions, as fathers and lovers, wives and mothers. What emerges is a compelling theory about the haunting effects of modern emotional struggles on perpetrators, controlling and upstanding alike” — Book Jacket


Websdale, Neil.  Understanding Domestic Homicide, Northeastern University Press, 1999.

“This groundbreaking examination of murder among intimate partners considers domestic homicides in all their guises-not just those occurring between sexual partners but the killing of children, parents, and siblings as well. Unlike previous studies of domestic killings, which focus on statistical findings, the work illuminates the complex factors that motivate intimate-partner murders.” “Drawing on extensive documentary sources and field research, Neil Websdale unearths the case histories of some three hundred homicides involving family members and frames them within their interpersonal, familial, situational, and cultural contexts. He explores the kinship systems of various cultural groups (African American, Latino, Caucasian, and Asian American), discusses types of social and gender oppression, and explores the nature of families who experience domestic homicide. He also examines how these murders are covered by the media and looks at social policy initiatives designed to reduce such incidents.” “By exploring the cultural patterns and the intricate workings of power struggles revealed by these cases, Understanding Domestic Homicide expands our understanding of such disconcerting crimes.” — Book Jacket


Whitfield, Charles L. Memory and Abuse: Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma, Health Communications, 1995.

Remembering what happened in any traumatic experience is basic and crucial to healing. For over 100 years the memory of abuse survivors has been questioned and challenged by all sorts of people, ranging from perpetrators to family members. More recently, this memory has been challenged by a combination of accused family members, their lawyers and a few academics who claim the existence of a “false memory syndrome.” In this groundbreaking book Charles Whitfield, voted by his peers as being one of the best doctors in America, brings his clinical experience and knowledge about traumatic memory to us. He examines, explores and clarifies this critical issue that threatens to invalidate the experience of survivors of trauma and handcuff the helping professionals who assist them as they heal. This thorough, insightful work provides crucial information for anyone affected by a traumatic experience.


Wilson, K. When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse, Hunter House, 2013.

Since its initial publication, this far-reaching reference has provided professionals and victims of abuse with guidance on everything from indicators of an abusive relationship to domestic violence legislation, from anti-burnout tips for helpers to advice on leaving an abusive partner. Dr. K. J. Wilson has survived domestic violence herself and worked for many years in one of the country’s first domestic violence shelters. She encourages women to take control of their lives and provides the tools to do so.  This updated edition addresses new research and programs, adding information on date rape drugs, cyber-stalking, pregnancy and domestic violence, and more. Current controversial social and legal issues are also covered, and two new chapters devote attention to domestic violence in the military and to the challenging and rewarding role of those who work with battered women and their children.  There is a safety plan that a woman can use to survive an attack and plan an escape.


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