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It Could Happen to Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay
Synopses & Reviews
I heartily recommend Ola W. Barnett and Alyce D. LaViolette's book, It Could Happen to Anyone. I consider it a 'must' for anyone working in the domestic violence field. --KC Eynatten, Acting Director, Corporate Alliance to End Parnter Violence Women suffer 2,100,000 injuries annually as a result of domestic violence compared to 522,000 injuries from car accidents and 131,120 injuries resulting from rape. These battered women face difficult decisions as a result of living in violent households. The most fundamental of these is the decision to stay or leave. Fear--both emotional and physical--is present in every case. Empirically based, yet accessibly written for mental health and social service practitioners, this powerful volume argues against blaming women for their victimization. It provides comprehensive and current theory on why women stay in abusive relationships and why they leave. Barnett and LaViolette examine such behaviors as learned helplessness, learned hopefulness, fear, posttraumatic stress, and the battered women's syndrome. Poignant case studies depict the heroic efforts of survivors to liberate themselves from the cultural mores, sexism, and specific learning patterns that entrapped them. This is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to better understand and address this pervasive social tragedy. It Could Happen to Anyone is a book whose time has come. It is clearly and interestingly written and should go a long way toward explaining why battered women stay. Over the years . . . I have been questioned constantly about why victims stay. I have tried to explain that a simple answer is impossible because the issue is deep and complex. Now I will be able to satisfyothers' wishes for better understanding by referring them to this excellent book for all the answers. . . . This book will be an invaluable source of information. This book is written by two outstanding experts in the field who are eminently qualified to understand the dynamics of women battering. They have both worked on the issue for years; they are pioneers in the field. Ola W. Barnett came to her knowledge through years of rigid scientific research and Alyce D. LaViolette accumulated her knowledge through years of counseling and working with victims and abusers in the field. It is the rare combination of perspectives derived from two divergent sources of knowledge that makes this book as accurate--and as understandable--as it is. --Mildred Daley Pagelow, Ph.D., California State University, Fullerton (AN EVEN LONGER VERSION OF THIS QUOTE IS IN THE FILE--BUT PERMISSION WAS ALSO GIVEN FOR THIS ONE) This book is well written, easy to read, and will be useful in training paraprofessionals, including shelter workers and others who need to be knowledgeable about the dynamics of battering. --Michele Harway, Ph.D., California Family Study Center, North Hollywood This book describes the social psychological research that builds both socio-political context and learning theory to provide a comprehensive psychological understanding of domestic violence. . . . Barnett and LaViolette review the latest research and use case histories to document exactly how the batterer uses the woman's fear to gain control over her. --from the Foreword by Lenore E. A. Walker, Ed.D. Overall the book is clearly written and well organized. It should prove useful to practitioners who utilize learning theory andto researchers desiring an overall summary of the literature. . . . By using learning theory to directly address the subject of why women stay in abusive relationships, Barnett and LaViolette provide a useful new addition to the ever-expanding literature on heterosexual battering. --Violence and Victims Highly recommended. --Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin Book Club
Exactly how batterers use women's fear to gain control is documented in this volume. The authors provide a comprehensive examination of current social psychological research and theory about why women stay in abusive relationships and why they leave, and explain why women should not be blamed for their victimization.
Written for mental health and social services practitioners, the volume examines a range of topics, including learned helplessness and hopelessness, post-traumatic stress and the battered woman syndrome'. Case studies depict the heroic efforts of survivors to liberate themselves from the cultural mores, the sexism and the specific learning patterns that entrap them. Barnett and LaViolette argue that there is n
Includes bibliographical references (p. 152-178) and index.
Table of Contents
Weaving the fabric of abuse: learned hopefulness and learned helplessness — Institutional battering: the power of the patriarchy — Living with fear: the force that holds, molds, and controls — Victimization: betrayed by the tie that binds — Meltdown: the impact of stress and learned helplessness — Catalysts for change — Voices of hope: survivors speak — General learning information — Specific learning experiments.
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