The more we learn about family violence, the more it becomes apparent that it is a complex and multifaceted issue. Family violence is more than woman abuse. It is also more than child abuse, sibling abuse, parent abuse, or elder abuse. It is all of these violations and more. Nevertheless, family violence is gendered; most abused victims are female and most perpetrators are male. Family violence is not merely personal. It is also a consequence of social inequality, and in that sense is socially constructed.
Based on research projects conducted over ten years, Understanding Abuse profiles the work done by researchers of issues related to woman abuse and family violence. The contributors demonstrate the strength of community-based, action-oriented collaborations by carefully identifying the multiplicity of causes, clearly articulating the issues raised by abused women, and seeking to identify realistic solutions. Not only does this work provide invaluable information for policy makers on successful versus unsuccessful programs to prevent violence, it also provides academic and community researchers with detailed data on the intricacies of academic-community action research partnerships.
About the authors
Mary Lou Stirling is a professor emerita in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick.
Catherine Ann Cameron is an honourary professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia and a professor emerita in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Brunswick.
Nancy Nason-Clark teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate sociology courses in research methods, gender, religion and violence. In more recent years, her research and writing has focussed on issues of violence in the family context and issues of faith or spirituality. Her research program involves a variety of projects examining the relationship between abuse, faith, gender and culture; and has taken her to many parts of the world, most recently to India, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean.
Baukje Miedema is the research director at the Dalhousie University Family Medicine Teaching Unit in Fredericton.