Battering of Women: The Failure of Intervention and the Case for Prevention

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Westview Press, 1993 - Family & Relationships - 230 pages
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Why have most interventions failed to decrease domestic violence in this country? Larry Tifft provides reasons—and suggests possible solutions—in this revealing study of the cultural, social structural, and interpersonal dynamics that support a man’s choice to batter his intimate partner.Tifft addresses the cultural underpinnings of violence against women, including the gender hierarchy evident in the basic structure of our society and in our institutions. Through an analysis of the stages in the battering process, he explores the context, meanings, and decision-making processes that lead men to batter women and encourage women to choose various coping, resistance, and survival strategies. What emerges from Tifft’s study are not only patterns of physical violence, but also patterns of sexual, psychological, and spiritual violence that the batterer uses to control his partner’s thoughts, to annihilate her voice, and to deconstruct her sense of self and reality.Intrapersonal and interpersonal interventions have failed to decrease the prevalence of battering in our society. Primary prevention strategies designed to change the social structural arrangements that foster violence are likely to be much more effective. Tifft explains why and how these community-coordinated interventions, which challenge our most basic assumptions, are our best hope for reducing the incidence of battering.

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About the author (1993)

Larry L. Tifft is professor of sociology at Central Michigan University. He is author, with Dennis Sullivan, of The Struggle to Be Human: Crime, Criminology, and Anarchism and the forthcoming The Social Structural Roots of Crime.

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