Women & Violence

Women & Violence

by Barrie Levy

When women decide what to wear, where to go, how to get there, what time of day to be outdoors, and what affects their sense of security and safety, are they aware that they’re afraid of being sexually assaulted? Violence against women is, on a global scale, so common that some experts consider it a “normal” aspect of women’s experiences—and yet research on the issue is subjective and inconsistent.

Women and Violence

is a slim, easy to read volume that begins with an overview of the many ways women suffer from violence perpetrated largely because they are born female. The author even-handedly considers the reasons for researchers' and activists' varying beliefs about what causes so many women to be victims of violence, and so many men to be perpetrators. Her own perspective is inclusive: 


"Multidimensional explanations of violence against women integrate social factors, such as class, gender and culture, with individual characteristics, such as family history, psychopathology, and alcohol or drug use. Reluctance of institutions to intervene, cultural approval of violence, and social constructions of `masculinity' contribute additional dimensions. These theories view violence against women as complex, with individual and social factors combining to cause and perpetuate the problem." 

After the introductory chapter, Levy discusses how the basic issues play out globally. She describes the individual and societal consequences of the abuse and the major movement controversies. Those topics set the stage for the final chapter on how individuals and institutions are continuing the work of ensuring that women's rights are upheld through numerous kinds of activism. 

Understanding that personal values, beliefs and environment affect an individual’s response to—and acknowledgement of—violence against women, this book addresses topics such as global perspectives on violence, controversies and debates, and social change strategies and activism. The women's movement is continually evolving in theory and practice and that Barrie addresses each of these topics in one short volume is remarkable. Join the movement!