Your cart is empty.

Cruel but Not Unusual

Violence in Canadian Families, 2nd Edition

Edited by Ramona Alaggia & Cathy Vine
Subjects Social Science, Sociology, Family & Relationships, Child Abuse, Gender Studies, Law, Child Advocacy, Domestic Violence
Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554588275, 604 pages, October 2012
Paperback : 9780889204034, 536 pages, April 2006
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554588510, 604 pages, May 2013


Excerpt from Cruel but Not Unusual: Violence in Canadian Families, 2nd edition edited by Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine

From Chapter Two: Family Violence or Woman Abuse? Putting Gender Back into the Canadian Research Equation by Molly Dragiewicz

Research on violence against women has been among the most scrutinized areas in social science. From the beginning, efforts to empirically document the prevalence, incidence, and characteristics of violence against women have been hotly debated (DeKeseredy, 2011; Dragiewicz & DeKeseredy, forthcoming; Minaker & Snider, 2006). Objections that violence against women was rare have given way to acknowledgement that it is more common than once thought. Research on the outcomes of woman abuse has documented the serious ramifications of this type of violence for individual victims and the broader community. However, violence against women was not simply “discovered” by scholars in the 1960s, leading to a progressive growth of the literature. Knowledge production around violence against women has been fiercely contested, and feminist insights in particular have always been met with backlash (Gotell, 2007; Minkaer & Snider, 2006; Randall, 1989; Sinclair, 2003). Research on violence against women has been targeted with claims of politicization, as if other social science research is devoid of political implications. Although the act of delineating the boundaries of any crime is political by definition, violence against women seems to be disproportionately characterized as such.

From Chapter Seven: Violence, Protection, and Empowerment in the Lives of Children and Adults with Disabilities by Richard Sobsey and Sonia A. Sobon

To more meaningfully reduce risk, people with disabilities must become part of the social fabric. In addition, while inclusion can help normalize risk for people with disabilities, normalization at best only reduces excessive risk to the rate experienced by other members of the community. As this goal is approached, reducing risks for people with disabilities typically means reducing the risks for all people and the community as a whole. This suggests that much of our effort toward protecting people with disabilities from violence should be directed toward efforts that reduce risks for all members of society. For example, seeking to reduce patriarchal dominance, and jealous and possessive behaviours, which one study (Brownridge et al. , 2008) found prevalent among male abusers of women with disabilities, would likely benefit society as a whole. When we think of violence against people with disabilities as a violence problem and not a disability problem, it seems obvious that including people with disabilities in our general violence prevention strategies makes sense. This suggests that we need to look for more ways to include people with disabilities in generic prevention programs and focus less on special programs. An added benefit is that people with disabilities can be useful assets to their community crime prevention programs. For example, depending on staffing needs, group homes may be the only houses in a community where people are home during the day or awake late at night. As such, they can be important assets to neighbourhood watch programs. Thus, people with disabilities can become active partners and assets to their community's violence prevention initiatives.

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Cruel but Not Unusual: Violence in Canadian Families, 2nd edition, edited by Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine

Foreword | The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain

Acknowledgements | Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine


Introduction | Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine

1. Voices of Women from the Margins: Re-examining Violence against Women | Deborah Sinclair

2. Family Violence or Woman Abuse? Putting Gender Back into the Canadian Research Equation | Molly Dragiewicz

3. Is This Violence? Is This Sexual Violence? Recognizing and Defining Violence through Dialogue with French-Speaking Women | Ina Motoi

4. Child Corporal Punishment: Violence, Law, and Rights | Anne McGillivray and Joan E. Durrant

5. Violence, Trauma, and Resilience | Michael Ungar and Bruce D. Perry


6. Systemic Oppression, Violence, and Healing in Aboriginal Families and Communities | Cyndy Baskin

7. Violence, Protection, and Empowerment in the Lives of Children and Adults with Disabilities | Richard Sobsey and Sonia A. Sobon

8. Dynamics of Partner Abuse in Sexual and Gender Minority Communities | J. Roy Gillis and Shaindl Diamond

9. Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Issues for Immigrant and Refugee Families | Ramona Alaggia and Sarah Maiter


10. Children Abused, Neglected, and Living with Violence: An Overview | Cathy Vine, Nico Trocmé, Bruce MacLaurin, and Barbara Fallon

11. Children's Exposure to Domestic Violence: Integrating Policy, Research, and Practice to Address Children's Mental Health | Angélique Jenney and Ramona Alaggia

12. Whose Failure to Protect? Child Welfare Interventions When Men Abuse Mothers | Susan Strega

13. Rendering Children Invisible: The Forces at Play during Separation and Divorce in the Context of Family Violence | Rachel Birnbaum

14. Violence against Women: A Structural Perspective | Colleen Lundy

15. Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Men Who Abuse and Women Abused by Intimate Partners | Leslie M. Tutty

16. Elder Abuse and Neglect in Canada: An Overview | Lynn McDonald, Julie Dergal, and April Collins

17. Older People Are Subjects, Not Objects: Reconsidering Theory and Practice in Situations of Elder Abuse | Joan Harbison, Pam McKinley, and Donna Pettipas

Conclusion: Building the Future | Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine




Violence in families and intimate relationships affects a significant proportion of the population—from very young children to the elderly—with far-reaching and often devastating consequences. Cruel but Not Unusual draws on the expertise of scholars and practitioners to present readers with the latest research and thinking about the history, conditions, and impact of violence in these contexts. For this new edition, chapters have been updated to reflect changes in data and legislation. New chapters include an examination of trauma from a neurobiological perspective; a critical analysis of the “gender symmetry debate,” a debate that questions the gendered nature of intimate violence; and an essay on the history and evolution of the women’s movement dedicated to addressing violence against women, which advances theoretical developments that remind readers of the breadth of inclusivity that should be at the heart of working in this field.


``Cruel but Not Unusual explores the dynamics and scope of violence in families and its long-term impact on women and children who experience it, as well as our societal response to it. Written for students, academics, and professionals in the field, the book offers new insights, critiques, and ideas to inspire and enhance our understanding and practice. ... A valuable resource for moving us forward. ''

- Lisa Tremblay, Herizons, Fall 2013