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Handbook on Sexual Violence
This book contextualizes the complexity of sexual violence within its broader context – from war to the resolution of interpersonal disputes – and covers a wide span including sexual harassment, bullying, rape and murder as well as domestic violence. Written by leading academics from a variety of disciplines, contributions also include commentaries that relate the research to the work of practitioners.
Despite advances made in the investigation of sexual offences, evidence still points to a continued belief in the culpability of victims in their own victimization and a gap between the estimated incidence of sexual violence and the conviction of perpetrators. Adopting an implicitly and explicitly critical stance to contemporary policy responses that continue to fail in addressing this problem, this book focuses on attitudes and behaviour towards sexual violence from the point of view of the individual experiencing the violence – perpetrator and victim – and situates them within a broader societal frame. It is through an understanding of social processes and psychological mechanisms that underpin sexual violence that violence can be combated and harm reduced, and at this individual level that evidence-based interventions can be designed to change policy and practice.
The Handbook is split into four sections:
- 'Legacies: Setting the Scene' offers a critical overview of historical, legal and cultural processes which help to explain the origins of current thinking and offer steers for future developments
- 'Theories and Concepts' examines contemporary thinking on sexual violence and reviews explanatory frameworks from a number of perspectives
- 'Acts of Sexual Violence' reviews a number of specific types of sexual violence, elaborating the range of circumstances, victims and perpetrators with a view to addressing the general and pervasive nature of such violence thus contradicting narrow cultural stereotyping
- 'Responding to Sexual Violence' overviews and evaluates current policies and practices and offers new ideas to develop different types of interventions.
The editors’ conclusion not only draws out the key themes and ideas from contributions to the Handbook, but also considers the nature of and the extent to which any progress has been made in understanding and responding to sexual violence.
This will be a key text for students and academics studying sexual violence and an essential reference tool for professionals working in the field including police officers, probation staff, lawyers and judges.
544 pages; ISBN 9781136626746
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