Insult to Injury: Rethinking our Responses to Intimate Abuse

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9780691127729: Insult to Injury: Rethinking our Responses to Intimate Abuse

Locking up men who beat their partners sounds like a tremendous improvement over the days when men could hit women with impunity and women fearing for their lives could expect no help from authorities. But does our system of requiring the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of abusers lessen domestic violence or help battered women? In this already controversial but vitally important book, we learn that the criminal justice system may actually be making the problem of domestic violence worse. Looking honestly at uncomfortable facts, Linda Mills makes the case for a complete overhaul and presents a promising alternative.


The evidence turns up some surprising facts about the complexities of intimate abuse, facts that run against mainstream assumptions: The current system robs battered women of what power they do hold. Perhaps as many as half of women in abusive relationships stay in them for strong cultural, economic, religious, or emotional reasons. Jailing their partners often makes their situations worse. Women are at least as physically violent and emotionally aggressive as are men toward women, and women's aggression is often central to the dynamic of intimate abuse.


Informed by compelling evidence, personal experience, and what abused women themselves say about their needs, Mills proposes no less than a fundamentally new system. Addressing the real dynamics of intimate abuse and incorporating proven methods of restorative justice, Mills's approach focuses on healing and transformation rather than shame or punishment. Already the subject of heated controversy, Insult to Injury offers a desperately needed and powerful means for using what we know to reduce violence in our homes.

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From the Back Cover:

"What a breath of fresh air. [This book] takes on the entrenched and very powerful. Superb stuff. . . . Exhilarating."--Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Here is a searching and spirited story of human intimacy as it sometimes descends into aggression: violence inflicted and vulnerability endured--a melancholy story told with thoughtfulness, with sensitivity, and with a brave willingness to consider the subtleties and ironies of affliction perpetrated and endured."--Robert Coles, Harvard University, editor of "DoubleTake" magazine, and author of The Secular Mind

"Mills is thoughtful, nuanced, and original in her analysis of intimate abuse. With compassionate insight, she reveals how insult can lead to injury and outlines a practical alternative path to healing and safety. "This is a feminist critique, and a survivor's, of a mandated one-size-fits-all approach to punishing domestic violence. Mills moves our thinking beyond unilateralism, beyond bilateralism, to a multilateral approach to repairing lives shattered by violence. It poses a profound challenge to existing orthodoxy and should spawn a generation of empirical research to refute, refine. and vindicate its analysis."--John Braithwaite, Australian National University

"Insult to Injury will change the public relationship to intimate violence: "Linda Mills mines the depths of our personal denial, challenging us to return to what we somehow already know. She'll take hits for the honesty--and the expectations it holds out to us. But she's done the long labor of real scholarship, building a sturdy bridge to these next dangerous steps of trust."--Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx

"In this book, Linda Mills generates a bold and provocative thesis. While some may disagree with her, her views must be taken into account in the conversation on domestic violence."--Phyllis Goldfarb, Boston College School of Law

"Mills's accomplishment is impressive and courageous. Clearly and even elegantly written, her book offers a way out of the current unproductive debate about the agency of women in abusive relationships."--Christine A. Littleton, Professor of Law and Chair, Women's Studies Programs, UCLA

"Mills is the right person to write this book, and she does an admirable job."--Richard Gelles, author of The Violent Home and The Book of David: How Preserving Families Can Cost Children's Lives

About the Author:

Linda G. Mills is Professor at the Ehrenkranz School of Social Work, an Affiliated Professor of Law at the School of Law, and Vice Provost for University Life and Interdisciplinary Initiatives, all at New York University. Mills's work has received international attention in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Observer, and World Journal.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Locking up men who beat their partners sounds like a tremendous improvement over the days when men could hit women with impunity and women fearing for their lives could expect no help from authorities. But does our system of requiring the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of abusers lessen domestic violence or help battered women? In this already controversial but vitally important book, we learn that the criminal justice system may actually be making the problem of domestic violence worse. Looking honestly at uncomfortable facts, Linda Mills makes the case for a complete overhaul and presents a promising alternative. The evidence turns up some surprising facts about the complexities of intimate abuse, facts that run against mainstream assumptions: The current system robs battered women of what power they do hold. Perhaps as many as half of women in abusive relationships stay in them for strong cultural, economic, religious, or emotional reasons. Jailing their partners often makes their situations worse. Women are at least as physically violent and emotionally aggressive as are men toward women, and women s aggression is often central to the dynamic of intimate abuse. Informed by compelling evidence, personal experience, and what abused women themselves say about their needs, Mills proposes no less than a fundamentally new system. Addressing the real dynamics of intimate abuse and incorporating proven methods of restorative justice, Mills s approach focuses on healing and transformation rather than shame or punishment. Already the subject of heated controversy, Insult to Injury offers a desperately needed and powerful means for using what we know to reduce violence in our homes. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691127729

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Locking up men who beat their partners sounds like a tremendous improvement over the days when men could hit women with impunity and women fearing for their lives could expect no help from authorities. But does our system of requiring the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of abusers lessen domestic violence or help battered women? In this already controversial but vitally important book, we learn that the criminal justice system may actually be making the problem of domestic violence worse. Looking honestly at uncomfortable facts, Linda Mills makes the case for a complete overhaul and presents a promising alternative. The evidence turns up some surprising facts about the complexities of intimate abuse, facts that run against mainstream assumptions: The current system robs battered women of what power they do hold. Perhaps as many as half of women in abusive relationships stay in them for strong cultural, economic, religious, or emotional reasons. Jailing their partners often makes their situations worse. Women are at least as physically violent and emotionally aggressive as are men toward women, and women s aggression is often central to the dynamic of intimate abuse. Informed by compelling evidence, personal experience, and what abused women themselves say about their needs, Mills proposes no less than a fundamentally new system. Addressing the real dynamics of intimate abuse and incorporating proven methods of restorative justice, Mills s approach focuses on healing and transformation rather than shame or punishment. Already the subject of heated controversy, Insult to Injury offers a desperately needed and powerful means for using what we know to reduce violence in our homes. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780691127729

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Locking up men who beat their partners sounds like a tremendous improvement over the days when men could hit women with impunity and women fearing for their lives could expect no help from authorities. But does our system of requiring the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of abusers lessen domestic violence or help battered women? In this already controversial but vitally important book, we learn that the criminal justice system may actually be making the problem of domestic violence worse. Looking honestly at uncomfortable facts, Linda Mills makes the case for a complete overhaul and presents a promising alternative. The evidence turns up some surprising facts about the complexities of intimate abuse, facts that run against mainstream assumptions: The current system robs battered women of what power they do hold. Perhaps as many as half of women in abusive relationships stay in them for strong cultural, economic, religious, or emotional reasons. Jailing their partners often makes their situations worse. Women are at least as physically violent and emotionally aggressive as are men toward women, and women s aggression is often central to the dynamic of intimate abuse. Informed by compelling evidence, personal experience, and what abused women themselves say about their needs, Mills proposes no less than a fundamentally new system. Addressing the real dynamics of intimate abuse and incorporating proven methods of restorative justice, Mills s approach focuses on healing and transformation rather than shame or punishment. Already the subject of heated controversy, Insult to Injury offers a desperately needed and powerful means for using what we know to reduce violence in our homes. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691127729

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