This is a case study of domestic violence that also includes information about abuse trends and interventions. It could be a useful resource for students in sociology of family or social work courses first taking up the topic. The case centers on Rebecca, a young woman who grew up in low-income housing with her parents. She often witnessed her mother being physically and emotionally abused by her father. In response, her mother taught her to be passive and accommodating. As a child she was anxious, afraid, often depressed, and friendless. As a young woman, Rebecca fell in love and married Gary, who promised to protect her while making all family decisions. She is happy with this arrangement until Gary loses his job and begins to drink. He then starts abusing her much in the same way her mother had been mistreated. Finally, she gathers enough courage to leave him and seek help from a women’s center. After learning from others that she deserved better than to live with an abusive husband, she becomes a community organizer and advocate for other women victims.
The resource provides a description of a common form of domestic violence, and offers clear suggestions on relevant interventions. The authors explain how adults become susceptible to victimization based on their experiences as children. The resource clearly outlines symptoms of abuse and intervention guidelines, and how women can be assisted in accessing community services.
Target Student Population:
The material can be used in high school and college-level courses. It should also have value for community-based training programs re domestic violence.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Users need basic computer skills in order to navigate the online site.
Type of Material:
This is a PDF, constructed as an e-book.
The resource can serve as an introduction to domestic violence assignments and can facilitate class discussion.
Access to the Internet, and the use of a standard browser such as IE, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
Evaluation and Observation
While easy to read, the resource is also well-researched, well-organized, and practical in suggestions about dealing with domestic violence. Relevant information is detailed about the cycle of violence, root causes of family violence, stages of coping, feminist intervention, interventions for men, and prevention at a community level.
Some users may find the case study of Rebecca overly simplified.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The data and interventions are accurate, and could be very useful for practitioners dealing with abuse.
Domestic violence researchers will likely find little value in it.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This resource is well-written, with plenty of practical information for those either teaching about, or providing training on, domestic violence.
Other Issues and Comments:
The resource will likely find significant use among beginning-level social work students. Although the case study may seem overly simplistic, the resource provides highly relevant data and interventions.