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Violent Partners : A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse
A radical new take on the crisis of intimate abuse, Violent Partners argues that as a culture we misunderstand the root causes and basic effects of abuse, and until that changes there is no hope of fixing the problem. Dr. Linda Mills challenges assumptions, tears down myths, and offer solutions, all the while telling riveting stories of couples who have conquered violence in their relationships. In Violent Partners, she describes several programs that hold promise for addressing intimate abuse, including two nationally known and groundbreaking treatment programs-Peacemaking Circles and Healing Circles. Controversial, provocative, and accessible, Violent Partners is unlike any other book on abuse and relationships, and highlights in great detail the complexities of violence through the stories of men and women who have acknowledged their abuse and sought to do something about it. This is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand violence in their own relationship, friends and family members of victims and abusers, and legal and mental health practitioners looking for a new and valuable approach to treating couples in crisis.
Mills, founder of NYU's Center on Violence and Recovery, calls into question how the American legal system deals with domestic violence: mandatory arrest and prosecution, restraining orders and batterer intervention programs. This system, argues Mills, deprives women of choices and provides few options for couples who want to stop the abuse without ending the relationship. In a scrupulously researched book, Mills uses her own experience in a violent relationship and other case studies as she examines the sources of domestic violence, looks microscopically at the complex dynamics between various victims and their abusers and explores new treatments that are proving successful. This last is the book's most valuable part, both for these couples and for policy makers. Mills describes a group therapy program in Virginia and the Healing Circles program she helped develop in 2004. By treating the couple, and even whole families, rather than just the abuser, and by acknowledging that violent couples can help one another in group therapy, these programs have been shown to change the dynamics within violent families. (June)
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June 01, 2008
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