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Cruel but Not Unusual

Violence in Canadian Families, 2nd Edition

2nd Edition

Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine, editors

Paper 604 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-827-5

Release Date: October 2012

Online discount: 25%

$52.99  $39.74


eBook availability

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.

Ramona Alaggia is Associate Professor of Social Work and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Toronto, where she teaches social work practice with children and their families. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, her studies examine disclosure processes of child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence survivors, the impact of various forms of justice on survivors of sexual violence, and help-seeking for survivors of intimate partner violence. The results of this research have culminated in Dr. Alaggia’s most recent publication Risky Business: An Ecological Analysis of Intimate Partner Violence Disclosure. She currently consults to and evaluates programs delivering services to survivors and their children, and for fathers who expose their children to intimate partner violence.

Cathy Vine engages in research, writing and action projects to advance the well-being and rights of children and youth. Recently she worked with Ontario’s Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth to support young people to hold the first ever Youth Leaving Care Hearings at Queen’s Park, home of the Ontario Legislature. Previously, Cathy oversaw publication of 40 reports on children’s issues and worked extensively with children, youth, and adults affected by child abuse and intimate violence, conducting research and developing innovative support and clinical services. She taught part-time at the School of Social Work, Ryerson University, and publications include the recent co-authored report, Resilience: Successful Navigation through Significant Threat (2010), and the co-authored book, Gardens of Shame: The Tragedy of Martin Kruze & the Sexual Abuse at Maple Leaf Gardens (Greystone Press, 2002).


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