Children in the Crossfire: Understanding the Effects of Spouse Battering on Children

Maria Roy, Author Health Communications $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-932194-71-8
Roy, a founder of shelters for battered wives, paints a frank and sometimes shocking picture of the devastating effects of spousal abuse on a couple's children. Her book, based on a three-year study of 146 children from such families, is an excellent resource for social work professionals. And despite Roy's tendency to slip into jargon, the work, liberally illustrated with anecdotes and case studies, will also interest the general reader. Disproving a common myth that the mother deflects her husband's violence away from the children by suffering his abuse, Roy shows that children in such situations are at greater risk of maltreatment. The author demonstrates repeatedly that violence begets violence, and that abuse leads to a host of psychological traumas. Roy cites the Cornerstone Theory that holds that family violence springs from one root cause: ``the patriarchal right of ownership of wives and children.'' Modern societies, she evinces, are still strongly influenced by this legacy. Her work is a valuable, albeit disturbing, addition to the literature on families in distress. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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