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Rural Women Battering and the Justice System

An Ethnography

Neil Websdale Criminal Justice Department, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
© 1997   296 pages   SAGE Publications, Inc   
Volume 6
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Paperback ISBN: 9780761908524 $63.00

Addressing a significant void in the extant literature on the topic of domestic violence, Rural Woman Battering and the Justice System presents a thorough and arresting look at the experiences of battered women in rural communities. While living in the rural areas of Kentucky, Neil Websdale conducted his ethnographic research, and he situated the voices of rural battered women at the center of his ethnography. He clearly demonstrates how rural patriarchy and the insidious "good ol’ boy network" of law enforcement and local politics sustain and reproduce the subordinate, vulnerable, isolated position of many rural women. Taking into account that traditional patterns of intervention can often put women in isolated communities at further risk, the author recommends a coordinated multiagency approach to rural battering that is spearheaded by state feminist agencies. The chapter on the difficulties of an educated male researcher working with rural battered women offers a definite methodological plus. Illuminating and accessible, Rural Woman Battering and the Justice System makes a most important and timely contribution to the field.

An excellent training resource for anyone working with battered women, especially in rural areas, Rural Woman Battering and the Justice System is highly recommended for law enforcement and criminal justice professionals, practitioners, advocates, shelter personnel, and advanced students in related courses of study, as well as academics and researchers.

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