You are here

The Sage website, including online ordering services, will be unavailable due to system maintenance on June 14th from 6:00pm -12 midnight PDT. If you need assistance, please contact Sage at 
Thank you for your patience and we apologize for the inconvenience.
It Could Happen to Anyone

It Could Happen to Anyone
Why Battered Women Stay

Third Edition
  • Alyce D. LaViolette - Alternatives Counseling Association, California, Institute of Rural Management, Gujarat
  • Ola W. Barnett - Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA, Pepperdine University, USA

April 2013 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The widely read and highly praised bestseller It Could Happen to Anyone offers a unique amalgamation of the practical clinical experience of Alyce LaViolette and the extensive research of Ola Barnett on battered women and their batterers. Fully updated and revised, this Third Edition includes a wealth of new material and case examples, while retained sections have been carefully rewritten to reflect contemporary thinking. This important text continues to provide understanding and empathy regarding the plight of battered women as they attempt to find safety. The integration of current knowledge with learning theory explains how any woman's previous life experiences along with the effects of battering might influence her to stay with her abuser. The book's content also explains how some social institutions, such as the criminal justice system, cannot be counted upon to protect her, thus making it dangerous for her to leave or stay. In extreme cases, she may even be killed. From a more optimistic viewpoint, the book describes many innovations geared to assist battered women through shelters, transitional housing, and temporary income support. This extensively revised and expanded new edition is a must read for anyone working in or training to work in a helping role for issues in domestic violence.

1. Weaving the Fabric of Abuse: Learned Helplessness and Learned Hopelessness
2. Institutional Battering: The Power of the Patriarchy
3. Victimization: Why Does It Happen To Her?
4. Living With Fear: The Force That Holds, Molds, and Controls
5. Meltdown: The Impact of Stress and Learned Helplessness
6. Catalysts for Change
7. Voices of Hope: Survivors Speak
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C1
Appendix C2
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F

A very good read and a few chapter's that really helped with safeguarding issues .

Mrs Samara Farook
Training, Meridian Centre
October 1, 2015

This book is very accessible and insightful to the whole area of domestic abuse and understanding victims and their behaviours / psychological traits associated with their abuse.

I would highly recommend to all professions that have to deal with aspects of domestic abuse / intimate partner violence.

Mr Robert Bielby
faculty of health and social care sciences, Kingston University
January 24, 2015

A thought-provoking book for social work students who often raise the question of why people stay in abusive relationships and for students who don't have the opportunity to work in a placement dedicated to this field of SW. It equips students with knowledge in readiness for practice.

Miss Helen Carr
Social Work, Community and Mental Health, Canterbury Christ Church University
February 24, 2014
Key features

New to This Edition:


  • Revised sections include: research-identified newer forms of battering such as stalking and control; new statistics on the frequency of male-to female battering; different forms of aggression; learned helplessness; and women who batter.
  • New information is provided on: global violence against women; courtship violence; violence against women who are older, disabled, lesbian, who live in rural areas, or belong to ethnic groups; neurological changes brought about by fear and post-traumatic stress disorder; actual financial costs of battering to the victim and to society; children exposed to violence;
  • A new section offers strategies used to cope with battering and about marital dissatisfaction.
  • A useful scale covers different types of aggression, beginning with common froms of aggression to terrorism.
  • New appendices cover key areas such as social learning theory, classical conditioning, and operant coniditioning.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site