The landscape of interpersonal violence has become too familiar, too close to home, work, or school. Behavior “that intentionally threatens, attempts, or actually inflicts harm on other people” is the subject of this set, which contains more than 500 entries on the different forms of interpersonal violence, their incidence and prevalence, theoretical explanations, public-policy initiatives, and prevention and intervention strategies. The purpose of the encyclopedia is to help students and the general public understand various aspects of the problem as well as to provide a quick reference for professionals. Alphabetically arranged entries include cross-references to related entries as well as suggested readings for further information.
Examples of entries on types of violence include Campus violence; Clergy sexual abuse; Domestic violence in military families; Elder abuse; Forced marriages; Gang violence; and Internet, crimes against children. Those seeking information about organizations and agencies, legislation, research methods and data-collection instruments, and theories and theoretical perspectives will not be disappointed. The reader’s guide, which groups articles under broad topics such as “Children and Youth,” “Civil and Criminal Legal Systems,” “Racial/Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Issues,” and “Syndromes, Disorders, and Other Mental Health Issues,” gives an indication of the encyclopedia’s range. Appendixes provide information on current data sets, regional and national organizations specializing in various dimensions of interpersonal violence, and relevant Web sites. Although there has been a dramatic increase in the publication of reference sources on security, social issues, terrorism, and war in recent years, and particularly since 9/11, this resource stands alone as a pathway to understanding this critical topic. Structurally and conceptually, the encyclopedia works. It is an important and timely resource that will be well received by undergraduates, graduate students, violence specialists, and general readers.