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Despite the success of the #MeToo movement and the exposure of long-standing, high-profile abusers like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, and R. Kelly, among many others, violence against women is still a significant problem across the globe. DePrince, a psychology professor and recognized authority on the subject, looks at some of the important successes during recent decades—e.g., Take Back the Night movement marches, the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, and a deeper understanding of the complexities of PTSD—while also revealing the interconnected systemic problems that continue to perpetuate violence. The author stresses the need for an inherently different, community-based approach to the problem. “Violence against women ripples out to affect each of us,” she writes, “regardless of our own genders or life histories.” After a brief history of the deeply flawed treatment of “hysteria” in women at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris in the 1860s, DePrince shows how women have always been stigmatized as deficient simply because they are women. During that time—and for decades after—doctors “did not connect lifelong intimate violence and trauma to women’s hysterical symptoms.” The author clearly demonstrates how intimate violence activates a chain of chronic health problems often ignored by health officials. In a rigorous yet occasionally disorganized text, DePrince looks at violence involving guns, school campuses, immigrants, and the pandemic, emphasizing the importance of prevention among youth especially. She delineates how cycles of violence perpetuate poverty, child abuse, and other social ills, including blunted education, lack of job advancement, and unwieldy health care costs. The bottom line, she argues, is that addressing the issue collectively should be a priority for everyone, and she offers a detailed, scholarly framework for change at the end.

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