The American family is violent: 35% of parents hit their infants when they believe they are misbehaving; 94% hit their toddlers. As the amount of physical punishment experienced by a child increases, the rates of wife and husband beating go up. Yesterday’s victims are today’s criminals. Men and women abuse each other at similar rates, although men’s injuries are less serious and go unreported more often. Over 50% of abused women, given the chance to escape their abusers, would prefer to salvage the relationship.
These startling facts provide some of the impetus for the new book Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse (Basic Books), written by Linda Mills, New York University senior vice provost for undergraduate life and university life, director of the Center on Violence and Recovery, and a professor of social work, public policy, and law. A radical new take on the crisis of intimate abuse, the book argues that as a culture we misunderstand the root cause and basic effects of abuse, and until we do, we cannot fix the problem.
On Tuesday, October 28, at 6 p.m., at NYU Law School’s Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South (at MacDougal St.), Mills will discuss Violent Partners. She challenges assumptions, tears down myths, and offers solutions while also telling riveting stories of couples who have conquered violence in their relationships. Mills also describes several programs that hold promise for addressing intimate abuse, including two groundbreaking treatment programs: Peacemaking Circles and Healing Circles. She will also show a short film from the award-winning program she co-founded in Arizona.
Media wishing to attend the Oct. 28 event, or to interview Mills, must contact Barbara Jester, 212.998.6844, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also available for interview are couples who have been in abusive relationships: victims, abusers, and partners.