Violence is a serious public health problem. The number of violent deaths tells only part of the story, and many more survive violence and are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. Violence also erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.

In recent years, scholars have broadened their definitions of violence beyond the realm of interpersonal harms such as murder, armed robbery, and male-to-female physical and sexual assaults in intimate relationships, to include behaviors often ignored by the criminal justice system, such as human rights violations, racism, psychological abuse, state terrorism, environmental violations, and war. Guided by this broader definition of violence, this handbook offers state of the art research in the field and brings together international experts to discuss empirical, theoretical, and policy issues.

chapter 1|4 pages


Toward a broader social scientific understanding of violence

part I|3 pages

Gathering and analyzing violence data

chapter 3|11 pages

Mixed methods in violence studies

chapter 5|11 pages

Historical methods

chapter 7|10 pages

The caring adult role

Avoiding exploitation in youth violence ethnographies

part II|3 pages

New ways of thinking theoretically about violence

chapter 8|12 pages

Thinking theoretically about image-based sexual abuse

The contribution of male peer support theory

chapter 9|26 pages

What’s place got to do with it?

Explaining violence in a rural context

chapter 12|15 pages

The material reality of state violence

The case of police militarization

chapter 13|10 pages

Theorising “war”

part III|2 pages

Select topics in violence studies

chapter 21|10 pages

Child sexual abuse

chapter 22|13 pages

The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and youth

Considering strategies for intervention and cultivating resilience

chapter 25|13 pages

An alternative view of animal abuse

Violence against the environment and all its creatures

chapter 26|11 pages


Violence against the planet

chapter 27|9 pages

Gang violence

chapter 29|11 pages


chapter 31|13 pages

Research on human trafficking

Victim characteristics, consequences, service needs, and future research directions

chapter 32|10 pages

Girls, gangs, violence, and justice

An overview

chapter 33|9 pages

Clergy-perpetrated child sexual abuse

part IV|3 pages

New policy directions

chapter 37|13 pages

Ending abusive endings

Curbing separation/divorce violence against women

chapter 39|11 pages

What can be done about state crimes against women?

Some suggestions for the future