In the spring of 1983 I was invited to give the thirty-first annual Karen Horney Lecture by the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis at the conference it was holding in New York City. A principal reason why I selected violence in the family as my theme was that research using the perspective of attachment theory was beginning to throw a shaft of light on a tragic but puzzling problem which, until recent years, had gone almost completely unrecognized by all those in the mental health field, not excluding myself.