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The book Dangerous Exits: Escaping Abusive Relationships in Rural America is a very important book which deals with the terror faced by many women in rural America in their own homes and the book itself is a contribution which is very valuable to the Violence Against Women field by addressing the three common areas which are found in gender based violence namely; divorce/separation violence, the general experiences of the rural women, and sexual violence like the intimate partner sexual violence. The book was authored by DeKeseredy Walter who is a criminology professor in UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), Martin Schwartz who is a sociologist professor, and Joseph Donnermeyer in the year 2009.
This book has a target audience who include the criminologists, women scholars and students, activists, practitioners and policy makers. The stated goals of the authors of the book was to shatter all the myths which were faced by the rural American women as being idyll of home and hearth, and to bring out and expose with rigor the analytic understanding of the dangers to the women who were battered of both the social and geographic isolation characteristics of the many American rural communities,
Violence against women has been widely spreading in rural America for many decades and has gained a lot of attention from the policy makers, many scholars, and the general public. There has been a great contribution and theoretical understandings from social scientists with most of the attention being focused on the women victimization where the women face separation and divorce sexual abuse and they are willing to leave behind their hostile and abusive partners. The rural communities are the worst hit with the most cases of victimization of women.
Dangerous Exits is a qualitative study which examines the psychological, physical, and sexual violence which is experienced by the American rural women and the women and in a process of leaving the abusive intimate partners. Some of these stories are very touching, heart breaking, insightful, eloquent, sad, and uplifting. The women shared their stories about their abusive partners and how they dangerously quit the abusive relationships
This book fits within the context of other/related material which is covered in this course. The main reason for this is because the book is a very good companion to a graduate course level or an upper undergraduate level. The book tries to identify all the hidden crimes of psychological mistreatment on women, economic blackmail crimes, and the relationships which exist between abuse and patriarchy (pp. 25). The authors of the book have tried to give voice to the women who have suffered terribly in silence and also trying to come up with effective solutions as to how these assaults and abuses to the women can be stopped and avoided.
The book attempts to answer the question ““Does Dangerous Exits develop a plausible model for the interaction of patriarchal control, sexual violence, and community complicity in rural areas?” The main objectives of this book were addressing the complexities and the risk factors which are associated with the separation and divorce sexual assaults.
The author of the book used the feminist methodology so as to achieve his objectives. He was able to highlight the area which was in most cases under-researched and an area which was neglected for a very long time concerning the battered women who were living in the rural areas and how they were able to leave the abusive relationships. The author acknowledged the global problem and the risk factors which were associated with separation and the divorce sexual assault of 3 Ohio communities which were rural and he brought out a case of 43 women who were in the process of an abusive relationship or marriage by leaving the abusive husband or abusive live-in male partner. This information of these women helped in bringing out the foci of the book.
The authors created screen questions by the development of structured interview schedules which were aimed at obtaining the representative samples and they used multitude methods so as to solicit participation from the women. after collecting all the data that was required in the study, the authors presented the information in a summary of tables which compared the nonsexual abuse and the separation and divorce sexual abuse (pp. 62-63).
The important questions that the book raised are; what drives men to become abusive?” should men be in charge of and control of domestic household settings? How can you reduce the incidence of separation and divorce sexual assault in the rural areas?
This book contributed to the understanding the rural American society and it deserves a very special place in the new scholarship on rural crime since it calls for an immediate action and pushes for a policy change. The book has also made a very valuable contribution to the Violence Against Women by addressing the intended topic of the author which covers the separation and divorce violence, the experiences that these rural women undergo, and sexual violence in general.
This book attempts to resolve problems and issues which are related to separation and divorce sexual abuse in rural America. The rural America has been very notorious for sexual abuse by the men where most of the cases it is from people who have a low level of education and other deep religious people who always think that the woman should obey her husband in all way without further questions. This has led the increase in the women gender based violence and criminology. The unemployment rate in the rural America is also very high and most of the women and men have to spend most of their at homes which can lead to the men being very frustrated since they are very idle and have got nothing to do, so they end up frustrating their women.
The weakest point of the book is the final chapter where the authors of the book committed to the collaborative feminist research where they interviewed their participants for their own suggestions as to how the incidence of the assault could be prevented and reduced where some of the suggestions were promising but others were vague. When the reader reads the book and finds out some of the stories like the story of the woman who was abused when the neighbor was watching and did nothing is very discouraging to the reader (pp. 11). The reader would end up thinking that there are no ways which can be done in stopping the violence and it can be very discouraging if the reader is a woman who has been a victim of such violence. This shows that there are no rules and regulations have been put in place by the government to stop these sexual violence and abuses.
The strongest point of this book is that it takes all its cues from the voices of the real women from the rural Ohio Community in America. The book got the views from women victims of the separation and divorce sexual assault and the authors were able to get their story on how they were abused and how they quit this sexual assault. This book gives the women who have been victims of sexual violence by the men whom they were married to or living with a new hope in life and the power and motive to live a new life. This is brought up by the story of the woman who was asked of how she thought about her experiences as a victim where she was very courageous and had a will to move on with life vowing that no man was going to stop her in accomplishing her dreams or even molest her since she would be forced to cut off his hand (pp. 83). This shows that the book can enable the victims to live a new life and be courageous and strong after leaving the abusive partners. It is a source of inspiration to the women victims.
The questions and concerns that the author of the book raised in my mind is that it is very possible to quit an abusive life from an abusive husband or abusive live-in male partners as it is the case in very many rural communities in America. The main reason as to why this separation and divorce sexual assault is very high in the rural areas is that out of the study which was carried out by DeKeseredy and Shwartz is that most of the victims were poor and lived in poverty stricken areas with very high cases of illiteracy levels which explained why the women were abused by their partners.
It is my opinion that there is the need for future research to be conducted in this area. The reason as to why I think so is that DeKeseredy’s and Shwartz’s ideas which are about the culture of the male peer support for the assaults and the abuse should be fleshed out so as to develop a set of policy proposals which are more robust and which are grounded on the rural life realities.