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Cruel but Not Unusual

Violence in Canadian Families

2nd Edition

Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine, editors


Order online and receive a 25% discount

$52.99 Paper, 604 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-827-5

Release Date: October 2012



Violence in families and intimate relationships affects a significant proportion of the population—from very young children to the elderly—with far-reaching and often devastating consequences. Cruel but Not Unusual draws on the expertise of scholars and practitioners to present readers with the latest research and thinking about the history, theory, and impact of violence throughout the life course and across diverse groups and communities. For this new edition, chapters have been revised to reflect developments in research, practice and legislation. New chapters offer additional perspectives and topics including the interrelationship of trauma and resilience, putting gender back into the family violence equation, and re-examining violence against women by bringing in voices from the margins. While advancing new research and theoretical developments, these additions echo the book’s central goal of engaging readers in a collective effort to use knowledge to end violence.

Ramona Alaggia is an associate professor of social work and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Toronto. Her teaching and research focuses on gender and violence, especially in families, including child sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, and understanding the effects of exposure to violence on children’s mental health as well as important resilience factors. She works closely with agencies to evaluate and improve services for families experiencing violence and abuse.

Cathy Vine engages in research, writing, and action projects to advance the well-being and rights of children and youth. Recently she worked with Ontario’s Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth to support young people to hold the first Youth Leaving Care Hearings at a provincial legislature. Co-authored publications include Resilience: Successful Navigation through Significant Threat and Gardens of Shame: The Tragedy of Martin Kruze and the Sexual Abuse at Maple Leaf Gardens.


Cruel but Not Unusual explores the dynamics and scope of violence in families and its long-term impact on women and children who experience it, as well as our societal response to it. Written for students, academics, and professionals in the field, the book offers new insights, critiques, and ideas to inspire and enhance our understanding and practice.... A valuable resource for moving us forward. ”

— Lisa Tremblay, Herizons