Changing Hawaii

By Diane Yukihiro Chang

Monday, September 13, 1999

Violence comes
in many forms

ON hearing the word "violence," what images come to mind? Rival gangs fighting each other in public? A low-life attacking an innocent citizen on the street? Or maybe an enraged man beating up his wife or girlfriend, or a short-

tempered parent battering a child behind closed doors?

Unfortunately, the spectrum of interpersonal violence is wider than that, according to a mail-order catalog from Sage Publications Inc.

The publishing house ( in Thousand Oaks, Calif., offers books on understanding violence and abuse, not only for professionals in the helping fields but for concerned lay people who want to learn more about these specialized topics:

Bullet "The Mistreatment of Elderly People," edited by Peter Decalmer and Frank Glendenning, presents "a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of research and theoretical explanations of elder abuse."
Bullet "Burdened Children," edited by Nancy D. Chase, defines the problem of "parentified" kids -- minors who are "compelled to fulfill the role of parents at the expense of their own developmentally appropriate needs and pursuits." In other words, these children become like parents to their parents.
Bullet "Neglected Children: Research, Practice and Policy," edited by Howard Dubowitz, captures what is known about child neglect and offers recommendations for future research.
Bullet "Sibling Abuse" by Vernon R. Wiehe provides insight into the range of abusive behaviors perpetrated among siblings. "Along with personal accounts by adult survivors, this completely updated book describes appropriate steps for parents to take in order to evaluate and respond to their children's abusive interactions."
Bullet "Same-Sex Domestic Violence" was edited by Beth Leventhal and Sandra E. Lundy. "Although a great deal has been written about domestic violence, almost all of it focuses on the violence of men against their current or former wives or girlfriends," says the catalog. "Yet studies have shown that partner abuse is as common and as severe among same-sex couples as among heterosexual couples...(and) is a serious social and public health issue."
Bullet "Athletes and Acquaintance Rape" by Jeffrey R. Benedict examines specific aspects of the collegiate and professional athlete's life and reveals "a climate predisposed to committing violence against women that provides star athletes with protection from punishment and conviction."
Bullet "A Mother's Nightmare -- Incest" was written by John E.B. Myers. "Protecting children from child abuse using the legal system can be a complicated and sometimes devastating process for parents," says the book's description. "Suspecting sexual abuse, a mother may seek a divorce and custody, or -- if already divorced -- request withdrawal of visitation rights. However, when unable to prove abuse, she may be labeled 'hysterical' and jeopardize her case. (This book could assist) in reducing the likelihood that the legal system will backfire."

ON hearing the term "mail-order catalog," what images come to mind? Booklets hawking computers and clothes? Stationery and knickknacks? Or the one from Sage Publications, which shows that violence doesn't always result in blood, broken bones or bruises but invisible wounds that may be even more hurtful and insidious?

It's a scary world. It's even scarier if there are paths to enlightenment, but those who need to go there are too uninformed or too frightened to start the journey.

Diane Yukihiro Chang's column runs Monday and Friday.
She can be reached by phone at 525-8607, via e-mail at, or by fax at 523-7863.

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