Behind the Closed Doors of the Middle-Class Wifebeater's Family

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(5), 404–405. Reviews the book, Conjugal Crime: Understanding and Changing the Wifebeating Pattern by Terry Davidson (1978). This book is a welcome addition despite some major flaws. Its strength comes from Davidson's ability to tell a story as a journalist. She bravely spent one week living with residents and staff in a battered women's shelter and eloquently describes the experience. Davidson herself is a wifebeater's daughter whose tales of her middle-class minister's family life makes you want to weep for what may lurk behind the closed doors of every average American family. It is a humbling experience for every student of human behavior to learn that we have not known the pervasiveness of the domestic violence problem even though our profession is thought to hold the key to expose those hidden crimes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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