Interpersonal violence

  The abolitionist platform is clear: Prostitution is exploitation. To abolitionists, the women involved are thought of as “prostituted women” who are abused under a patriarchal society of male domination and sexual exploitation. The results of several U.S. studies on prostitution support the view that prostitution is associated with drug abuse, HIV/AIDS risks, violence, and […]


  Abandonment is generally understood in terms of infants and children being discarded by parents. Historically, women living in poverty, giving birth out of wedlock, or raped during wars were likely to dispose of their children. After World War II and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, many women walked out on the children they had conceived […]

Academy on Violence and Abuse

  The Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA) is a nonprofit multidisciplinary health organization with membership open to physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and many other health professionals who are involved in patient care, health education, health research, and ancillary services. AVA incorporated in 2005 in an effort to improve the health care response […]

Abusive Behavior Inventory

  The Abusive Behavior Inventory is an instrument designed to measure the physical and psychological abuse of women by their male partners. The instrument was first developed by Melanie Shepard in 1984 to evaluate the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, a highly influential program in the field of domestic violence. Items for the instrument were […]

Abuse-Focused Therapy

  Abuse-focused therapy is an umbrella term for a range of clinical models used in treating the impacts of childhood sexual abuse and trauma. Abuse-focused therapy originated in the late 1980s as an alternative to therapies that viewed abuse survivors’ trauma-specific coping strategies as evidence of intrapsychic pathology and maladaptive reactions, and trauma therapies, which […]

Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997

  Since 1974, the U.S. Congress has enacted many laws developed to protect children affected by child abuse and neglect. One federal law is the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 19, 1997. It is considered by many to be one of the strongest statements […]


  Acrotomophilia is a type of fetish from which an individual (acrotomophile) derives sexual pleasure or arousal from having intercourse with or sexually fantasizing about a person who has a body part amputated (an amputee). Acrotomophilia is a type of paraphilia, which is derived from Greek (para = altered, philia = love). Specifically, an acroto-mophile […]

Acid Attacks

  An acid attack is the throwing of corrosive acid on a human target. It is not a new phenomenon. Acid attacks were reported in Europe in the 19th century, and in China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, England, Italy, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Vietnam, and the United States in the latter part of the 20th century. Most […]

Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980

  The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (AACWA, Public Law 96-272) created a national framework for the present-day foster care and adoption assistance programs in the United States. The law was enacted in response to concerns, documented in several landmark studies in the late 1970s, that children were being removed from their […]

Adult Protective Services

  Adult Protective Services (APS) is the public agency generally mandated to receive reports of alleged elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Some version of APS (or lead elder abuse agency) exists in each state. Eligibility criteria and precise responsibilities and guidelines vary from state to state. In most jurisdictions, APS serves vulnerable adults (as defined […]