Interpersonal violence

Agency/Autonomy of Battered Women

  Agency is the power to direct one’s life. It is a core principle of the battered women’s movement. Historically, researchers and community actors adopted frameworks that characterized women’s responses to gender-based violence as lacking in agency. This resulted in advocacy approaches and judicial responses that ignored and compromised the agency of battered women. Subsequent […]


  Advocacy has been a core component of the movement to end domestic violence. Many of the principles of advocacy discussed here can be applied to all survivors of domestic violence, but this entry focuses on advocacy for the vast majority of these survivors— battered women. In this context, an advocate is someone who responds […]

Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse

  Many adults are survivors of childhood physical or sexual abuse. In the first and perhaps the most rigorous prevalence study on childhood sexual abuse ever done, Diana Russell found that 38% of adult females in the San Francisco area had experienced contact sexual abuse as a child. Although the commission of sexual abuse appears […]

Alcohol and Violence

  Alcohol is a powerful psychoactive (i.e., mind-altering) substance and its use is clearly linked to violent behavior. Numerous large-scale surveys and epidemiological studies show a link between alcohol and various types of violent behavior. Individuals who drink chronically as well as individuals who binge drink are at increased risk for perpetrating violence and becoming […]


  AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a fatal illness for which there is currently no known cure. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. The disease results in the deterioration of organ functions and development of rare cancers. The symptoms initially appear in the liver or other human organs. The virus […]


  AMEND, or Abusive Men Exploring New Directions, emerged in 1977 out of the Denver Commission on Human Relations to meet the community’s needs for intervention with abusive men whose partners had sought shelter. Permanent AMEND offices were established throughout metro Denver in 1985 to provide group and individual counseling services to men court-ordered into […]

Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia

  Dementia is a group of conditions that gradually destroys brain cells and leads to a progressive decline in mental function. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and most older individuals do not contract the condition. The disease is more commonly found among persons age […]

Alcoholics Anonymous

  Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an autonomous, nonprofessional organization with a focus on helping problem drinkers remain sober through a combination of self-help and mutual support. Founded in the United States in 1935, AA now counts more than 2 million members in over 100,000 AA groups worldwide. The AA platform treats alcoholism as an incurable […]

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children

  The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) is a national, nonprofit, multidisciplinary, membership organization focused on enhancing the ability of professionals to respond to children and their families affected by abuse and violence. Incorporated in 1987, APSAC has over 2,000 members from the disciplines of mental health, medicine and nursing, law, […]

American Humane Association

  The American Humane Association (AHA) is the oldest national organization with the dual focus of protecting children and animals, and it provides publicity, education, advocacy, and technical assistance to local child and animal protection organizations. AHA is active in professional training and development, humane education, disaster preparedness, emergency management, and family group decision making, […]