Shame and intimate abuse: The critical missing link between cause and cure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intimate abuse scholars have not, in general, recognized how central shame is in motivating perpetrators toward violence and in overshadowing a victim's experience of abuse. By teasing out what I call the shameful experience, victim and offender may gain new insight into the origins of violence. Acknowledging that shame is entwined both in the precipitation and reaction to violence provides a critical missing link in understanding the phenomenon of intimate abuse. Developing new mechanisms for identifying and addressing shame may be key to interrupting violence, as well as preventing its transmission to the next generation of victims and offenders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-638
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate abuse
  • Perpetrators
  • Shame
  • Treatment
  • Victims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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