The Center on Violence and Recovery is dedicated to advancing knowledge on the causes of and responses to a wide range of violence, including abuse, terrorism, natural and manmade catastrophes, or other personal or community traumas.


The Center on Violence and Recovery was born out of founder Linda G. Mills' converging work...

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Linda G. MillsInsult to Injury: Rethinking Our Responses to Intimate Abuse

(Princeton University Press, 2003)


With Insult to Injury, Mills challenges the dominant paradigms surrounding the current system of addressing violence between intimates. She pushes us to question the origins of this violence, and to understand whether the popular approach to addressing intimate violence benefits all those we are trying to help. Are we listening to victims? Are we helping abusers rehabilitate? Does our current system of punishment actually solve the problem of domestic violence?


Mills also introduces us to the alternative approach of "Peacemaking Circles," an intervention she develops in Insult to Injury. Leading us through a careful plan for bringing families and communities together to address the violence between the couple, Mills pushes our understanding of what it means to participate in a violent dynamic.


Informed by compelling evidence, personal experience, and what abused women say about their own needs, Mills proposes no less than a fundamental shift in how we view the problem. Addressing the real dynamic of intimate abuse and incorporating proven methods of restorative justice, Mills' approach focuses on healing and transformation rather than punishment and blame.


Insult to Injury served as the inspiration for Hon. Mary Helen Maley to introduce Peacemaking Circles into her Southern Arizona courtroom as an alternative treatment approach to cases involving domestic violence. For the development of this program, see Chapter 14 in Violent Partners.




"What a breath of fresh air. [this book] takes on the entrenched and very powerful. Superb stuff. …Exhilarating." –Archbishop Desmond Tutu


"Here is a searching and spirited story of human intimacy as it sometimes descends into aggression: violence inflicted and vulnerability endured—a melancholy story told with thoughtfulness, with sensitivity, and with a brave willingness to consider the subtleties and ironies of affliction perpetrated and endured." –Robert Coles, Harvard University, editor of Doubletake magazine

"Mills' accomplishment is impressive and courageous. Clearly and even elegantly written, her book offers a way out of the current unproductive debate about the agency of women in abusive relationships." –Christine A. Littleton, Professor of Law and Chair, Women's Studies Programs, UCLA


"Mills is thoughtful, nuanced, and original in her analysis of intimate abuse. With compassionate insight, she reveals how insult can lead to injury and outlines a practical alternative path to healing and safety. This is a feminist critique, and a survivor's, of a mandated one-size-fits-all approach to punishing domestic violence. Mills moves our thinking beyond unilateralism, beyond bilateralism, to a multilateral approach to repairing lives shattered by violence. It poses a profound challenge to existing orthodoxy and should spawn a generation of empirical research to refute, refine, and vindicate its analysis." –John Braithwaite, Australian National University


"In this book, Linda Mills generates a bold and provocative thesis. While some may disagree with her, her views must be taken into account in the conversation on domestic violence." –Phyllis Goldfarb, Boston College School of Law


"Insult to Injury will change the public relationship to intimate violence: Linda Mills mines the depths of our personal denial, challenging us to return to what we somehow already know. She'll take hits for the honesty—and the expectations it holds out to us. But she's done the long labor of real scholarship, building a sturdy bridge to these next dangerous steps of trust." –Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx


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Linda G. MillsA Penchant for Prejudice: Unraveling Bias in Judicial Decision-making (The University of Michigan Press, 1999)


Mills combines a detailed empirical study of the decision-making practices of judges with a sophisticated theoretical argument that exposes contemporary myths about judging. She finds that, in practice, bias is a consistent dimension of what is considered 'impartial' decision-making.


Impartiality, as the legal system now defines it, is itself a form of bias. A historically and contextually sensitive definition of bias—one which takes account of the communities and cultures that come to be judged in the legal system—must be incorporated into our understanding of the process of judging in order to overcome the modern dualistic notion for impartiality as the exclusion of bias. Mills argues that we must reconsider the way we deal with bias in our training of judges and lawyers if we are to respond to the needs of diverse applicants and the judges who adjudicate their claims.


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Linda G. MillsThe Heart of Intimate Abuse: New Interventions in Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, and Health Settings (Springer Publishing, 1998)


In her first book on domestic violence, Mills contends that every abusive relationship has, paradoxically, a heart of its own. She argues that practitioners must acknowledge and engage this dynamic emotional center, in order for interventions to succeed.


The Heart of Intimate Abuse takes a broad, critical view of standard responses to abuse by today's criminal justice, social work, and medical systems – especially those that respond to violence with coercive interventions, such as mandatory arrest, prosecution, and reporting laws.


"In this compassionate study of domestic violence, Linda Mills has revealed a rarely-traveled path, the one into ourselves. The Heart of Intimate Abuse decisively shows that the best answers to domestic violence will not be found in systems and institutions. The answers are within those human beings willing to consider the roles of culture, fear, religion, and most ignored of all, love. Mills compels us to wonder how we ever thought we could do it any other way. Linda Mills effects change by affecting the heart." – Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear

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Controversial, provocative, and accessible, Violent Partners is unlike any other book on abuse and relationships, and highlights in great detail the complexities of violence through the stories of men and women who have acknowledged their abuse and sought to do something about it.

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