CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

An Ecosystemic view of family violence

Department

Department of Family Therapy

Publication Date

1-1-1989

Publication Title

Family Therapy

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

1

Last Page

10

Abstract

Family therapists have been criticized by some feminist theorists for their orientation toward spouse and child abuse. It has been asserted that a relational understanding of family violence results in the abused being blamed for acts which are clearly the responsibility of the abuser. This paper argues that while we surely must avoid the trap of "blaming the victim," we must also beware the lure of simply blaming the "victimizer." Both views separate abuser and abused within a dichotomous logic of attribution. An epistemology which separates self and other is a breeding ground for exploitation and engenders solutions of dismemberment. Connective contextual solutions require an ecosystematic approach that pays heed to the recursive nature of the relationship.