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Gender-based violence (GBV) can take many forms and have detrimental effects across generations and cultures. The triangulation of GBV, rurality and rural culture is a challenging and essential topic and this edited collection provides an innovative analysis of GBV in rural communities. Focusing on under-studied and/or oppressed groups such as immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the book explores new theories on patterns of violence. Giving insights into GBV education and prevention, the text introduces community justice and victim advocacy approaches to tackling issues of GBV in rural areas. From policy review into actionable change, the authors examine best practices to positively affect the lives of survivors.

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Gender-based violence (GBV) can take many forms and have detrimental effects across generations and cultures. The triangulation of GBV, rurality and rural culture is a challenging and essential topic and this edited collection provides an innovative analysis of GBV in rural communities. Focusing on under-studied and/or oppressed groups such as immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the book explores new theories on patterns of violence. Giving insights into GBV education and prevention, the text introduces community justice and victim advocacy approaches to tackling issues of GBV in rural areas. From policy review into actionable change, the authors examine best practices to positively affect the lives of survivors.

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Title IX of the Education Amendments Act requires institutions of higher education to respond to issues of sexual violence. However, research indicates that students often do not recognise behaviours characteristic of interpersonal violence unless blatantly physical in nature, even though emotional and sexual violence are equally common. Because students may not recognise these behaviours as interpersonal violence, these issues often go unreported, leading to long-term consequences, including anxiety, continued victimisation, depression, difficulty maintaining relationships and/or school failure. Additionally, those residing in rural communities are less likely to acknowledge and/or report such victimisation due to protecting the deeply entrenched ‘close-knit’ relationships. This chapter presents findings from a survey designed to measure undergraduate perceptions of interpersonal violence. Members of the research team attended 12 randomly selected junior and senior-level classes at a rural, liberal arts, teaching university. Students (n=247) viewed a series of vignettes depicting both violent and non-violent forms of interpersonal violence. Participants then provided basic demographic information and indicated whether each vignette demonstrated instances of interpersonal violence. Analysis accounted for differences in gender; race; whether the student, or someone they know, previously experienced interpersonal violence; and whether the student previously attended a programme educating students on the signs and symptoms of interpersonal violence. Findings confirm that education is effective for helping students recognise interpersonal violence. Expanding educational resources will aid campus college administrators in proactively reducing Title IX issues and effectively responding to Title IX issues after the fact.

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) poses a significant public safety and public health problem in the United States. This is especially salient in rural communities. Rural jurisdictions have a number of unique problems that may exacerbate the frequency of IPV compared to urban communities, including, for example, the increase in availability of firearms, geographical isolation from victim services, increased stigma associated with IPV, and a lack of financial resources. The purpose of this chapter was to utilise incident-based crime data and measures of rurality from the US Census Bureau to develop an understanding of how crime incident characteristics of IPV vary across mostly rural compared to mostly urban counties in the United States. Findings indicate differences in the seriousness of IPV offences, the presence of firearms, frequency of arrest, and whether victims cooperate with authorities between rural and urban counties. Policy implications are discussed.

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Victims of gender-based violence (GBV) who are non-citizens of the United States face unique challenges when seeking support from family and service providers. These challenges may be due to their sociolegal status in relation to their abusers and concerns regarding family ostracism and fear of deportation. In this chapter, the authors provided a detailed overview of pathways to obtain lawful residency in the United States and how they intersect with disadvantages when seeking services and legal support. The discussion also addresses victimisation experiences by non-citizens in rural areas and the challenges and barriers when considering rurality. Legal policy has been discussed to propose a better immigration relief process to support immigrants who experience GBV in the United States.

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Interdisciplinary Approaches

Gender-based violence (GBV) can take many forms and have detrimental effects across generations and cultures. The triangulation of GBV, rurality and rural culture is a challenging and essential topic and this edited collection provides an innovative analysis of GBV in rural communities.

Focusing on under-studied and/or oppressed groups such as immigrants and LGBT+ people, the book explores new theories on patterns of violence. Giving insights into GBV education and prevention, the text introduces community justice and victim advocacy approaches to tackling issues of GBV in rural areas. From policy review into actionable change, the editors examine best practices to positively affect the lives of survivors.

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Most studies of gender-based violence (GBV) remain outside mainstream scholarship and focus on overt cases of physical and sexual violence in urban areas. This study centres on a form of indirect GBV that has received almost no attention: the systemic invisibility of at-risk girls residing in rural communities without services or support, often propelling them into a juvenile justice system. We refer to gender blindness as active avoidance of gender as relevant, illuminating a continuum of GBV, including covert cases often unacknowledged. Relying on observation and personal interviews with more than 100 stakeholders, our research provides insider knowledge of rural communities in a Midwestern US state. Data identify mechanisms that contribute to indirect GBV, including: almost total disregard of gender-specific issues; active denial of gender inequities that disadvantage girls; and practices that perpetuate outsider status for ‘bad girls’ while normalising boys’ deviance. Such issues are most evident in, and exacerbated by, characteristics common to nonmetropolitan communities, such as high density of informal ties, strong patriarchal traditions, and lack of diversity and adequate resources. Practitioner-oriented suggestions are provided and draw attention to the need for gender-responsive data-driven decisions in all places, including rural communities.

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Victims in rural and isolated areas often face unique and complex obstacles when attempting to leave abusive situations because of culturally constructed gender roles, the stigma of abuse, poverty, a lack of access to housing and services, and many other challenges. Given the difficulties intimate partner violence (IPV) victims commonly encounter, the need to better measure the magnitude of IPV and resulting tangible and intangible costs becomes even more urgent. In this chapter, an extensive literature review examines the prevalence, incidences, needs and costs of IPV victimisation in rural areas. The authors provide a localised study on victimisation and rurality; the researchers surveyed service providers in Kansas, a predominantly rural state in the United States, for quantitative and qualitative data to explore the cost of IPV from practitioners’ perspectives. The chapter identifies the costs of IPV while providing critical knowledge to the field regarding the availability, accessibility, equity and effectiveness of the approaches to address IPV in rural communities. The goal is to understand how service providers in a rural area estimate IPV costs, both tangible and intangible, the challenges to estimating these costs, and any adverse circumstances that may mitigate or contribute to a higher risk of IPV. The chapter ends with empirically driven policy suggestions on access to rural justice to other rural communities.

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In the United States, many rural communities are confronted with the dual burden of intimate partner violence (IPV) and the opioid crisis. In the past decade, rural US communities have experienced extremely high rates of opioid use disorder and opioid-related fatalities. At the same time, rural communities continue to experience high rates of IPV and a lack of accessible services. This chapter presents the findings of an interdisciplinary, community-based participatory study of 33 rural Vermont residents who have experienced co-occurring opioid use and IPV and 18 service providers representing a county Coordinated Community Response team. Their experiences richly illustrate the reality of social and geographic isolation, inaccessible social services, and the amplified impact of stigma in small town settings. We demonstrate important challenges for delivering victim services for rural residents with complex, interrelated needs, especially when supporting communities via teleservices, as so many organisations have had to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conclude with recommendations for multidisciplinary, inter-agency approaches to reducing barriers to care.

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With the purpose to better understand common gender-based violence behaviours and to gather data on the frequency of teen dating violence in rural communities, Jana’s Campaign has administered the ‘Raise Your Hand’ activity from the 2007 edition of Building Healthy Relationships across Virginia: A Facilitator’s Guide to Teen Dating Violence Prevention in 27 rural secondary schools in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska with 2,866 middle and high school students. To participate, students are asked to close their eyes and place their heads on their desks for confidentiality purposes. Activity facilitators read a series of statements and data is recorded when students raise their hands to identify the unhealthy behaviours as something they or someone they know has experienced. The findings from this activity are used to guide Jana’s Campaign’s violence prevention education efforts with youth in schools and communities.

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