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  • Author or Editor: April N. Terry x
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Sexual assault research, and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV), has focused nearly exclusively on urban areas, ignoring the documented differences between metropolitan and rural communities. Additionally, as research has indicated, many juvenile and criminal justice system involved girls and women enter the system with histories filled with chronic traumatic experiences, including extensive histories of sexual violence. Using a feminist criminology foundation, this chapter adds to the understanding of girls’ and young women’s experiences with sexual assault in their rural communities, with specific interest in gaining insight into how ‘close-knit’ environments respond to survivors of sexual violence. Data were gathered through a larger project incorporating interviews with one rural Midwestern state’s only population of incarcerated youth and young women as well as community stakeholders. Open-coding identified that while community workers believe survivors are seeking faith-based organisations for assistance, at-risk young women are not directed to such individuals. Family status influences how communities respond to survivors of sexual violence – in some instances, survivors are ignored, in other cases, their abuses are criminalised. While the community perception is that at-risk young women are seeking help from their religious leaders, this pathway to ‘help’ may be specific to citizens already involved within their faith communities – a sample of patrons that do not include outsider families. Yet, policy implications would encourage collaborative work, both domestically and internationally, with faith-based organisations and other community providers to ensure holistic services for all rural survivors.

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Gender-based violence (GBV) has profound effects on victims in rural areas due to culturally constructed gender roles, the density of acquaintanceship, the stigma of abuse and poverty, a lack of access to housing and services, and other challenges. It is important to examine and explore theories of violence in rural communities and provide policy recommendations to service providers to better respond to unique circumstances. The current text is a new addition to understanding GBV in rural America. Issues of domestic violence and sexual assault in rural communities have not been well studied due to a lack of accessible data and seminal mainstream criminological research focused on densely populated areas. As an example, feminist criminology has helped advance the academic understanding of GBV, providing a critical framework for understanding patriarchy and gender-specific issues. Other concerns, such as the geopolitics and lack of services and legal support that tend to reinforce violence, victimisation and girls’ delinquencies, are emerging issues in the field of rural justice. Researchers and practitioners are eager to understand the causes and provide effective policies to address the recurring problems.

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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) takes many forms, including direct physical, psychological, emotional and economic abuse, and indirect abuses such as intentional gender blindness. These actions, or inactions, can have detrimental effects across generations and cultures. The triangulation of GBV, rurality and rural culture has become a challenging, yet essential, topic. The discussion on rural crime is also timely and urgent when considering most criminological theories in the Western world focus on urban settings. Since the definition of rural and rurality differs worldwide, the study of the phenomena of violence and rurality needs innovative, sophisticated and up-to-date methodologies. In this text, readers explore the most current research about GBV in the United States with implications that can be applied internationally, with chapters utilising qualitative and quantitative methods. Chapters are rich and diverse in topics, focused on oppressed groups such as immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and ally plus (LGBTQIA+), by exploring new theories on the patterns of violence with a spotlight on patriarchy. Chapters examine best practices to positively affect the lives of survivors – moving from policy review into actionable change. The text collects a series of research and agency reports that provide a holistic view of GBV in rural communities. The text also emphasises insights on the prevention and education of GBV from youth to college-aged adults. The text introduces interdisciplinary approaches (such as community justice and non-profit victim advocacy work) to tackle intersectional issues of GBV in rural areas.

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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 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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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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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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