Recommended Reading

There is an abundance of written material on the issues of sexual assault and relationship violence and an increasing amount of research in the field, both internally and across other studies. The Aurora Center recommends a variety of reading materials, work by professionals in the field, and research to learn more about the issue of gender violence.

This is not an exhaustive list and we encourage you to search on the web (which we’re sure you have already) but look specifically at such as publishing websites like SAGE Publications and library resources specific to these issues. The Aurora Center relies on peer-reviewed journals such as Violence Against Women and Journal of Interpersonal Violence for research. Below will also list various websites with document libraries with publications and/or suggested readings as well as recommended sources for statistics.

Finally, The Aurora Center has a small library of videos available for limited check out.
Contact us for more information. Please note that we cannot mail out videos.

Disclaimer: Inclusion on this list does not indicate preference or official sponsorship of the author or organization by The Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education. The resources may or may not necessarily reflect The Aurora Center’s mission or philosophy. This limited resource page serves to help you get started in finding a resource that best fits your needs.

We also recommend checking out MINCAVA Electronic Clearinghouse for an extensive clearinghouse of information and reading materials.

Professionals in the Field

Jackson Katz

Jackson Katz is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education with men and boys, particularly in the sports culture and the military. An educator, author and filmmaker, Katz is co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society. MVP is the most widely utilized sexual and domestic violence prevention program in professional and college athletics.

Recommended Book:
The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help

This book convincingly makes the case that violence against women is a men’s issue. Katz takes the reader deep inside male culture to examine why so many men physically and sexually abuse women and children, including those closest to them. Written for both women and men, The Macho Paradox provides women with original and creative ways of thinking about how to reverse this ongoing national tragedy. It also makes a powerful case to men that the only way to end the abuse and mistreatment of women is for many more self-identified "good guys" to make these issues their own. Because men’s violence against women is a problem in both white communities and communities of color, the book explores some of the ways in which issues of race and ethnicity intersect with sexism.

The book also contains fascinating commentary on such high-profile and controversial subjects as Eminem, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime debacle, the Scott Peterson case, pornography, prostitution and stripping, rap and rock music, sexism in male sports culture, Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and Kobe Bryant.

Recommended Video:
Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity

Tough Guise is the first educational video geared toward college and high school students to systematically examine the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the U.S. at the dawn of the 21st century. In this innovative and wide-ranging analysis, Jackson Katz argues that widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere, needs to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity. This exciting new media literacy tool-- utilizing racially diverse subject matter and examples-- will enlighten and provoke students (both males and females) to evaluate their own participation in the culture of contemporary masculinity.

Jean Kilbourne

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. Her films, slide lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses today.

Recommended Book:
Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel

Many advertisements these days make us feel as if we have an intimate, even passionate relationship with a product. But as Jean Kilbourne points out in this fascinating and shocking exposé, the dreamlike promise of advertising always leaves us hungry for more. We can never be satisfied, because the products we love cannot love us back. Drawing upon her knowledge of psychology, media, and women's issues, Kilbourne offers nothing less than a new understanding of a ubiquitous phenomenon in our culture. The average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day and watches three years' worth of television ads over the course of a lifetime. Kilbourne paints a gripping portrait of how this barrage of advertising drastically affects young people, especially girls, by offering false promises of rebellion, connection, and control. She also offers a surprising analysis of the way advertising creates and then feeds an addictive mentality that often continues throughout adulthood. - book jacket

Recommended Videos:
Killing Us Softly 3

Her award-winning films Killing Us Softly (1979) and Still Killing Us Softly (1987) have influenced millions of college and high school students across two generations and on an international scale. In this important new film, Kilbourne reviews if and how the image of women in advertising has changed over the last 20 years. With wit and warmth, Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and commercials to critique advertising's image of women. By fostering creative and productive dialogue, she invites viewers to look at familiar images in a new way that moves and empowers them to take action.

Spin The Bottle: Sex, Lies, and Alcohol

Against the backdrop of a popular culture that glamorizes and normalizes excessive drinking and high-risk behaviors, Spin the Bottle explores the role alcohol plays in college life. Award-winning media critics Jean Kilbourne and Jackson Katz examine the relationship between media, gender, and alcohol, while campus health professional speak about the impact of heavy drinking on the lives of students. Throughout the video, young adults give voice to the complexity of the issue, honestly acknowledging their own enjoyment while simultaneously exploring the negative consequences. The conclusion offers concrete strategies for countering the ubiquitous presence of alcohol propaganda and challenges young people to make conscious decisions about their own lives.

David Lisak

David Lisak is a nationally recognized forensic consultant, trainer and lecturer. His research and applied forensic work on non-stranger rapists has helped guide rape prevention and response policies in major institutions, including the U.S. Armed Services and numerous colleges and universities. His research on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse has helped focus public attention and spur new initiatives. He is a founding board member of 1in6, a national non-profit devoted to helping men who were sexually abused as children. He has several published research articles about perpatrator behavior and college sexual assault.

Byron Hurt

More than a filmmaker, Byron Hurt is an anti-sexist activist who provides cutting-edge male leadership, expert analysis, keynote addresses, and workshop facilitation in the field of sexual and gender violence prevention and education. He creates socially relevant, cutting-edge documentary films about race, class, and gender for diverse national and international audiences.

Recommended Video:
Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a riveting documentary that examines representations of gender roles in hip-hop and rap music through the lens of filmmaker Byron Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist. Conceived as a "loving critique" from a self-proclaimed "hip-hop head," Hurt examines issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture.

Robert Jensen

In his research, Jensen draws on a variety of critical approaches to media and power. Much of his work has focused on pornography and the radical feminist critique of sexuality and men's violence. In more recent work, he has addressed questions of race through a critique of white privilege and institutionalized racism.

Recommended Book:
Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity

Pornography is big business, a thriving multi-billion dollar industry so powerful it drives the direction of much media technology. It also makes for complicated politics. Anti-pornography arguments are frequently dismissed as patently "anti-sex"-and ultimately "anti-feminist"-silencing at the gate a critical discussion of pornography's relationship to violence against women and even what it means to be a "real man."

In his most personal and difficult book to date, Robert Jensen launches a powerful critique of mainstream pornography that promises to reignite one of the fiercest debates in contemporary feminism. At once alarming and thought-provoking, Getting Off asks tough but crucial questions about pornography, manhood, and paths toward genuine social justice.

Gail Dines

Gail Dines received her Ph.D. from Salford University in England. She is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Wheelock College in Boston. Her numerous articles on pornography, the media and violence have appeared in academic journals and books, as well as in magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, Time, Working Woman, New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, Daily Mail (England). Dr. Dines has also been on shows such as Donohue, Sally Jesse Raphael, Entertainment Tonight, and is a frequent guest on radio shows across the country.

Recommended Books:
Gender, Race and Class in Media

Incisive analyses of mass media - including such forms as talk shows, MTV, the Internet, soap operas, television sitcoms, dramatic series, pornography, and advertising - enable this provocative new edition of Gender, Race and Class in Media to engage students in critical mass media scholarship. Issues of power related to gender, race, and class are integrated into a wide range of articles examining the economic and cultural implications of mass media as institutions, including the political economy of media production, textual analysis, and media consumption.

Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality

Exploring the beginnings of the commercial pornography industry, the book focuses in part on the history of Playboy magazine. It also analyzes the content of contemporary mass-market videos. Dines, Jensen, and Russo argue that the sexual ideology of patriarchy eroticizes domination and submission, with pornography playing a significant role in how these values are mediated and normalized in American society. They discuss the effects of pornography on the lives of those who use it and those against whom it is used. In so doing, the authors hope to contribute to creating a world in which sex is not a site of oppression but of liberation.

Recommended Video:
The Strength to Resist: The Media's Impact on Women and Girls

"The Strength to Resist:The Media's Impact on Women & Girls" is a 33 minute documentary about the image of women in advertising. The film presents the ideas of girls and young women as well as those of the leading authorities in the fields of psychology of women and girls, eating disorders, gender studies, violence against women, and media literacy--and focuses their ideas on practical solutions and the best tactics for reclaiming our culture.

Peggy Reeves Sanday

"Peggy Sanday has long been a dissenting voice in the debates about the universality of male dominance. This pioneering feminist anthropologist now gives substance to her arguments, redefining matriarchy and revealing the power of maternal symbols through an accessible ethnography of a famous matrilineal community." - Lila Abu-Lughod. Anthropology and Women's Studies. Columbia University.

Recommended Article:
Rape-Prone Versus Rape-Free Campus Cultures

Published in VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN,Vol. 2 No. 2, June, l996, pp. 191- 208. Utilizing the concept of rape-free and rape-prone societies, I suggest that the next step for rape research is to investigate rape-free campus environments. Based on the articles in this volume and ethnographic research, I summarize what is known about rape-prone fraternity cultures and compare this information with a rape free fraternity culture. The question of variation is also examined by comparing the rape incidence and prevalence rates averaged by campus using the data of Koss's national study of 32 campuses. The question of the criteria by which campuses might be labeled rape free or rape prone is raised.

Recommended Books:
Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus

One specific occurrence of a gang rape that occurred on a college campus in 1983; focuses on how men view rape, particularly the male college students. Basically, they thought that it was not rape because they did not have to use force even though she did not consent; they felt that they were merely taking advantage of the situation not the person. Describes gang rape as "a form of male bonding for which the female is merely an available instrument." - Lois G. Forer, author of Foreword and judge in several rape cases.

A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial

Society's reaction to rape and the history of societal beliefs concerning sexual domination of women and how those beliefs influence the amount of acquaintance rape that occurs.

Donna M. Hughes, Ph.D.

Donna M. Hughes  is a leading international researcher on trafficking of women and children. She has completed research on the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Korea. 

She does research and writing on women's rights. Her topic areas include: violence, slavery, sexual exploitation, Islamic fundamentalism, and women's organized resistance to violence and exploitation. She also works on issues related to women, science and technology. 

Recommended Reading:
Fact Sheets and Research Reports
Opinion and Analysis Articles
Violence Against Women and Children

Jeff Edleson

Jeffrey L. Edleson, Ph.D., is a professor in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and Director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. He is one of the world's leading authorities on children exposed to domestic violence and has published over 100 articles and eight books on domestic violence, group work, and program evaluation. Professor Edleson's research, policy and practice interests have earlier focused on research on batterer intervention programs. In recent years, his work has focused primarily on the impact of adult domestic violence on children and how social systems respond to these children.

He is also the co-author with the late Susan Schechter of Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice (1999, co-authored with Susan Schechter, NCJFCJ). Better known as the “Greenbook", this best-practices guide has been the subject of six federally-funded and numerous other demonstration sites across the country.

Recommended Reading:
Included in a list of publications is a well-known book he co-authored, Sourcebook on violence against women.

Keith Edwards

In 1995 Keith attended a workshop on men's role in ending rape and was immediately engaged with the program. He realized the impact he could have with his male peers on campus and the gender equity movement in general. He soon began presenting workshops and is now a nationally recognized speaker and consultant. Keith has spent the past six years presenting nationally on engaging college men in sexual assault prevention at more than 20 colleges and universities. In addition to this work, Keith has been invited to present on diversity and social justice education at numerous national conferences and has written several articles on these issues.

Recommended Presentation / Video:
She Fears You

The nationally recognized presentation, She Fears You, uses dialogue, activities, and a multi-media presentation so that both men and women are encouraged to be active in changing the rape culture on campus, a culture that encourages or condones rape to happen. The program identifies for men what they have to gain from ending campus rape - that they are no longer perceived as potential rapists but as individuals capable of entering caring and emotion-based relationships.

She Fears You utilizes provocative posters to capture the attention of men. Properly channeled, that attention serves as the turning point whereby men, provoked by their emotion, realize avenues for their energy. Strategies are offered that will allow men and women to play a part in ending rape according to their own comfort levels. Confronting t-shirts objectifying women, interrupting daily conversations describing women as sexual objects, challenging the party scene on campus which frames women as targets, and recognizing messages in the media which normalize seeing women as victims are some of the ways participants leave the session with a vivid understanding of the issues and tangible ways to make change happen.

Mary Koss

Dr. Mary P. Koss is a Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health specializing in sexual violence. A clinical psychologist by training, she has twice testified before the U. S. Senate and participated in congressional briefings. She has served on expert panels for the New York Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Science. She serves as a member of the management committee of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, funded by the Global Forum and based at the World Health Organization. In recognition of her contributions the American Psychological Association honored her with its 2000 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy; and its Committee on Women in Psychology selected her to receive its 2003 Leadership Award. Her current work involves implementing a restorative justice program for selected sexual offenses, studies of alcohol and violence among American Indian tribes, and behavioral HIV/AIDS prevention in South Africa.

In selected publications is a work titled, "Narrative constructions of sexual violence as told by female rape survivors in three populations of the southwestern United States: scripts of coercion, scripts of consent."

Brett Sokolow

Brett Sokolow is a specialist in campus safety, security and high-risk student health and safety issues. He is the President of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), a national multidisciplinary risk management consulting firm. In addition to his consulting activities, Mr. Sokolow has also provided awareness and education programs for students at over 1,400 colleges, high schools and military institutions. Through NCHERM, Mr. Sokolow has published numerous books and articles on student affairs and risk management topics. He provides expert witness services, and lobbying efforts for campus crime and sexual assault-related legislation.

Recommended Reading:
Included in his published works is a chapter titled, "Sanctioning for Sexual Misconduct." In The NCHERM Chronicle of Campus Conduct. Vol. 1, Issue 31. October 21st, 2005. NCHERM: Malvern, PA.

Big Voice Pictures: "Boys and Men Healing" Video by Kathy Barbini and Simon Weinberg

"Boys and Men Healing" is an empowering film about male survivors of child sexual abuse, healing and speaking out - important for the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The impact of male childhood sexual abuse on society, individuals, and the cycle of violence, are so very important in addressing prevention, education, and healing.

Books and Anthologies with Multiple Authors

Transforming a Rape Culture 2nd edition
Emilie Buchwald (Editor), Pamela Fletcher (Editor), Martha Roth (Editor), Bell Hooks (Contributor), and Carol J Adams (Contributor)

First published in 1993, this pioneering anthology is a powerful polemic for fundamental cultural change: the transformation of basic attitudes about power, gender, race, and sexuality. The diverse contributors range from free thinkers, activists, academics, religious zealots, anti-porn crusaders, and popular authors of all genders. The book's statistics have been updated, with new essays on sexual violence in US schools, the church, Internet porn, the role of sports in sexual violence, rape in war, and from immigrant communities who struggle against the stigma of reporting rape. The book proves that violence is not limited to one race or gender, but has its roots in cultural biases that are in need of change. Contributors include bell hooks, Dworkin, Michael Messner, Carol J. Adams, Yvette Flores, and many more in this 400-page volume.

Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence: Readings in Research and Application
Edited by Randall Lockwood and Frank R. Ascione

The landscapes of violence have become too familiar, too close to home. Despite decades of scientific research, we are only beginning to understand the roots of violence that connect child maltreatment, spouse and partner abuse, and aggression in our neighborhoods and communities. Cruelty to animals is often part of these landscapes of violence-at times, a strong link to destructive interpersonal relationships. Research on this link has recently received increased attention. However, the layperson, student, and professional interested in this link often face the daunting task of locating the critical references in this area of inquiry. Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence presents in one volume historical, philosophical, and research sources that explore the maltreatment of animals and the ways people hurt each other. Diverse disciplines are represented among the readings, including psychology and psychiatry, criminology, social work, veterinary science, and anthropology. A bibliography of related books and articles is provided for readers who wish to pursue this topic in greater detail.

Selected Websites with Document Listings

Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse

This expansive collection of titles is an excellent source for finding material ranging from child abuse to human rights.

Domestic violence

Violence in adolescent and teenage dating relationships

Multicultural issues related to domestic violence

Sexual and Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community



Other bibliographies and resource listings

Violence Against Women Network (VAWnet)
The mission of the Violence Against Women Network (VAWnet), the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, is to harness and use electronic communication technology to end violence against women.
There is a growing conversation here in the U.S. and abroad about the need to incorporate community engagement and organizing into domestic violence prevention and intervention strategies. This link contains reports, articles and organizations that have been critical resources in that effort.
A list of recommended sources for information related to domestic/relationship violence.
Written material on lesbian battering and sexual violence.

Selected Research and Sources for Statistics

"The Sexual Victimization of College Women." Fisher et al. National Institute of Justice, 2001.

Tjaden, P and Thoennes, N. Stalking in America: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Study. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. 1998.

"Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim," released by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The Community Engagement Continuum: Outreach, Mobilization, Organizing and Accountability to Address Violence Against Women in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Intimate Partner Violence, 1993 - 2001. Callie Marie Rennison.