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Abstract

Informed by several studies of woman abuse in rural settings, the main objective of this paper is to discuss how key principles of Second Generation Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) can be applied to help design appropriate community-based prevention strategies for improving the security of women living in rural places from abuse by spouses and partners in both ongoing and terminated relationships. The gender-sensitive version of CPTED recognizes that communities are contested places where differing strands of values, norms, beliefs and tolerance for crime influence the security of rural women. Hence, some forms of social organization or collective efficacy (not social disorganization) may promote and condone rural woman abuse, and other forms serve to prevent and deter it. We propose a Second Generation CPTED framework that considers the utilization of four main strategies, each tailored to directly address feminist concerns and enhance a locality's collective efficacy to increase women's security: community culture; connectivity and pro-feminist masculinity; community threshold and social cohesion.
© 2009 Palgrave Macmillan 0955–1662 Security Journal Vol. 22, 3, 178–189
www.palgrave-journals.com/sj/
Original Article
Toward a gendered Second Generation CPTED
for preventing woman abuse in rural communities
Walter S. DeKeseredy
a
,
* , Joseph F. Donnermeyer
b
and Martin D. Schwartz
c
a
Criminology, Justice and Policy Studies, University of Ontario Institute of Technology , Oshawa , Ontario
L1H 7K4 , Canada .
E-mail: Walter.dekeseredy@uoit.ca
b
Rural Sociology Program, The Ohio State University , Columbus , Ohio 43210-1067 , USA .
c
Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University , Athens , Ohio 45701 , USA .
* Corresponding author.
Abstract Informed by several studies of woman abuse in rural settings, the main objective
of this paper is to discuss how key principles of Second Generation Crime Prevention Through
Environmental Design (CPTED) can be applied to help design appropriate community-based
prevention strategies for improving the security of women living in rural places from abuse
by spouses and partners in both ongoing and terminated relationships. The gender-sensitive
version of CPTED recognizes that communities are contested places where differing strands
of values, norms, beliefs and tolerance for crime infl uence the security of rural women. Hence,
some forms of social organization or collective effi cacy (not social disorganization) may promote
and condone rural woman abuse, and other forms serve to prevent and deter it. We propose a
Second Generation CPTED framework that considers the utilization of four main strategies, each
tailored to directly address feminist concerns and enhance a locality s collective effi cacy to
increase women s security: community culture; connectivity and pro-feminist masculinity;
community threshold and social cohesion.
Security Journal (2009) 22 , 178 – 189. doi: 10.1057/sj.2009.3 ;
published online 13 April 2009
Keywords: violence ; rural ; CPTED ; gender
Introduction
The purpose of this paper is to propose and discuss a framework for the development of
appropriate prevention strategies and actions to improve the security of rural women.
1
Specifi cally, we focus on violence against rural women by intimate partners in both ongoing
relationships and in the context of women who are attempting to separate / divorce from
abusive partners.
As Weisheit et al (2006, p. 2) correctly point out, In the minds of many, the crime
problem is, by defi nition, an urban problem. This notion of crime free rural communities
is perpetuated, in part, by the mass media ( DeKeseredy, 2007 ), and both fi ctional and
non-fi ctional accounts of rural places as displaying a slower, more peaceful way of life, with
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Preventing woman abuse in rural communities
tight-knit communities, strong family ties, picturesque churches, photogenic farms and
values based on self-suffi ciency and individualism ( Frank, 2003 ; Lichter et al , 2003 ).
However, equally culpable (if not more) for this neglect of rural crime are criminology
and criminal justice scholars themselves. We attribute part of this neglect to the way crimi-
nology developed in the twentieth century, especially in the United States ( Donnermeyer,
2007 ). Greatly infl uenced by the Chicago School of Sociology, one prominent criminology
theory that gained credence was the social disorganization theory, which, in its revised,
contemporary form as collective effi cacy, remains a major theoretical focus today ( Tittle,
2000 ; Cao, 2004 ). Social disorganization argues that as the cohesion or collective effi cacy
of places, large and small, decreases, crime is likely to increase. Cohesion, for example,
may be diminished by rapid population turnover (for example, people moving in and
moving out), high levels of poverty and high unemployment, among other factors. Unfortu-
nately, it is a perspective that most scholars over the decades would view as better suited to
the urban milieu than to the popular and scholarly stereotypes of rural places ( Donnermeyer
et al , 2006 ). Thus, most scholars assume that rural places possess more collective effi cacy
or organization than urban places, and have less crime. We call both assumptions into
question, and propose a Second Generation CPTED as a framework to address violence
against women.
2
Research and Theory on Rural Woman Abuse
Since the 1990s, a growing number of criminology and criminal justice scholars in various
countries have expanded rural crime research and discovered that rural crime rates are not
universally lower than urban crime rates, and for particular types of rural communities and
for specifi c types of offenses, the level of crime may be higher, and even much higher
( Donnermeyer, 2007 ; Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy, 2008 ). Also, some of this rural-
oriented research has begun to challenge the notion that disorganization and its conceptual
variants creates crime, as evidence indicates that it is forms of cohesion and integration that,
in reality, facilitate the occurrence of crime ( Barclay et al , 2004 ; Donnermeyer, 2007 ).
Nevertheless, the bulk of these rural scholars theoretical and empirical work ignores
gender-related issues, especially violence against women ( DeKeseredy, 2007 ). Consider,
however, the available evidence on abuse against women in the rural context ( DeKeseredy,
2007 ). Studies from rural Appalachia alone by Gagn é (1992) , Websdale (1995a, b) and
DeKeseredy and associates ( DeKeseredy and Joseph, 2006 ; DeKeseredy et al , 2006, 2007 )
reveal that sexual and other assaults against rural women by intimate partners is frequent.
3
Many feel more unsafe in their homes than at places beyond their homes, and feel as though
friends, family, neighbors, church leaders, local law enforcement and others are either
unsympathetic to their plight and / or slow to respond with any kind of help. DeKeseredy and
associates research specifi cally suggests that a dangerous time for these abused rural women
is during attempts at separation / divorce. These studies tell vivid stories of women who
want to leave but cannot, trapped by a nexus of physical and social isolation, and with few
alternatives for starting their lives over at another place, free from their abusive partners and
ex-partners.
These studies also point to one key factor in understanding rural women abuse that
can be framed as part of a social ecology of violence ( Heise, 1998 ). This factor is rural
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DeKeseredy et al
patriarchy ( Websdale, 1995a ; DeKeseredy et al , 2007 ). For example, Websdale (1995a) ,
citing the work of Walby (1990) on patriarchy, identifi es it as something that is a patterned
feature of rural social structure, hence, the behavior of abusive men is not abnormal, but
rather is embedded and reinforced within rural culture and society. Likewise, DeKeseredy
and associates discovered in their study from the Appalachian region of Ohio that male peer
support among abusive men is a key factor in understanding violence against rural women
( DeKeseredy, 2007 ; DeKeseredy et al , 2007 ).
Utilizing an ecological or place-based perspective, Heise (1998, p. 273) defi nes the
exosystem as informal and formal networks that create local norms for the control (or lack
thereof) of behavior. Hence, as a feature of the exosystem of a rural place, patriarchy
provides rationalizations and support for abusive behavior among localized networks of
certain rural men, much like peer delinquent groups in the sense of Sutherland’s (1947)
classic work on differential association. Heise (1998) expands the ecology of abuse with an
additional circle of factors that she calls macrosystem. The macrosystem is a broad set of
cultural values and beliefs that permeate and inform the inner circles of her ecological
framework, such as peer associations (exosystem), the microsystem (such as family factors)
and personal histories of both victims and perpetrators ( Heise, 1998, p. 277 ). At the macro
level, rural patriarchy is a feature of a cultural milieu that cuts across rural communities, but
frames what actually happens locally, and how specifi c cases of rural women abuse are
addressed at specifi c places.
Hence, one of the key determinants suggested by those who have focused on woman
abuse in the rural context is a particular type of collective effi cacy ’ or social organization
that encourages the violent victimization of women. Collective effi cacy is a concept
typically used in urban crime research and is defi ned as mutual trust among neighbors and
a willingness to act on behalf of the common good, specifi cally to supervise children and
maintain public order ( Sampson et al , 1998, p. 1 ). However, data gathered and analyzed
by DeKeseredy (2007) and DeKeseredy et al (2007) indicate that one type of collective
effi cacy in the rural Ohio study sites neither prevents nor deters separation / divorce sexual
assault, and instead encourages or facilitates this crime. Eighty-one per cent of the inter-
viewees stated that they personally know other women who were sexually assaulted,
suggesting that the victims were refl ecting a community-wide problem. Consider too,
47 per cent indicated they knew that the male friends of their ex-partners engaged in woman
abuse. Further, some of the interviewees described sexual assault incidents in which the
perpetrator enlisted the help of male peers ( DeKeseredy et al , 2006 ). It should also be noted
that 84 per cent of the participants stated that they could not count on their neighbors to help
solve their personal problems because they adhere to and enforce nonintervention norms
as a way to maintain public order ( Browning, 2002 ). Further, as Websdale (1998) earlier
discovered in rural Kentucky, in many places men can rely on their friends and neighbors,
including those who are police offi cers, to support a violent patriarchal status quo
even while they count on the same individuals to help prevent public crimes (for example,
vandalism), which to them is acting on behalf of the common good.
These ndings point toward the idea that collective effi cacy comes in a multiplicity of
forms, not just one as the quote by Sampson et al (1998) above suggests. Hence, multiple
forms of collective effi cacy exist, side by side, in the same rural communities. They do not
uniformly lead to less crime. Some forms do, and some forms do not, depending upon
the specifi c characteristics of a place and the people and groups who live there, and the
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Preventing woman abuse in rural communities
particular type of offense under consideration ( Donnermeyer et al , 2006 ). Interestingly, the
ndings of DeKeseredy and colleagues about collective effi cacy are similar to conclusions
about its infl uence reached by Barclay et al (2004) , based on their research of a very differ-
ent type of crime on the other side of the world from rural Ohio, namely, theft against farms
in rural Australia. In their research, police offi cers judged the legitimacy of a farmer s
allegations of cattle and sheep theft by a neighbor by considering their relative social status
in the community. Not only was it a case of one farm neighbor suspected of stealing from
another based on intimate knowledge of routines and when opportunities would arise,
but recourse to law enforcement was less available to the victim if the victim was a more
marginal member of the community, or the suspected perpetrator was a more respected
member of the community. Hence, they dubbed this phenomenon the dark side of
gemeinschaft ( Barclay et al , 2004 ).
Similar to Barclay et al ’s (2004) commentary on gemeinschaft , Websdale (1995a, b) and
DeKeseredy (2007) cite rural patriarchy as one feature of the rural scene that forms the basis
of support for abusive behaviors against rural women. It is embedded in the local culture,
but is not its sum total. In a sense, norms and values promoting abuse exist side by side in
rural places with norms and values that can be used to prevent and deter abuse. Hence,
security issues related to woman abuse in the rural context are two-fold. First, there are the
more direct and immediate threats to specifi c rural women in abusive relationships, and
actions of one type can be taken there. Second, there are the cultural and community factors
that defi ne a level of rural patriarchy which implicitly and even explicitly condones violence
against women if not contested.
What is to be done about the plight of many rural women described by DeKeseredy
and his colleagues, Gagn é (1992) , Websdale (1995a, b, 1998) , and other researchers (for
example, Navin et al , 1993 ; Krishnan et al , 2001 ; Logan et al , 2004, 2005 )? Here, we
contend that some key principles of Second Generation Crime Prevention Through
Environmental Design (CPTED) can be modifi ed to help reduce violence against women.
First we defi ne rural, followed by a description of a gender sensitive version of CPTED, and
then offer four kinds of strategies that address feminist concerns about the security of rural
women.
Conceptualizing Rural
Defi ning rural is not an easy task because rural communities themselves are quite diverse
( Donnermeyer et al , 2006 ; Weisheit et al , 2006 ). By virtue of smaller populations and pop-
ulation densities, we assert that people who live in rural areas are more likely to know each
other s business, come into regular contact with each other, and share a larger core of values
than is true of people in urban areas ( Websdale, 1995a, p. 102 ), which variously can be
referred to as a higher density of acquaintanceship, collective effi cacy and gemeinschaft ,
even though each has slightly different meanings in the sociological and criminological
literatures ( Amato, 1993 ; Barclay et al , 2004 ; Cancino, 2005 ; DeKeseredy et al , 2007 ).
Second, rural communities are susceptible to outside infl uences, more so today than in the
past because of a globalized economy and a pervasive mass media. Finally, the standardiza-
tion of education, communication, transportation and economic modes of production has
reduced the prominence of some of the unique expressions of localized rural culture, and
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DeKeseredy et al
with it, rural-urban differences in lifestyles have narrowed. Yet, rural people tend to be
more politically conservative and hold more strongly to values extolling the importance of
individualism and self-suffi ciency ( Fisher, 1995 ; Krannich and Luloff, 2002 ).
Our work borrows from Liepins (2000) conceptualization of rural communities as
places where people and groups engage in the construction and continuous revision of
meanings based on networks of groups and individuals. This includes networks of individu-
als who live within the community, but can also include individuals with ties to larger
networks of individuals which extend well beyond borders of specifi c places. Whether
entirely local or only partially so, these networks are representative of the shifting arrange-
ments of political, economic and social power within rural communities that, in turn, are
refl ective of larger social structural and cultural systems. In this sense, Liepins (2000,
p. 30) defi nition of a rural community as a place where temporally and locationally
specifi c terrains of discourse and power occur, is similar to Heise’s (1998) ecological
framework used to explain the etiology of violence against women. Hence, rural communi-
ties are indeed contested places in which instigated or purposive change to reduce violence
against women is always possible, no matter how dark and foreboding localized expressions
of rural patriarchy appear to be.
There is now suffi cient evidence from the few rural-located studies of woman abuse that
patriarchal male peer support, neighbor non-intervention and rural norms of patriarchy and
privacy, all of which are expressions of one kind of collective effi cacy, are signifi cant threats
to the security of rural women ( Miller and Veltkamp, 1989 ; Gagn é , 1992 ; Websdale,
1995a, b, 1998 ; Krishnan et al , 2001 ; DeKeseredy and Joseph, 2006 ; DeKeseredy et al ,
2006 ). These new ways of thinking about rural communities and collective effi cacy have
profound implications for the development of appropriate responses to curbing women
abuse.
Applying Second Generation CPTED to Rural Woman Abuse
As noted by Saville (2004, p. 1) , There is this persistent belief that CPTED ends at the phys-
ical environment; that our responsibility stops by modifying the built environment to reduce
crime opportunities. Further, CPTED, in its original form, focused mainly on curbing public
crimes in socially and economically disenfranchised urban communities, such as improving
the territorial control people have over their buildings ( DeKeseredy et al , 2003 ), and ignored
more private crimes, such as violence against women. As well, there were concerns that the
rst generation of CPTED merely displaced crime and that demographic, economic, socio-
logical and cultural features of a place were far more predictive of crime and criminal oppor-
tunities than a locality s physical dimensions ( Brassard, 2003 ; Cozens et al , 2005 ).
Reacting to these limitations, scholars have created a Second Generation CPTED, one
that focuses heavily on generating the kinds of collective effi cacy through community
capacity building that can act as a counterforce to rural patriarchy and other forms of rural
social organization that perpetuate women abuse ( Cleveland and Saville, 2003 ). Second
Generation CPTED is similar in some ways to the concept of community readiness
( Donnermeyer et al , 1997 ; Edwards et al , 2000 ). The idea of readiness is that there are
levels or stages of relative support for localized interventions and preventive actions
among neighborhood and community leaders. Actions that enhance the readiness of local
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Preventing woman abuse in rural communities
leaders / elites to take women abuse seriously are key to building positive forms of collective
effi cacy and strengthening specifi c actions among all citizens (both leaders and followers)
that may be undertaken to reduce women abuse.
Second Generation CPTED is about developing and improving forms of defensible space
through engaging in community level activities that create forms of locality-based discours-
es concerning norms, beliefs and values about various security issues which can function
to deter potential offenders ( Cleveland and Saville, 2003 ; Saville, 2004 ). In this paper, we
focus on rural communities and the idea that rural patriarchy, as a form of collective
effi cacy, may be diminished and even eliminated through appropriate activities that strength-
en other forms of collective effi cacy which enhance the security of rural women and deter
abusive / violent behavior by rural men. Moreover, DeKeseredy et al (2004) have already
provided examples of how this new variant of CPTED can be modifi ed to help reduce
private violence against women in North American urban public housing.
Implications for Security
We build from the conceptual framework of a gendered Second Generation CPTED,
supplemented by the concept of community readiness, to defi ne four interrelated strategies
to combat violence against women and improve their security, namely, community culture,
connectivity and pro-feminist masculinity, community threshold and social cohesion.
Community culture
This element calls for the development of a shared history through the use of festivals,
sporting events, music and art ( Cleveland and Saville, 2003 ). Occasionally defi ned
as placemaking ( Adams and Goldbard, 2001 ), this strategy involves the use of plays,
concerts and paintings that sensitize rural residents about the pain and suffering associated
with woman abuse. Such cultural work, including designing tee shirts and quilts to memo-
rialize women s victimization, could be done in schools, places of worship, county fairs,
community centers and other visible places with the assistance of community members.
This type of cultural work is routinely done in many parts of Ohio, which is deemed to be
a Mecca for the quilt community ( Feldman, 2004, p. 4 ).
Although the activities may appear mundane and traditional, perhaps even trivial, their
revised context represents one set of strategies for breaking down rural patriarchy and promoting
greater awareness of woman abuse by giving public voice to the issue and confronting public
expressions of rural patriarchy. As well, they serve to increase the readiness of communities
to sustain actions on a wider scale ( Donnermeyer et al , 1997 ), supported by law enforcement,
elected offi cials and other local elites because it is expedient and in their vested interest to
conform to new standards, rather than clinging tightly to anachronistic forms of patriarchy.
Connectivity and pro-feminist masculinity
Abused rural women suffer from higher levels of social and geographic isolation than their
urban counterparts ( Logan et al , 2004 ; DeKeseredy, 2007 ). Thus, it is necessary to build
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DeKeseredy et al
easily accessible women s centers in rural communities or very close to them ( Hornosty and
Doherty, 2002 ). The creation of these safe places should be done with private and public
support, and they do not have to focus only on issues related to abuse. For example, with the
assistance of US Department of Labor demonstration grants, similar to Job Readiness
Programs offered in Kentucky woman abuse shelters,
4
women ’ s centers could offer
educational programs aimed at training unemployed women for jobs contributing to their
economic independence.
Although there are variations in the pro-feminist men s movement, a general point of
agreement is that men must take an active role in stopping woman abuse and eliminating
other forms of patriarchal control and domination throughout society ( DeKeseredy et al ,
2000 ). Most men do not beat or rape female intimates and sizeable portions of them are
eager to eliminate woman abuse ( Katz, 2006 ). Moreover, we are increasingly seeing the
presence of alternative masculinities incompatible with violence in rural communities,
which offers hope that large-scale transformations in the rural gender order are possible
over time that may in turn lead to reductions in gendered violence ( Hogg and Carrington,
2006, p. 183 ). Still, regardless of where they live, most anti-sexist men do not frequently
socialize with other males who are concerned about enhancing women s health and well-
being ( DeKeseredy et al , 2000 ). Thus, formal pro-feminist men s organizations, such as the
National Organization of Men Against Sexism should be invited to hold town hall meetings
in community centers, at church events and regular meetings of civic and business organiza-
tions, and other settings where it is possible to increase awareness of the problem and its
impact on women, children, schools and the community at large. As well, it provides an
opportunity for local networks of pro-feminist men to get together and develop individual
and collective strategies to reduce woman abuse, and to partner up with established
community organizations.
Pro-feminist men are involved in an ongoing process of changing themselves through
self-examination and self-discovery ( Funk, 1993 ), with the ultimate goal of shedding their
patriarchal baggage ( Thorne-Finch, 1992 ). Moreover, they continue to take great strides
in their day-to-day life to escape from the man box and to move from being simply
well-meaning men to becoming pro-feminist men. The man box is a term created by
Tony Porter (2006a) and in this box are the following elements of hegemonic masculinity
( Connell, 1995 ): avoid all things feminine; restrict one s emotions severely; show tough-
ness and aggression; strive for achievement and status; exhibit non-relational attitudes
toward sexuality; measure up to the patriarchal view of the ideal masculine body; and
actively engage in homophobia ( Messerschmidt, 2000, p. 93 ).
According to Porter (2006b, p. 1) , a well-meaning man is:
a man who believes women should be respected. A well-meaning man would not
assault a woman. A well-meaning man, on the surface, at least, believes in equality
for women, a well-meaning man believes in women s rights. A well-meaning man
honors the women in his life. A well-meaning man, for all practical purposes, is a
nice guy, a good guy.
However, well-meaning men also directly or indirectly collude with abusive men by
remaining silent. As Bunch (2006, p. 1) correctly points out, When we remain by-standers
we are making a choice to support the abuse. Hence, pro-feminist men s organizations at
the local level represent another form of placemaking ( Adams and Goldbard, 2001 ) by
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Preventing woman abuse in rural communities
building new networks of individuals who publicly display similar beliefs, values and
behaviors ( Kimmel and Mosmiller, 1992 ). Pro-feminist men are vocal about ending male
privilege, woman abuse, and other highly injurious symptoms of patriarchy, and work
collectively to get this done ( Thorne-Finch, 1992 ). For example, pro-feminist men boycott
strip clubs, confront men who make sexist jokes and who abuse their female partners,
support and participate in woman abuse awareness programs, and express their views by
supporting and voting for local offi cials who believe the same and are ready and willing to
implement policies and actions that breakdown rural patriarchy related to violence against
women ( Funk, 2006 ; Katz, 2006 ). Initiatives such as these, according to proponents of
Second Generation CPTED, bring people together in common purpose and connect them
with outside groups that can help them acquire fi nancial and other forms of support for their
efforts ( Cleveland and Saville, 2003 ). Outside groups such as the Ohio Domestic Violence
Network can also help people avoid reinventing the wheel. Still, regardless of which strat-
egies are suggested, they must be tailored specifi cally to meet the unique needs of each rural
community.
Community threshold
Rural researchers argue that fear of crime may be increased in rural communities by low
levels of policing, the absence of streetlights and other factors ( Weisheit et al , 2006 ). As in
North American public housing estates, vandalism is a powerful determinant of women s
fear of crime in rural areas ( Donnermeyer and Phillips, 1984 ; DeKeseredy, 2007 ).
5
Regard-
less of what motivates it, fear of crime in public places of any population size infl uences
people to stay inside. Similarly, fear tactics by abusive men force their female victims
to remain indoors, making it even harder to obtain knowledge about services available to
abused women, and for them to develop social ties with neighbors who might be willing
to confront the men who assault them in their homes or elsewhere.
Note that a key fi nding of Sampson et al ’s (1998) study of collective effi cacy is that com-
munity threshold can be enhanced and violent crimes can be reduced in neighborhoods of
concentrated urban disadvantage when people band together for informal social control and
to pool their collective power to extract such resources as garbage collection and housing
code enforcement. Saville (1996) also recognizes tipping points, that is, places are com-
posed of people and groups with a capacity for action that is not unlimited. In terms of
informal social control within contested communities, actions taken through Second
Generation CPTED help tip the balance in favor of pro-feminist approaches. As well, these
activities have positive, ancillary benefi ts when they are publicly visible, by symbolically
declaring that women abuse is wrong and has no place in a rural community, hence, increas-
ing the readiness of community leaders by putting pressure on them to support interventions
that reduce women abuse, and ties into their vested interest to be re-elected or re-appointed
( Donnermeyer et al , 1997 ).
Social cohesion
Second Generation CPTED studies show that teaching positive communication skills
and confl ict resolution enhances community cohesiveness ( Saville and Clear, 2000 ). All
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DeKeseredy et al
communities, even small ones, are composed of complex networks of people ( Oetting
and Donnermeyer, 1998 ; Liepins, 2000 ). Hence, reducing woman abuse in rural communi-
ties requires tapping into these pre-existing networks that already express or have the
potential to more strongly take a stand and engage in positive forms of collective effi cacy
that fi ght against established forms of patriarchy. For example, schools are the primary
social centers for all members, young and old, in many rural communities. Schools should
build general domestic violence awareness programs into the curriculum and offer ongoing
programs that encourage equal, healthy relationships between boys and girls ( DeKeseredy,
2000 ). To supplement such programs, booklets such as Today ’ s Talk About Sexual
Assault should be distributed to teenage girls throughout rural areas ( Victoria Women’s
Sexual Assault Center, 1994 ). The Victoria Women s Sexual Assault Center defi nes
the specifi c characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships so that adolescent
girls can better judge their relationships with males. It also offers advice on how to avoid
abusive boys.
Conclusions
As Websdale (1998, p. 194) discovered in his study of woman battering in rural Kentucky,
Any social policy initiatives must use the structure of rural patriarchy, in all its intricate
manifestations, as an essential frame of reference. Thus, sexism in all aspects of rural
women s lives must be reduced and even eliminated, and the promotion of gender equality
on farms, in workplaces, in families, in schools, athletics and so on should not be an after-
thought. Indeed, there is ample evidence to support the claim that the institutionalization of
feminist interests remains the keystone to specifi c action for building up forms of collective
effi cacy that reduce and even eliminate woman abuse in rural communities ( Mazur and
McBride-Stetson, 1995, p. 10 ).
Hence, security issues in rural communities, and ways to address them for the prevention
and deterrence of women abuse, works at two levels. The fi rst represents all of the
specifi c actions taken by law enforcement, shelters and other advocacy groups for
women who are victims or at high risk of abuse. This fi rst level of security can include
the built environment and issues of territoriality as defi ned by the older or fi rst generation
defi nitions of CPTED. Yet, when these actions are tied to the idea that security for
rural women as potential victims of violence by men occurs within cultures of rural
patriarchy, they take on a different context. This leads to the second level of security,
one which is an issue of local culture and the readiness of local elites and key community
networks to support actions that prevent and deter women abuse and struggle against
local expressions of culture and networks which condone woman abuse ( Donnermeyer
et al , 1997 ). This includes movements such as pro-feminist rural men who, along
with women, build secure communities embedded in cultures absent of patriarchy and
related male networks that support violence against women. These illustrate the develop-
ment, strengthening and even reconstruction of forms of collective effi cacy to improve
rural women s security, hence contesting, countering, weakening and even eradicating
other forms of collective effi cacy that allow rural patriarchy to threaten rural women s
well-being.
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Preventing woman abuse in rural communities
Acknowledgements
We would like to thank Gerard Cleveland and Gregory Saville for their comments and
criticisms.
Notes
1 A revised version of this paper was presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice
Sciences, Seattle. Some of the research reported here was supported by National Institute of Justice Grant 2002-
WG-BX-0004 and fi nancial assistance provided by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Offi ce of the vice
president for research at Ohio University, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, College
of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Ohio State University. Arguments and fi ndings included
in this paper are those of the author and do not represent the offi cial position of the US Department of Justice,
Ohio University or the Ohio State University.
2 See DeKeseredy (2007) for a review of the extant North American social scientifi c literature on woman abuse in
rural communities.
3 Following Koss, Gidycz, and Wisniewski (1987) and DeKeseredy et al (2006) , these behaviors include:
(1) sexual contact, including sex play (fondling, kissing or petting) arising from menacing verbal pressure,
misuse of authority, threats of harm or actual physical force; (2) sexual coercion includes unwanted sexual inter-
course arising from the use of menacing verbal pressure or the misuse of authority; (3) attempted rape includes
attempted unwanted sexual intercourse arising from the use of or threats of force, or the use of drugs or alcohol;
and (4) rape includes unwanted sexual intercourse arising from the use of or threats of force and other unwanted
sex acts (anal or oral intercourse or penetration by objects other than the penis) arising from the use of or threat
of force, or the use of drugs or alcohol.
4 See Websdale and Johnson (2005) for more information on these programs.
5 See Alvi et al (2001) and Renzetti and Maier (2002) for data on women s fear of crime in North American public
housing.
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