Violence Goes to College: The Authoritative Guide to Prevention, Intervention, and Response (3rd edition). 2018. Authors: Christopher Bollinger, Rebecca Flintoft, John Nicoletti, Sally Spencer-Thomas, Mariya Dvoskina. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas, Publisher, LTD. 356 pp. $52.95. ISBN 978-0-398-09225-2 and https://www.ccthomas.com/details.cfm?P_ISBN13=9780398092252  

Review by Ally Marringa, College of Social & Behavioral Science, University of Utah, [email protected]

In the aftermath of violence on campus, many people say, “They just snapped!” when describing the perpetrators. In the third edition of Violence Goes to College, several campus violence practitioners and scholars come together to debunk the myth that violence cannot be understood, have warning signs, and those effected can only be reactionary. From multiple perspectives, this book tackles ways of prevention, intervention and long term response options to combat violence on personal and structural levels within the campus context.

Violence Goes to College is divided into four main parts: Understanding Violence, Creating a Culture of Safety, Recognizing Violence in Context, and Multiple Strains of Campus Violence. Each section builds upon each other and can be used by academic advisors in varieties of roles and campuses to ensure their spaces are safe and work to prevent crime. Advisors can be on the front line of seeing indicators of violence that are outlined within this guide, and should be experts on the policies surrounding reporting.

Since its previous editions, Violence Goes to College has expanded to include areas that are effecting our larger society that also impact campus violence. Some of these include: institutional culture and social justice issues, cyberbullying, gender-based violence and the impact bystanders have on campus violence. The guide also addresses issues of intersectionality when talking about these issues, and how some identities and combinations of identities are targeted more for violence, or can be forgotten about when making violence prevention plans.

Likely due to many authors and editors working together and trying to touch on all of the different types of violence people face on college campuses, there are some issues with this text. Often definitions are given after a word has been used several times before, or in previous sections (see, in loco parentis p.74). In several sections, the authors give advice only to contradict it right after (citing violence in video games as a way people can become desensitized to violence, only in the next sentence to say there is no research-proven basis for this p. 54).

Despite these faults, this guide is widely applicable to the many different types of roles one may have on campus, regardless of student, staff and even community status. It is its strongest when using case study examples, and giving concrete steps in how to create prevention plans on larger scales and how to react on an individual level to violence.

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