Finding ways to respond to those who have enacted violence and abuse against others has long been a challenge to the field of family therapy and community work – and it continues to be. This journal issue explores some of these challenges.

It begins with interviews with Nancy Gray and Amanda Reddick, and documents from Afro-Canadian communities in Nova Scotia, Canada. These pieces describe individual work, group work and community engagement, and convey how a team of workers, from differing cultural backgrounds, are working in partnership with local communities to respond to men’s violence.

These pieces are then followed by an interview with Tod Augusta-Scott, also from Canada, about his work with men who have enacted violence in intimate relationships.

Then the journal changes tack, with a paper from New Zealand by Julie Sach entitled ‘Conversations in groups with women about their experiences of using anger, abuse & violence’. Talking about women’s use of anger and violence is a complicated topic, and we hope to invite you into considering these complexities.

The final paper relating to responding to violence is by Mimi Kim, a Korean-American woman, and founding member of Incite: Women of Color against Violence, an organisation in the USA which is committed to addressing violence against women while also questioning and challenging the violence of the state. Mimi’s paper ‘Alternative interventions to violence: Creative interventions’ poses significant questions and dilemmas about ways forward in addressing family, intimate and other forms of interpersonal violence.

It is a thoughtful, challenging and hopeful collection of papers and we look forward to hearing from readers about your views, perspectives and stories on these issues.

The second part of this journal consists of a paper on a different, yet similarly important issue – ways of understanding and responding to drug and alcohol ‘addiction’. The paper ‘Deconstructing addiction & reclaiming joy’ consists of extracts from discussions on the Deconstructing Addiction League E-list. It includes correspondence between members, theoretical and practical considerations, celebrations, a virtual interview and definitional ceremony, as well as the first story in what is hoped to become an archive of practices of joy and connection – free from substances. It is, we believe, a joyful and rigorous piece. And again we look forward to your comments.

As this is the final journal issue for this year, we now look back over 2006. It has been a full year. Perhaps the paper that has attracted the most attention and enthusiasm has been ‘The Tree of Life’ by Ncazelo Ncube, published in the first journal issue of the year. Since then, it has been taken up and applied in a wide range of contexts and countries, and we continue to hear delightful feedback about it. As we send this edition of the journal to the printer, a number of us are about to travel to Uganda to meet up with Ncazelo and her colleagues who are now trying to support local workers in responding to the violence that has been occurring in that part of the world.

Thank you for your readership and support during 2006. We look forward to joining you again next year!

Warm regards,

Cheryl White