There is so much that could possibly be said about gender and violence. The prospect of producing a comprehensive Handbook engaging with all possible dimensions of gender and violence, thought together (how might we understand ‘gender violence’? is violence gendered? is gender violent?) and separately (what does it mean to associate ‘gender and violence’? what do these concepts mean and how do they function in the world, in our knowl- edge claims?), is daunting indeed. In fact, the idea of a comprehensive Handbook is an illusion: a venture such as this one can only ever be partial, and, as such, is necessarily limited and exclusionary. It seems important to acknowledge this partiality openly, to explain how and why the decision was made to include certain topics and not others, and to ensure that this volume is positioned as a single intervention into an ongoing space of debate and contestation.