Domestic Violence: Fiction and Nonfiction

Violence against women is a global problem, affecting people all over the world. Often the violence is domestic abuse, or physical or emotional abuse within an intimate relationship. These books will help you learn more about this serious issue. To seek help for yourself or someone you love call the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-838-8238.

Purple Hibiscus

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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"In the city of Enugu, Nigeria, fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother, Jaja, lead a privileged life. Their Papa is a wealthy and respected businessman; they live in a beautiful house; and they attend an exclusive missionary school. But, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, their home life is anything but harmonious. Her father, a fanatically religious man, has impossible expectations of his children and wife, and severely punishes them if they're less than perfect. Home is silent and suffocating. When Kambili's loving and outspoken Aunty Ifeoma persuades her brother that the children should visit her in Nsukka, Kambili and Jaja take their first trip away from home.

"Once inside their Aunty Ifeoma's flat, they discover a whole new world. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins' laughter rings throughout the house. Jaja learns to garden and work with his hands, and Kambili secretly falls in love with a young charismatic priest. When a military coup threatens to destroy the country and Kambili and Jaja return home changed by their newfound freedom, tension within the family escalates."

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The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

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Winner of the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this unforgettable portrait of a young black girl, her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

On Film:
Be sure to check out the powerful 1985 movie version, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Whoopie Goldberg.

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When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse

By K. J. Wilson

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Contents:

Introduction -- The dynamics of abusive relationships -- The effects of family violence on children -- Teen dating violence -- The intimate relationship between substance abuse and domestic violence -- Battered women and the legal system -- Living underground -- The oppression that binds : barriers to living violence free -- For friends, family, and loved ones : when someone you know is being hurt -- Domestic violence and the workplace -- Battered women and their health : the response of the medical community -- Battered women and communities of faith -- Domestic violence and the military -- Creating a community response to domestic violence -- Intervention strategies for battered women and their children -- Advocacy and empowerment -- Intervention and prevention programs for batterers -- Loving ourselves : self-care for helpers -- The national domestic violence hotline -- A history of violence against women.

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Scared Silent: The Mildred Muhammad Story

By Mildred Muhammad

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"Mildred Muhammad, the former wife of convicted 'D.C. sniper' John Muhammad, breaks her silence about the domestic violence she suffered during their marriage and the tragic events that occurred after their divorce, which led up to the October 2002 sniper killings in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area."

Includes discussion guide, listing of state coalitions against domestic violence, and a safety plan for victims in a domestic violence situation.

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Healing Suicidal Veterans: Recognizing, Supporting and Answering Their Pleas for Help

By Victor Montgomery

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"There are 24.5 million military veterans in the United States; Seventeen of them each day will take their own lives. Homelessness. Alcohol and drug abuse. Unemployment. Domestic violence. Minds plagued by war scenes. The numbers are staggering and growing daily...Respected crisis intervention therapist and Vietnam veteran Victor Montgomery, III, has worked with thousands of veterans contemplating suicide. His unique, positive method: Explores the psychological wounds of war, significantly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI); Outlines warning signs of a veteran in distress; Examines the distinct issues facing women in the military; Provides an in-depth guide to veteran-related networks, organizations, and programs; Offers uplifting, inspirational stories of rescue and redemption..."

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When Katie Wakes: A Memoir

By Connie May Fowler

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"In this piercing memoir, Fowler chronicles the emotional battery and physical abuse that marked her own passage to adulthood. She draws a searing portrait of growing up with her manipulative and needy mother, a woman unable to give the love and comfort every child has a right to expect. And then, as a young woman, Fowler found herself involved with a man whose behavior disturbingly echoed her mother’s. The man she lived with alternately displayed a desperate need for her or rejected her as if she were worse than useless. With heart-wrenching candor, Fowler records the abuse she suffered at his hands, from his constant attempts to undermine her self- confidence to his acts of brutal physical violence. The unconditional love Fowler longed for finally came–in the shape of an adoring Labrador puppy named Kateland. With Katie at her side, she was able to withstand her mistreatment and the crushing weight of her childhood and, miraculously, managed to create a small refuge from the horrors that surrounded her."
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When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children to Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse

By Lundy Bancroft

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"...offers comfort, understanding, and a concrete plan of action to any woman concerned about the distress being caused to her children by her angry, controlling, or abusive partner. Written for mothers, this book aims to enlighten women about the effects of abuse on children, how an abusive partner distorts familial relationships, and what can be done about it."
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To Be an Anchor in the Storm: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women

By Susan Brewster

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"A comprehensive education on domestic violence--and the tools to intervene in a way that helps, not hurts. To Be an Anchor in the Storm is the first hands-on guide for people who want to assist a friend or loved one in her struggle to escape domestic violence. The survivor of a batterer herself, Susan Brewster has counseled abused women for more than a decade. Now she weaves together lessons from her own life and many case histories, including the complete story of a woman called Jackie, as she supports her sister's attempts to leave an abusive husband.

"Brewster will teach you how to recognize the signs of abuse, handle your own negative feelings, become an effective advocate, deal with the batterer, and more. Her compassionate book will give you the understanding you need to give strength to women who are trying to break free."

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The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond

By Patricia M. Evans

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Verbal abuse doesn't leave the same physical evidence as battery, but it can be just as painful, and can actually take longer to recover from. The new edition of this important reference covers the most recent developments in dealing with verbal abuse and answers the questions readers ask most on the subject.

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The Domestic Violence Sourcebook

By Dawn Bradley Berry

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"A comprehensive, compassionate look at domestic violence--including historical, psychological, social, familial, and legal issues--this well-organized, accessible book offers the most current information available on prevention and recovery, along with practical steps for escaping a violent domestic situation."

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