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.

The Abusive Personality: Violence and Control in Intimate Relationships

By Donald G. Dutton

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"Are we missing the point in the treatment people who abuse others? According to Dutton (psychology, U. of British Columbia) abusers are not just acting out of emotions that lead to assuming inappropriate control. He has found in his research and practice that many have borderline personality characteristics and trauma symptoms requiring different approaches than many therapists currently follow.

"In this new edition, updated to reflect the latest theory and findings, Dutton takes into account earlier approaches to the treatment of abusers and the reasons why such approaches may or may not have been effective. He goes deeply into the data, describing what it says about rage, attachment, the cycle of violence. Longitudinal development and borderline disorders, and also examines female abusive personalities. He concludes by describing practical, cognitive-behavioral approaches in the treatment of those who assault.'

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Saving Beauty From the Beast: How to Protect Your Daughter from an Unhealthy Relationship

By Vicki Crompton and Ellen Zelda Kessner

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"For parents who are concerned that their daughter is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, here at last is a book based on personal experience and authoritative research that provides answers. Dating violence affects a huge number of teenage girls -- one in three girls between the ages of ten and eighteen reports having been assaulted by a boyfriend -- and can run the gamut from possessiveness to stalking to outright physical abuse. Often it is the girls with the highest self-esteem, those who believe they are in control of their lives and can bring out the best in their boyfriends, who find themselves in the grip of a relationship in which the tables have been turned."
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Family and Friends' Guide to Domestic Violence: How to Listen, Talk and Take Action When Someone You Care About Is Being Abused

By Elaine Weiss

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Weiss’s book is a comprehensive look at violent relationships and explores how friends and family can help their loved ones who are involved in one:

1. Getting involved -- 2. Understanding domestic abuse -- 3. Understanding psychological abuse -- 4. Understanding abusers -- 5. Talking and listening -- 6. Taking action -- 7. Special circumstances : pregnancy, disability, teen dating -- 8. Remaining involved --  Checklist 1. Warning signs of domestic abuse -- Checklist 2. Abusers use a wide range of tactics to achieve control -- Checklist 3. What would it take for an abuser to change? -- Checklist 4. How dangerous is this abuser? -- Checklist 5. Planning for safety if she stays with her abuser -- Checklist 6. Planning for safety if he is removed from the home or she has left -- Checklist 7. Planning for safety during a violent incident -- Checklist 8. Health and unhealthy relationships -- Checklist 9. How teens can help their peers -- Checklist 10. An abuser uses a variety of tactics to regain control if his victim leaves.

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Domestic Abuse: Our Stories

By M. Webb

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"There is a misconception in our society about abuse. My intent with this book is to select some accounts of abuse to show that these things can and do happen in a lot of families, not just to the poor and uneducated. We get to enter these households and see that these women don't instigate these attacks, nor do they enjoy them. These women deserve to be heard and we need to listen. Domestic abuse is in the papers every day. Maybe this book will give women the courage to leave their abusers and help us to better understand this growing problem. My hope is that these stories stay with my readers long after they put the book down."
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Whispers

By Belva Plain

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Robert and Lynn Ferguson seem to have a perfect life. But behind the perfect appearance, things are very different. Not even their friends know the truth, although when they see Lynn’s bruises, they begin to suspect. Can Lynn find the courage to admit the truth?

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The Woman Who Walked into Doors

By Roddy Doyle

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The author of The Commitments and Paddy Clarke Ha-Ha-Ha, winner of the 1993 Booker Prize, tells the story of Paula Spencer, a woman approaching forty and struggling with alcoholism and a violent marriage. Paula Spencer is the sequel.

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Strange Fits of Passion

By Anita Shreve

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Although journalists Harold and Maureen English seem the have the perfect marriage, things are very different behind closed doors. When Maureen is severely beaten, she escapes to Maine with her infant daughter. But Harold follows right behind her.
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Rose Madder

By Stephen King

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Rosie Daniels flees her nightmare marriage to find refuge in a strange city, far from her brutal husband, Norman, whose relentless savagery and mad obsessions follow her to her sanctuary and drive her to transform herself to survive.
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Picture Perfect

By Jodi Picoult

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Anthropologist Cassie Barrett is swept off her feet by actor Alex Rivers when she serves as an advisor on his latest film. However, the picture-perfect Hollywood marriage is not as perfect as it seems. Alex has had a troubled life, and Cassie becomes the victim of his abuse.

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Journey

By Danielle Steel

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Maddy Hunter seems to have it all. She’s a popular TV news anchor and married to the wealthy, handsome owner of the station, Jack Hunter, who saved her from an abusive first husband. What people don’t see is that Jack is a controlling man who constantly belittles and insults Maddy.

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