About the book

Who is this book for?

First and foremost, this book is for women who have experienced abuse from their male partner. The book offers women tools and information to make sense of what is happening to them. Women often feel isolated because their partners prevent them from accessing support, or because the right services are not available. We want women to know that they are not alone.

We hope to create opportunities for women to learn from the experiences of other women. We have included women’s stories throughout this book. We want women to know that many other women have experienced what they are going through. We know that women learn and draw strength and insight from each other. By sharing other women’s stories, women can begin to hear their own story more clearly.

Since this book was first published, we have discovered it also has a wider audience.

This book is for friends and family

Similarly, friends and family will find this a helpful book. When someone you love is being abused in a relationship, there is a natural impulse to stop the hurt as quickly as possible. Friends and family may make the mistake of oversimplifying the situation and pushing the woman to either leave the relationship or to “fix” it. Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about all the conflicting emotions and practical challenges of living with an abusive man.

What women need most are support people who appreciate how difficult their situation is and can hang in with them during the long run. This book can help you to be that kind of person.

Excerpts from the book

This book is for professionals

Professionals supporting women who have experienced abuse will find this book helpful. It will assist professionals to better understand the complex situations that women face as they try to protect themselves and navigate the maze of services. Counselors, advocates, shelter workers, mental health and addictions workers find this book a great guide for supporting women in both individual and group counseling. We are encouraged that doctors, lawyers, faith and community leaders often keep a copy of this book and make it available for their own reference and loan it to those seeking advice or direction.

About the third edition

We are very proud to announce that this third edition is published by Penguin Randomhouse.