Review: No Visible Bruises – Rachel Louise Snyder

My rating: 5/5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What we don’t know about domestic violence can kill us. An average of 137 women are killed by familial violence across the globe every day. In the US domestic violence homicides have risen by 32% since 2017. The WHO deems it a ‘global epidemic’. Yet the public understanding of this issue remains critically low. Rachel Louise Snyder is a journalist reporting from the front line where she interviews abusers, victims and families, painting vivid picture of this reality.

My thoughts

No Visible Bruises is a very different book to those that I usually read. This semester I working as part of a domestic violence clinic in which I helped victims of domestic violence with their legal needs and enquiries. This book was recommended by the professors to read in conjunction with the course. It has really changed my view on non-narrative non-fiction books.

This topic does not make this book an easy read and there will definitely need to be trigger warnings for abuse. This book is hard hitting and really does not sugar coat this issue, which I was pleased about. This is an issue that I have become passionate about after working with victims through the domestic violence clinic but this wasn’t the only reason that I enjoyed this book.

Rachel Louise Snyder sets out to dispel many myths about domestic violence such as “why doesn’t she leave?” and that men that abuse can’t be changes. She investigates and dismisses these common misconceptions expertly and the issues are thoroughly researched. The book reflects the time and effort has gone into researching this topic and this really makes the book such an excellent piece of literature.

The book is split into three parts showing the various stages of potential intervention of all agencies that deal with domestic violence. This leaves the reader with a clear understanding of domestic violence and where the issues with the system lie and how it is possible for cases to fall between the cracks. The book also shows how domestic violence can escalate and can soon become domestic homicide. The stories of the victims are told with care and consideration and at no point is the victim blamed, which is so important.

This topic is so important and really should be understood by everyone. Domestic violence can be seen as a private issue and as such the extent of domestic violence is not always appreciated. This book really brings it to the forefront in such a tactful way, with great respect shown to victims and their families. It is so well written and no prior knowledge of domestic violence or the systems in place are needed to understand the content of this book.

I cannot recommend this book enough and I truly think that it should be read by everyone.

Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.  


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