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Reading List on
Domestic Violence

Myths and Facts about Mother Absence
More Research Myths and Facts

NEW  Coercive Control: Review by Diane Post
More comments on-line here by the author, Dr. Stark.

NEW  Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships, Evan Stark and Eve S. Buzawa, ed.

Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life, by Evan Stark (Oxford University Press)

RAISING BOYS WITHOUT MEN mothers movement Despite its great achievements, the domestic violence revolution is stalled, Evan Stark argues, a provocative conclusion he documents by showing that interventions have failed to improve womens long-term safety in relationships or to hold perpetrators accountable. Stark traces this failure to a startling paradox, that the singular focus on violence against women masks an even more devastating reality. In millions of abusive relationships, men use a largely unidentified form of subjugation that more closely resembles kidnapping or indentured servitude than assault. He calls this pattern coercive control. Drawing on sources that range from FBI statistics and film to dozens of actual cases from his thirty years of experience as an award-winning researcher, advocate, and forensic expert, Stark shows in terrifying detail how men can use coercive control to extend their dominance over time and through social space in ways that subvert womens autonomy, isolate them, and infiltrate the most intimate corners of their lives. Against this backdrop, Stark analyzes the cases of three women tried for crimes committed in the context of abuse, showing that their reactions are only intelligible when they are reframed as victims of coercive control rather than as battered wives. The story of physical and sexual violence against women has been told often. But this is the first book to show that most abused women who seek help do so because their rights and liberties have been jeopardized, not because they have been injured. The coercive control model Stark develops resolves three of the most perplexing challenges posed by abuse: why these relationships endure, why abused women develop a profile of problems seen among no other group of assault victims, and why the legal system has failed to win them justice. Elevating coercive control from a second-class misdemeanor to a human rights violation, Stark explains why law, policy, and advocacy must shift its focus to emphasize how coercive control jeopardizes womens freedom in everyday life. Fiercely argued and eminently readable, Starks work is certain to breathe new life into the domestic violence revolution.

APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family

ON-LINE:  The Court Order in In Re Sharline Nicholson, et al., March 1, 2002 -- Judge Jack Weinstein details his findings on the outrageous removal of children from, and further abuse of battered women by CPS workers in New York pdf file to download 329kb

ON-LINE:  Stalking Through the Courts: The "Father's Right's" Movement -- How to Legally Stalk, Harass, and Intimidate Victims of Domestic Violence after a Restraining Order has been Issued

ON-LINE:   When Paradigms Collide: Protecting Battered Parents and Their Children in the Family Court System , by Clare Dalton, 37 Fam. & Conciliation Courts Rev. 273 (1999)

ON-LINE:   Protection from Abuse Orders offer the shelter of the law -- PFAs are viewed as the first line of defense for someone trying to keep safe from an abusive partner.  By Mackenzie Carpenter, Post-Gazette 8/29/99.

ON-LINE:  Understanding the Batterer in Visitation and Custody Disputes, by R. Lundy Bancroft   Why abuse may be reported for the first time at the time of a separation or divorce; critique of Janet Johnston's categories of batterer; more.

ON-LINE:  MINCAVA, including articles of Barbara Hart, Esq., others

Beware Family Court:  
What Victims and Advocates Should Know Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence


The following list. which has been supplemented, originally was compiled by Susan Chalfin and Karen Michelle Mirko.  Please credit them when republishing.  Contact to suggest additions to this page. Inclusion on this list does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by; reviews and comments are solicited and welcome. 

Battered Wives, revised, updated, by Del Martin (Volcano Press 1976, 1981)

A classic text which was one of the first books to address domestic violence. Martin documents domestic violence in its entirety: the social constructs that facilitate men abusing and women staying, how legal services and social services can work against the victim, and how shelters work.

The Battered Woman, by Lenore Walker (Harper and Row 1979)

Walker explores the myths and realities about battered women. She explains the dynamics of learned helplessness and the cycle of violence within the relationship. Includes chapters on safe houses, legal and medical alternatives and psychotherapy for women in abusive relationships.

The Battered Woman Syndrome, by Lenore Walker Ed.D. (Springer 1984)

An update of her previous book, Walker includes psychosocial characteristics of battered women and their abusers. Contains chapters on the impact of violence in the home on children, the correlation of alcohol and drug use and violence and psychological and legal responses to changing violent relationships.

Battered Women in the Courtroom: The Power of Judicial Responses, by James Ptacek. (Boston: Northeastern University Press 1999)

How the behavior and demeanor of judges affects law and justice in battery situations.

BONSHEA, by Coral Anika Theill BONSHEÁ: Making Light of the Dark, by Coral Anika Theill (2012 ed.)

NEW EDITION - press release April 2013! "On March 10, 1996, I was forced, by an Order of the Court, and by my ex-husband, his attorney, his family and religious supporters, to do something that raged against my good conscience, my common sense and against all my motherly instincts. After a temporary custody hearing, a Court Order signed by Judge Norblad forcibly removed my nursing baby and two youngest children from me. I obeyed the Court Order and gave my children over to my ex-husband. I drove to the hospital, rented a breast-pump and later collapsed and went into shock. I could not understand what had happened and why. I have not yet recovered from the shock; perhaps I never will... Mr. Warner and his attorney, Mr. Lawrence, were pleased... they had taken away my children."

The Burning Bed, by Faith McNulty (Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1980)

Based on the true story of Francine Hughes who, after suffering years of chronic abuse, burned her husband to death while he slept. A detailed chronicle of the interactions and events between husband and wife, this book illuminates the reader as to how this woman could commit murder.

Called To Account: The Story of One Family's Struggle to Say No to Abuse, by M'Liss Switzer and Katherine Hale (Seal Press 1984, 1987)

A personal account of a Minnesota woman who after twenty years of abuse held her husband accountable and helped him change his violent behavior.

Child Custody and Domestic Violence, (Volcano Press, right)

Dating Violence: Young Women in Danger, by Barrie Levy (Seal Press 1991)

Anthology of personal stories, critiques by researchers and social analysts, intervention strategies and education and prevention projects.

Domestic Tyranny: The Making of American Social Policy Against Family Violence from Colonial Times to the Present, by Elizabeth Pleck (Oxford University Press 1987)

Documents the attention given to domestic violence from the first American reform against family violence in 1641 to the more recent feminist-led, battered women's movement and the different forces that have shaped social reform.

Every Eighteen Seconds: A Journey Through Domestic Violence, by Nancy Kilgore (Volcano Press 1992)

Written as a series of letters to her son, Kilgore explains her abusive relationship with her husband. At the end of each letter there is are exercises to educate and help the reader understand her own abusive relationship.

Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse, edited by Kersti Yll* and Michele Bograd (Sage Publications, Inc. 1988)

An anthology of researchers and activists who present empirical data and narrative testimony on aspects of male violence against women from criminology to the Stockholm syndrome.

Getting Free: You Can End Abuse and Take Back Your Life, by Ginny NiCarthy (Seal Press 1986)

Comprehensive workbook for battered women which delves into all aspects of intimate violence from the social aspects of abuse to self-help activities to getting professional help to restarting your life after you have left. Also has chapters on lesbian violence and teenage dating violence.

Healing Your Life: Recovery from Domestic Violence, by Candace Hennekens (Pro Writing Services and Press 1991)

Written by a formerly battered woman, this self-help book examines the emotional aspects of being a battered woman and the steps to take to leave an abusive relationship. Also offers suggestions on how to build a healthy relationship.

Learning to Live Without Violence: A Handbook for Men, by Daniel Jay Sonkin, Ph.D and Michael Durphy, M.D. (Volcano Press 1989)

Workbook with exercises for men to help them work through anger constructively and change their behavior within an intimate relationship. Includes starting a self-help group.

Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men & Domestic Violence, by David Island and Patrick Letellier. New York, NY: Harrington Park Press, 1991.

Naming the Violence: Speaking Out About Lesbian Battering, edited by Kerry Lobel for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Lesbian Taskforce (Seal Press 1986)

Anthology of personal stories and the community-organizing strategies to support and empower battered lesbians.

Next Time She'll Be Dead: Battering and How To Stop It, by Ann Jones (Beacon Press 1994)

Analyzes the attitudes and institutions in society which contribute to domestic violence. Chapters deal with how the legal system leaves women unprotected, how language contributes to blaming the woman and what can be done by different branches of society to eradicate the problem.

The Ones Who Got Away: Women Who Left Abusive Partners, by Ginny NiCarthy (Seal Press 1987)

Thirty-three edited interviews from a diverse group of formerly battered women and their advice.

of a domestic Violence Prosecutor, by Michelle Kaminsky. Suggestions for Reform NEW  Reflections of a Domestic Violence Prosecutor: Suggestions for Reform, by Michelle Kaminsky (2011, 2012)

"The hardest thing to know about battered women is that the criminal justice system so often colludes with the batterers. Even when you see it, it's hard to understand exactly how and why. Now we have the story from inside. Michelle Kaminsky shows us how the system repeatedly fails the victims of domestic violence then they need protection, not punishment." -- Donna Ferrato, author of Living with the Enemy

Separation Assault in the Context of Postdivorce Parenting: An Integrative Review of the Literature, by Jennifer L. Hardesty Violence Against Women 8.5 (May 2002): 597-625.

Author discusses the negative implications of friendly parent provisions for abused women

Sourcebook for Working with Battered Women, by Nancy Kilgore (Volcano Press 1992.)

Written by a formerly battered woman who is now an educator on domestic violence, this manual offers suggestions on working with battered women, facilitating support groups and provides the necessary supplemental material.

Surviving Intimate Terrorism, by Hedda Nussbaum (PublishAmerica 2005.)

HEDDA NUSSBAUM: Surviving Intimate Terrorism Hedda Nussbaum, battered and bruised after years of torture by her domestic partner, Joel Steinberg, was abruptly thrown into the public spotlight in November 1987 after Steinberg assaulted and killed their daughter, Lisa. This book tells the painful story of Hedda's 12 years with Steinberg, how she went from quiet book editor to notorious battered woman blamed for her daughter's death because she didn't "get out" soon enough. But, as the title suggests, Hedda not only survived the double abuse, but grew strong in the process and went on to become an advocate for other battered women - writing and speaking, teaching women how to stay out of and/or to survive intimate terrorism. In her Prologue, Ms. Nussbaum states the book's primary purpose: "I pray that my story be an inspiration to women to see the truth before it's too late and to use their inner strength to save their own lives and those of their children. If this book saves just one child or one mother, I will be content. If it saves even more, I will be fulfilled."

Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. (Basic Books 1992.)

Documents research findings on traumatized people, including combat veterans, victims of political terror as well as victims of sexual and domestic violence. Contains chapters on childhood trauma and the experience of and defense used during chronic terror.

Violence Against Women: The Bloody Footprints, edited by Pauline B. Bart and Eileen Geil Moran (Sage Press 1993)

A broad-based anthology which analyzes violence against women in the home, in the workplace and in the streets. Covers different types of violence, structural supports for violence and the politics of institutional responses to violence.

Violent Betrayal: Partner Abuse in Lesbian Relationships, by Claire Renzetti. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., 1992.

Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse, by Michael Paymar (Hunter House 1993)

Written by a training coordinator at the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, this guide uses stories of both previously violent men and abused women, cultural explanations and self-help exercises to help men dealing with the issue of domestic violence change their behavior.

When Love Goes Wrong: What to do When You Can't Do Anything Right, by Ann Jones and Susan Schechter (HarperPerennial 1992)

Based on their work with women in abusive relationships, Jones and Schechter offer an analysis of controlling partners as well as concrete information on options women have in or out of the relationship, how they can find safety and support and a list of resources.

When Battered Women Kill, by Angela Browne (Free Press 1987)

Focuses on the patterns of violence in relationships involving the physical abuse of women by their male partners and the unfolding of events that lead to homicide committed by the woman victim. Also has chapters on the psychology of intimate relationships and the legal system.

When "I Love You" Turns Violent, by Scott A. Johnson (New Horizon Press, 1993)

In a clear and easy-to-understand style, this book provides definitions and examples of physical and emotional abuse. It describes the escalation and cycling of abuse as well as how abuse is learned. The emotional issues for the abuser and the victim that generally accompany the violence are contrasted with the emotional environment of a healthy relationship.

Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement, by Susan Schechter (South End Press 1982)

As an activist and social service provider, Schechter documents the movement's history and growth. Offers feminist analysis of violence in the home as well as the involvement of the judicial system and government in this social issue.

You Can Be Free: An Easy-To-Read Handbook for Abused Women, by Ginny NiCarthy and Sue Davidson (Seal Press 1989)

Based on Getting Free, this simply-written workbook for battered women covers all aspects of violence from defining the abuse to getting professional help from doctors, lawyers and the police. Also has chapters on lesbian violence and teenage dating violence.

War on Motherhood:
the new violence against women

the truth about gestational surrogacy and egg donation


Egg harvesting is an unregulated profit-motivated industry exploiting young women. Their bodies and body parts are reproductive commodities. Young women -- especially young, beautiful, smart university women needing money -- are targeted and recruited by the surrogacy and assisted reproduction industries for their eggs. "Designer offspring." Their eggs also are recruited, traded, sold and re-sold for stem cell embryonic research. These young women aren't fully told the risks, which are substantial, and in large part still hidden and unresearched...


The "mother" of any given child -- and in fact the only natural parent of any mammalian offspring -- is the female who gives birth to that offspring. For millennia, laws governing women and families have burdened and oppressed and sought to control this natural relationship and control women's reproduction by applying various political, social, cultural, religious, philosophical and legal assumptions, presumptions, beliefs, concepts and ideas about parentage and "paternity" and family that all hold at the core one common theme: they are wrong...


Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are copyright 1996-2013 the liz library. All rights reserved.
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