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No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,031 ratings  ·  379 reviews
An award-winning journalist's intimate investigation of the true scope of domestic violence, revealing how the roots of America's most pressing social crises are buried in abuse that happens behind closed doors.

We call it domestic violence. We call it private violence. Sometimes we call it intimate terrorism. But whatever we call it, we generally do not believe it has
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.52  · 
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 ·  2,031 ratings  ·  379 reviews

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Start your review of No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us
Julie Christine
A (now former) Facebook friend posted a meme on his page a few weeks ago: a photo of an attractive young woman sighting down the barrel of a gun. The caption read "This stops rape. Not a whistle."

Every fiber of my being screamed NO. Only in America would someone think to put a gun in a woman's hand and say "Save yourself." I trembled with rage, but I didn't have the arguments, the vocabulary, to understand why that photo enraged me, shook me to my core.

A week later I began reading Rachel Louise
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a WOW book for me. I know about domestic violence and worked briefly at a shelter when I was in college, but the book still blew me away. Snyder is the rare author that can make broader points by telling individual stories. She sneaks in facts and data and process in telling a compelling story. She also grapples with broader cultural issues and shows a lot of empathy for the perpetrators of violence. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are few books that manage to highlight a complex social issue, show you just how little you understand it, AND THEN provide a litany of ways we as individuals and a society can have a huge impact right now. Snyder made me understand that domestic violence impacts every life and society, and then did something that felt amazing in a world of depressing articles and troubling news reports: she demonstrated concrete ways to make change. She gave me policies to advocate for. NO VISIBLE BRUISES ...more
Donna Hines
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
It's a global epidemic. It affects everyone of every nationality, color, creed and socio economic status. It's intimate, personal, and it's terrorism.
The #MeToo movement and social awareness has raised domestic violence to a higher platform but not high enough.
We must break the glass ceiling for all involved including men, women, and children and most certainly families if we are to succeed.
I know I'm a survivor of domestic violence by a former spouse and malignant narcissism ( personality trait
Given the subject matter, clearly a lot of CWs here, particularly around violence and emotional abuse

This is exemplary non-fiction. I'm not totally sure if this should be characterized as narrative non-fiction, because while sections of it definitely read that way, other sections are more in line with a kind of deep reportage style that is common to a lot of non-fiction on these kinds of sociological or cultural topics. Taken all together, the book that this most reminds me of is I'LL BE GONE IN
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is such an important book, and also one of the most well-written non-fiction books that I have ever read - it is an absolute page turner. I feel that a copy of this should be sent to every law-maker in America, to help understand how to combat one of the leading causes of death for women, and to make everyone safer. Everyone should read this.
Laura Joakimson
Everyone who might want to save another person’s life needs to read this book.

This is not an easy book to read. For some reason I expected more statistics or a more dry recounting of facts.

But it’s very journalistically specific. It tells the story of a young woman who came under the complete influence of an older man. He had “coercive control” over her. She was fourteen when they met. They had two children together before she graduated from high school.

Many of the principles for recognizing
I have met both abusers and victims and had some disturbing details divulged to me, but that did not prepare me for this book. In fact, I feel badly I didn't know how gruesome that domestic violence really is. It's always kind of the thing we blame on the victim, partly out of misogyny, but I would also say we don't worry about it like, say, a mass shooting, because it's not something (we men especially) think is going to happen to us. It's something we chalk up to making poor decisions and ...more
Steve Ellerhoff
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every one of us needs to read this book. If you have not been hurt by intimate partner terrorism yourself, please make time for this book. For those of us who have, it is hard to read—but in the way that needed medicine can taste terrible. This book is one of those books that stands in a unique position to raise our consciousness for the better. In this case, it stands to normalize advocacy and protection for abused women and their children, who are murdered in numbers that dwarf our country’s ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy read, but a compelling one. Snyder has turned out a first-rate piece of research and writing that will shock and appall you. I hope this book winds every major prize possible, and that it gets tons of attention. It has a critically important message for the entire human race: domestic violence is a form of terrorism, and we need to change attitudes and laws to address it properly.
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely heartbreaking, but it's also 100% necessary. It's terrifying. TERRIFYING. But it's required reading. You should read it. I'm not kidding.

I know that I'm going to be thinking about this book for a really long time, and it has radically informed what I thought I knew about intimate partner terrorism (domestic violence).

I'm just in awe of this book. (Also, the read-time in no way indicates how compelling the book is; I constantly wanted to be reading it, but I also needed
julia ☆ [owls reads]
This is probably the most important book I'll ever read in my life.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a very cheery subject but a very affecting book that gives you an inside understanding of domestic abuse. I am wiser for having read it because I apparently didn't understand the many nuances to abusive behaviour . Things I hadn't ever considered. I now understand why the abused person doesn't just leave. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in social issues.
Beth Robinson-Kinney
This was well-researched, but honestly, I did not see a lot of new insight on IPV here. I may be biased and/or not the target audience for this book, since I work in the field, but overall, I was hoping for a bit more.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found an excellent review on this book in one of the more recent editions of The Weekend Australian. And it is definitely a good book, a painfully good and shocking book about domestic violence written by Rachel Louise Snyder, academic at one of the American Universities.
"No Visisible Bruises" is a big book, a hard work, a lot of research, interviews by Snyder and many valuable conclusions applicable not only for Americans but also for all the people in abusive relationships.
I found this book
Hayley Stenger
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read this year. Snyder does an excellent job of exploring domestic violence from several angles and then making it relevant to the national conversation. I particularly loved how Snyder brought herself into the discussion and her expertise in the area. Usually it bothers me when authors do this, but in this case it made the book feel more intimate.
Maureen Grigsby
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding assessment of the current state of handling of domestic terrorism cases by police, social agencies, victims, and perpetrators. Very good and very scary.
This is a fantastic piece of nonfiction. Well researched and compellingly readable. It’s definitely not an easy read but everyone should read this book.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sooo good, but such a heavy and emotionally-exhausting book. I need to read something light and fluffy after this. Also, it kinda made me hate men just a little bit more.
Emily Nostro
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Everyone should read this book. You might think that the subject matter would make it too harrowing, but somehow Snyder manages to lead you through it and to leave you somewhat hopeful that things will change. I really cannot recommend it enough.
Anita Cassidy
Felt so uneasy reading this and then I realised why: the author is so classist and does not evaluate or critique her own viewpoint at all. She seems more interested in telling stories than really interrogating the issues at play with IPV. Really disappointing.
Nicolaus Stengl
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
According to a study, which reexamined gender differences in U.S. homicides (published in Violence and Gender, Vol. 6, No. 1), Emma E. Fridel and James Alan Fox found that homicides by intimate partners has been increasing in the last few years. As the New York Times reported, “the number of victims rose to 2,237 in 2017, a 19 percent increase from 1,875 killed in 2014…The majority of the victims in 2017 were women, a total of 1,527.” The decline in homicides by intimate partners began in late ...more
Karen Ng
The #metoo movement has raised awareness of sexual abuse at work, in schools, churches and organized sports, but what if the terrorism happens in your own house- in your home that supposedly is your "safe haven" from the hectic outside world. You are abused emotionally, verbally and physically behind the locked door. When the person that promised to love and take care of you does exactly the opposite? What if the person who claims he loves you more than anything controls your every move, ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an important topic but its treatment here disappointed me. What the author calls "literary journalism" involves putting thoughts into dead people's heads, injecting a lot of personal opinions and irrelevant details while mixing up timelines and case studies. More importantly, I felt the focus was very far downstream. To the extent that people in the book talk about prevention, what they mean is prevention of homicide as opposed to prevention of domestic violence. Stopping murder is ...more
A hugely important book, that can be excruciating to read with its stark statistics and stories. It holds pertinent explorations of the reasons domestic abuse victims don’t leave, the difficulties counteracting the construct and prevalence of violence, and the most successful support systems.
Megan Henry
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a book that puts many of my other five star ratings to shame. Extremely well-written, impeccably researched, emotionally powerful and captivating. It is easy to fall into one of two extremes when discussing domestic violence in depth: showing the depth of horror and violence experienced by victims and therefore vilifying and dehumanizing men who perpetrate violence, or humanizing perpetrators and their own trauma histories at the risk of minimizing abuse or failing to hold ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such amazing reporting done in this book. Well written and definitely a topic everyone should educate themselves on. I’ve worked with domestic violence victims and I learned so much from this book. So happy to see the changes that are being made, but we definitely have a long way to go.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to recommend a book that is filled with such tragic stories, but I will anyways because we all need to understand how much of this is going on and the difficulty these women have in maneuvering through getting away, having to change their entire lives, often with little financial support while still living in fear, not just for themselves but their children as well. The author mixes historical and statistical information with true stories but most memorable, stories about the people on ...more
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
After hearing a couple of NPR reviews and conversations, I read Rachel Louise Snyder’s No Visible Bruises because I knew very little about the best ways to help people experiencing domestic violence. While Snyder does not purport to “know all the answers,” her empathetic and comprehensive book lays out several methods of intervention through which individuals, organizations, and society can help support victims and/or survivors. She does this by upending common “logic” about how to manage ...more
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Rachel Louise Snyder is a writer, professor and public radio commentator. Her first book Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade was published in 2007 by WW Norton. An excerpt of the book –aired on This American Life and won an Overseas Press Club Award. Her second book, a novel set in Oak Park, Illinois and entitled What We’ve Lost is Nothing ...more
“the elephant in the room.” That we won’t say, simply, that it is men who are violent. It is men who take their violence out on masses of others. School shootings are carried out by young men. Mass murders. Gang warfare, murder-suicides and familicides and matricides and even genocides: all men. Always men. “Every commonly available domestic violence and official general violence statistic, and every anecdotal account about domestic and all other kinds of violence throughout the United States and around the world, point clearly to the fact that men almost monopolize all sectors of violence perpetration,” Sinclair wrote.” 5 likes
“men are taught violence, but they are not taught intimacy. “Violence is a skill that we all had to learn just to stay with the pack growing up,” he said. “The trouble is, it doesn’t work for intimacy. That’s a whole different set of skills.” 3 likes
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