No Visible Bruises: Book summary and reviews of No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder

No Visible Bruises

What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us

by Rachel Louise Snyder

No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder X
No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder
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Book Summary

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 anything at all to do with us, despite the World Health Organization deeming it a "global epidemic." In America, domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains locked in silence, even as its tendrils reach unseen into so many of our most pressing national issues, from our economy to our education system, from mass shootings to mass incarceration to #MeToo. We still have not taken the true measure of this problem.

In No Visible Bruises, journalist Rachel Louise Snyder gives context for what we don't know we're seeing. She frames this urgent and immersive account of the scale of domestic violence in our country around key stories that explode the common myths-that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; and most insidiously that violence inside the home is a private matter, sealed from the public sphere and disconnected from other forms of violence. Through the stories of victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, and reform movements from across the country, Snyder explores the real roots of private violence, its far-reaching consequences for society, and what it will take to truly address it.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Bracing and gut-wrenching, with slivers of hope throughout, this is exemplary, moving reportage on an important subject that often remains in the dark due to shame and/or fear." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] powerful investigation into intimate partner abuse...with closely observed, compassionate portraits of victims, advocates, abusers and police. Penetrating and wise, and written in sometimes novelistic prose, Snyder's sobering analysis will reward readers' attention." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Snyder's willingness to tell the intimate stories of domestic violence sheds light on an often neglected subject. All of us have a stake in becoming more aware of and responsive to private violence, and this book proves why." - BookPage (starred review)

"This sympathetic look at victims, perpetrators, and intervention efforts by law enforcement and social agencies makes for compelling reading... Snyder's chilling body of evidence shows that domestic abuse is a pervasive epidemic that can and does happen everywhere." - Booklist

"Gut-wrenching, required reading." - Esquire

"No Visible Bruises is a seminal and breathtaking account of why home is the most dangerous place to be a woman. Through brilliant insights and myth-busting research, compelling storytelling, and a passionate focus on truth-telling, Rachel Louise Snyder places domestic violence exactly where it should be, smack in the center of everything. A tour de force." - Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and The Apology

"This is terrifying, courageous reportage from our internal war zone, a fair and balanced telling of an unfair and unbalanced crisis in American family life. Snyder writes with stark lucidity and great compassion, and tells stories of utmost urgency with considerable narrative skill." - Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning, bestselling author of The Noonday Demon, Far From The Tree, and Far Far Away

"I cannot imagine how Rachel Louise Snyder had the strength to write this book-it's like the journal of a war correspondent. By witnessing the toll of family violence, she wants to take public this private horror. No Visible Bruises is a keening for the battered and a shout of outrage for the lost, a case for the higher awareness that could make us better humans." - Ted Conover, author of Newjack, and director of NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

"From her dismantling of the term 'domestic violence,' which not only couches a pervasive public menace in homey, private terms, but echoes a sick culture in denial, to her connecting the dots between acts of terror and acts of domestic terror, Snyder's is an indispensable, important book." - Carina Chocano, author of You Play the Girl

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Author Information

Rachel Louise Snyder

Rachel Louise Snyder's work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and elsewhere. Her other books include Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade, and the novel What We've Lost is Nothing. She has been the recipient of an Overseas Press Award for her work on This American Life. No Visible Bruises was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. An associate professor at American University, Snyder lives in Washington, D.C.

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