More Than Victims: Battered Women Syndrome, Society, and the Law Donald Alexander Downs (University of Chicago Press, 1996)Order

Legal gadfly Alan Dershowitz called them “abuse excuses” in last year’s The Abuse Excuse in which he railed against the burgeoning use of criminal self-defenses such as battered-child syndrome and battered-woman syndrome. Downs, a political scientist, doesn’t rant. Instead, he considers the ability of these defenses to increase society’s awareness of the special fears of individuals “subjected to violence and related forms of abuse on a sustained basis.” But he also discusses their failings, focusing primarily on battered-woman syndrome. Relying on a BWS defense, he argues repeatedly, signals an incapacity to employ reason and take responsibility. And when one is officially labeled incapable of being responsible in one context, an individual may “surrender the benefits that accrue to bearing responsibility in another context.” Women found to have been afflicted by BWS have fared badly in child custody hearings, he notes. Based on interviews with battered women, experts in the field and prodigious research, Downs concludes that BWS-based defenses are unable to help women who kill in nonconfrontational situations. He suggests reforming the key standards, such as a more flexible standard for imminence along the lines of that used for kidnapping cases, in the law of self-defense. This reasonably accessible work takes the reader through a careful analysis of various syndromes, a legal critique of BWS, and examines the syndrome society from the vantage of political theory and citizenship.

People Who Play God: How Ultra-Authorities Enslave the Hearts, Minds, Souls of Their Victims Beth E. Peterson (Xlibris Corp., 2003)Order

The signs of ultra-authority are constantly before us, although very few people recognize that these signs are all pointing to one particular form of social dynamic, ultra-authority. When you look in the paper and see a story about domestic violence, you are seeing a story about ultra-authority. When you watch the TV and see a piece on Suddam Hussein or North Korea, you are seeing a piece on an ultra-authority. When you hear the latest about another destructive cult and the odd or dangerous things the cultists are doing, you are hearing about an ultra-authority.

Ultra-authority is the most widespread endemic social ill we currently have on our planet. Through a number of informal surveys, I have come to realize that 80% or more of the adults in our country have been noticeably effected by an ultra-authority at one time or another in their lives.

You cannot protect yourself from something you do not recognize; for that reason, I present to you People Who Play God.

Saving Beauty From the Beast: How to Protect Your Daughter from an Unhealthy Relationship Vicki Crompton, Ellen Zelda Kessner (Little Brown & Company, 2003)Order

After her teenage daughter was killed by a boyfriend in 1986, Crompton set out to educate the public about teen dating violence. Along the way, she met magazine writer Kessner, whose own daughter had been murdered as an adult. This earnest, impassioned book, a product of their friendship and collaboration, illuminates the problems of dangerous relationships by describing their characteristics, mapping out warning signs of abuse and offering sound advice for parents seeking to empower their daughters. The authors interviewed psychologists, counselors and girls who have had violent boyfriends; the girls’ stories, as well as first-person accounts from parents and abusive boyfriends, are woven throughout the text. Many of the stories are heartbreaking: Vasso’s boyfriend put her in a coma for six months when he tried to strangle her; the father of Kaisha’s child beat her repeatedly and ultimately raped her. Crompton and Kessner are at their best when giving specific guidance to parents, such how to spot boyfriends who are too controlling and telltale changes in girls’ behavior, as well as how to help daughters plan safe breakups from violent boys. As social science, the book is weaker. Some of the authors’ statements-like the claim that “many” girls are becoming victims of violence “earlier and earlier” in relationships, or that for most teens, abuse is a “dating fact of life”-beg for supporting numbers. But whether or not the phenomenon is on the rise matters little when such abuse exists, and this book serves as both fervent friend and practical coach to parents whose daughters may be facing abuse.

Sex in the Forbidden Zone Rutter, Peter, M.DOrder

“Courageous, compassionate and insightful. While focusing on the pain and disillusionment of the victims, he examines the complex dynamics of betrayer and betrayed with understanding and humility.”
This provocative, insightful book, based on the authors’ years of experience and over 1,000 in-depth interviews helps victims of professor, physician or psychiatrist seduction, understand: the private fantasy worlds of powerful men ; the unspoken emotional needs of women; effective strategies for women to help them reinforce the bounadaries against invasion, and much more.



Shattered: Six Steps from Betrayal to Recovery Fay A. Kingler, Bettyanne Bruth (Mappletree Publishing Company 2005)Order

Review–An empowering book … from those who have been there, experts who know all the ins and outs. — Rita Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

I have been waiting for a book like this since I began my counseling career in 1974! — Dr. J. Kent Griffiths, Doctor of Social Work, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Readers will find straightforward answers to confronting all forms of infidelity including the impact of pornography on committed relationships. — Bishop George Niederauer, Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and President, Utah Coalition Against Pornography

Surviving Domestic Violence, Voices Of Women Who Broke Free Ed.D. Weiss Elaine (Agreka Books, 2000)Order

Review — Battered women will find this book life-affirming. All readers will find it informative, well-written, and even riveting. — Andy Klein, Columnist, National Bulletin on Domestic Violence Prevention

This book will save lives. Everyone knows someone who needs to read this important book. — Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, Author, Kitchen Table Wisdom, My Grandfather’s Blessings

Surviving Intimate Terrorism Hedda Nussbaum (Publish America September 12, 2005)Order

Review — This book is a must read. I couldn’t put it down! Finally hearing Hedda’s side of this story has been enlightening and life changing. The media coverage of her case caused her to become the face of domestic violence – and now we can read the true story in her own words. No one who reads this book will be the same – Hedda is a true survivor. I applaud her for the courage to speak up and share her story about her battle to live through such a horrific experience. I think this book will be a beacon of light to other women who are living with intimate terrorism, and those who have their own stories to tell. While the journey Hedda takes us through doesn’t ease her suffering, it enlightens us about the consequences of domestic violence. Share this with every woman you love, and honor Hedda’s struggle, loss, and ultimate triumph.

Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships Janja Lalich, Madeleine Landau Tobias (Bay Tree Publishing, 2nd Revised edition May 30, 2006) Order

Review — Tobias and Lalich spent a combined total of 24 years in “restrictive groups” (i.e., cults), and both are currently involved in providing post-cult counseling and therapy. Their first collaboration, this book succeeds as an ambitious, comprehensive explanation of the cult experience and works well on several levels. Its stated focal intent is to encourage and assist those former cultists struggling to readjust to the “real world.” Powered by the authors’ experience, compassion, and intellect, it capably provides such support. In addition, however, Tobias and Lalich’s systematic analysis of the shared characteristics of cults and cult leaders, along with extensive first-person accounts by former cultists, will educate those readers with a purely intellectual interest in the allure, power, and structure of cults. Recommended for public and religious libraries.

The Battered Woman Dr. Lenore Walker (Perennial; Reprint edition, May 30, 1980)Order

Review — A classic, early work that defined “the cycle of violence” and “learned helplessness” theories that are now debated by some in the field. Walker is best known for her “battered woman syndrome” defense of women who kill their abusers


The Covert Passive-Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse Debbie Mirza (Debbie Mirza Coaching December 6, 2017)Order