With all the recent attention being given to the subject of domestic violence, due to the actions of NFL player Ray Rice and his attack on his wife, I’m posting a book review on the subject of verbal abuse.
I am so glad to see this topic is now in the news and is being more fully explored. There are many ways a person can be abused. There is not only the physical, emotional, mental, and financial. It’s been said that “the power of life and death is in the tongue.”
Verbal abuse can be as emotionally and mentally damaging as the worst physical abuse. The scars it leaves are not visible to the naked eye, but they can be as devastating as the most vicious knockout punch.
Unfortunately, in my younger years, I experienced this personally and can testify to the long-term negative consequences to one’s sense of self and self-esteem. The effects can be so insidious that the one who is being abused, may not even be aware of the gradual loss of ego-strength and personal power.
No Visible Wounds: Identifying Non-Physical Abuse of Women by Their Men
by Dr. Mary Susan Miller
An awesome book shining light on a pervasive problem- Plus the author provides hope
Even if you, as a woman, have not been personally affected by verbal and emotional abuse, surely you know of a woman who has been, or is currently being harmed. I am so grateful for having found this book, as it is extremely enlightening on many levels.
The problem of emotional, mental, and verbal abuse in relationships, men controlling and demeaning women, is too common in our society, as well as all over the world.
Dr. Miller’s work as an assistant in Family Court, aiding and counseling abused women, has given her a deep understanding of how the abuser operates. She delves deeply into the tactics he often uses, such as isolation from friends and family, name-calling meant to erode self-esteem, the playing of mind games, economic control, etc.
Miller not only names the problem, but provides informed advice for those women hoping or planning to leave their abuser. She stresses the importance of obtaining counseling, which can help break through the wall of denial a victim experiences, plus provide comfort, relief, and help point out options the victim may be unaware of.
The book points out the many pitfalls a woman may experience as she fights her way out of her situation. There are police officers who may side with the abuser, as well as the fact that few judges will impose a jail sentence for non-physical abuse.
Yet, there are glimmers of change in society. Dr. Miller writes of programs such as EMERGE, the first men’s group for batterers, which opened in 1977, at the urging of local women’s shelters.
While we’re not there yet, Dr. Miller hopes for a day when programs begin to address non-physical abuse with the concern they express over violence today. This could lead to minimizing the physical abuse to which it inevitably escalates.
This book has a thorough listing of resources and help lines for abused women, as well as an excellent index.
I believe this book should be required reading for students, male and female, while in middle school. The awareness that it brings might spare many people untold grief in their romantic relationships.
Dr. Miller is to be highly commended for this vital resource on this unpleasant, shameful subject which needs more exposure in our society.