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An award-winning journalist’s exploration of America’s domestic violence epidemic, how we have misunderstood it, what it portends about other types of violence, and how to address it.
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, intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains an object of silence, spoken of in hushed tones, even as its tendrils reach unseen into every national issue 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 an urgent and immersive account of the scope of domestic violence in our country, structured around key case studies 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; that violence inside the home is separate from other forms of violence like mass shootings, gang violence, and sexual assault. Through the stories of victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, and reform movements from across the country, Snyder explores not only the real roots of domestic violence, but also its far-reaching consequences for society, and what it will take to truly address it.
Rachel Louise Snyder’s journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and elsewhere. She has discussed domestic violence for numerous media outlets, including the Diane Rehm Show, where Jimmy Carter lauded her groundbreaking coverage of high-risk teams. 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.