Duck and cover. The term originated in 1951 and was designed to warn children what to do in the case of a nuclear attack. While the threat of a nuclear attack remains even today, there is now a widespread understanding that a duck and cover approach would do little against such devastation. But for millions of women, men, and children, a duck and cover method is employed on a daily basis to protect themselves against violence from some of the people that lay claim to their heart.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million cases of abuse are reported each year. Many victims have emerged from abusive situations and go on to inspire those looking for help, closure, or strength by writing self-help books and memoirs. Many of these authors donate funds from the sales of their books to domestic abuse charities.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The week of October 16-22nd is the National Week of Action for 2016. What better way to take action than to purchase a book that would promote awareness and fund these charities? Here are eight of the best books to read in order to do so:
1. I Am Not Your Victim: Anatomy of Domestic Violence (SAGE Series on Violence against Women) by Beth M. Sipe and Evelyn J. Hall
This compelling memoir details the evolution of the author’s abuse over the course of a 16-year marriage in a startling, brutal account. Sipe describes her journey through the pain and violence endured at the hands of her husband and she ultimately ends his life. Under the advice of co-author and therapist Evelyn Hall, Sipe wrote the book as a way to move forward. This book is not for the faint of heart, but a must-read, nevertheless.
2. Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence by Philip W. Cook
Women are not the only recipients of domestic violence. In Abused Men, Cook takes a deep look at abuse in all its forms, including the rarely reported violence against men. The book is the first of its kind to explore this type of violence. It is critically acclaimed by domestic violence investigators, law enforcement, and counselors as being one of the most comprehensive books on the subject.
3. Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass
Cathy Glass is an experienced and angelic foster parent. She has written several books about the wards who have come through her doors, many of whom have experienced some of the most horrifying abuse imaginable. Glass has been successful in helping many broken children rediscover trust and self-worth after suffering so completely. This New York Times bestselling novel about a foster child named Jodie is no exception.
4. Scared To Leave, Afraid To Stay: Paths From Family Violence To Safety by Barry Goldstein
Scared to Leave, Afraid to Stay is highly informative for those looking to leave an abusive relationship. It outlays some of the most common questions and addresses a wide range of concerns a victim might have in regards to leaving a harmful relationship. It comes highly recommended by Domestic Shelters.
5. License to Rape by David Finkelhor and Kersti Yllo
Not all domestic violence involves the use of fists. Sometimes it involves rape. In the case of spousal rape, you’ll be hard pressed to find many books on the subject. Even though the book was first published in 1985, it still has high ratings on both Goodreads and Amazon and remains very relevant in this subject matter.
6. Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
Recommended by The National Domestic Violence Hotline, Bancroft explores the question, “why?” that many domestic abuse survivors struggle with on a daily basis. The book outlines personality types, early warning signs of violence, and much more.
7. October Snow by Jenna Brooks
This fictional gem takes a look at one woman’s divorce and the struggle to break free from her abusive husband. Josie Kane hopes to find emotional repair by helping other victims of domestic violence. One night, she loses a battered woman in her care to a murdering spouse and a dear friend falls prey to the deception of an abusive partner, who impregnates her as a method of control. This fuels a fire of hatred which leads to Josie taking a give-all type stand against her friend’s abuser in which only one victor will emerge.
8. A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes and Sasha J. Mudlaff, illustrated by Cary Pillo
This is a book that aims to help younger children process and reconcile traumatic events that they may have witnessed. It extends beyond the context of family violence, touching on subjects such as suicide, natural disasters, and accidents.
If you are experiencing violence in your home — don’t wait to get help — contact The National Domestic Abuse Hotline. If you or a loved one has suffered from domestic violence, check out one of the books listed above or one of the many others available on the subject. And don’t forget to wear purple the week of October 16th to show your support for the 10 million individuals who suffer every year.
YouTube Channel: Kyle Groop
Featured image via JBSA