One of our recommended books is No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder

NO VISIBLE BRUISES

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


No Visible Bruises is the book that changed the conversation about domestic violence–an award-winning journalist’s intimate investigation of the 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,

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No Visible Bruises is the book that changed the conversation about domestic violence–an award-winning journalist’s intimate investigation of the 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. 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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  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Hardcover
  • June 2020
  • 320 Pages
  • 9781635570977

Buy the Book

$17.00

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About Rachel Louise Snyder

Rachel Louise Snyder is the author of Fugitive DenimWhat We’ve Lost is Nothing, and No Visible Bruises. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and on NPR. Snyder is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Journalism at American University, and in 2020–2021 she will be a Guggenheim Fellow. Follow her on Twitter at @RLSWrites.

Praise

Winner of the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, The Helen Bernstein Book Award, and the Lukas Work-in-Progress Award
A New York Times Top 10 Books of the Year
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
ABA Silver Gavel Award Finalist
Kirkus Prize Finalist

“Essential, devastating reading.” —Cheryl Strayed

“Compulsively readable . . . It will save lives.” —Washington Post

“Terrifying, courageous reportage from our internal war zone.” —Andrew Solomon

Discussion Questions

1. Did the book change your mind or alter any preconceived notions you may have had about domestic violence? Which ones and how?

2. Consider Snyder’s recounting of Rocky and Michelle’s story. Discuss your feelings toward the friends and relatives that surrounded the couple. What is your response to their interactions with Rocky and Michelle?

3. Snyder mentions that there is no law against “psychological abuse” in the US. Do you believe such a law needs to exist? Why or why not?

4. Snyder examines how domestic violence is linked to other issues like poverty, education, health care, and others. Discuss how this correlation plays out, as well as any personal experiences you may have had or observations you have made that illustrate how these issues are connected.

5. Were there any statistics or anecdotes in the book that you found particularly surprising or upsetting, or any personal stories that you found particularly moving or relatable? If so, which ones and why?

6. Snyder discusses cultural and societal norms, especially around gender, that may reinforce or even encourage the dynamics that lead to domestic violence. Do you think this is a fair assessment? Why or why not? Discuss the ways you believe societal mores do or do not contribute to a broader culture of violence and misogyny.

7. Of all the interventions and techniques Snyder investigates as possible ways to slow or halt the cycle of domestic violence, which one(s) do you think are the most crucial and why?

8. Were there any aspects of domestic violence not discussed in No Visible Bruises that you wish had been? If so, which?

9. Snyder writes, “Whatever we envision when we envision a victim . . . none of us ever picture ourselves.” Did this statement resonate with you? Do you think that is an accurate assertion? Why or why not?

10. Did the book leave you feeling hopeful or pessimistic about the future in terms of domestic violence rates and justice for the victims of domestic violence?