Thursday, May 10, 2007

No Visible Wounds

No Visible Wounds: Identifying Nonphysical Abuse of Women by Their Men

by Mary Susan Miller Ph.D.

ISBN: 0449910792
ISBN-13: 9780449910795

From the Publisher

* have sudden outbursts of anger or rage?
* become jealous without reason?
* prevent you from seeing friends and family?
* deny you access to family assets such as bank accounts, credit cards, or the car?
* control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
* insult you or call you derogatory names?
* humiliate you in front of your children?
* turn minor incidents into major arguments?

If you or someone you know can answer "yes" to the questions above, chances are you are suffering from nonphysical battering—controlling, tyrannical behavior that is just as damaging to a woman's self-esteem as a broken bone or a black eye. An experienced counselor who works with abused women, Mary Susan Miller breaks the silence that surrounds this devastating form of domestic violence. She identifies the many types of nonphysical abuse verbal, emotional, psychological, social, and economic—and explores why this outrageous treatment of women continues unabated in our society.

Dr. Miller also shares the stories of many survivors who have escaped their abusive relationships. Their experiences—with law enforcement, the legal system, and the community itself—can help prepare any woman for the decision of whether to stay or leave the relationship. And if she decides to go, Dr. Miller offers sound guidelines on how to protect herself and her children, since a woman's decision to leave is usually the time she is in the most danger from her abuser.

Finally, Dr. Miller inspires hope: You can break free of the nightmare of nonphysical battering and heal, once again engaging in a life of integrity, dignity, andpeace.

Spotlight Reviews

Powerful, illuminating, and validating , March 7, 2005
Carolyn Rampone (Plantation, FL USA)

"Stalking the Soul" will illuminate emotional abuse in a way that will shake you to the core.
Marie-France Hirigoyen has insight that is usually reserved for those who have walked the path. I was impressed with the depth of her knowledge of narcissism and the insidious and covert nature of the disorder.
Emotional abuse is a double-edged sword because it is so hard to prove. You'll go crazy just trying. The abuser is careful to reveal himself only to his victim while showing his false self, the one that hooked you, to everyone else. Manipulation is second nature to the emotional abuser, allowing him to slowly and methodically erode your sense of self and to murder your soul. The latter being their goal. You have become their prey, some'thing' to conquer.
I immensely appreciated and respected Marie-France Hirigoyen careful avoidance and rejection of blaming the victim. She shows in compassionate detail how it is your very strengths and talents that make you perfect prey to a narcissist, not your weakness, as so many other books on the subject will have you believe. Blaming the victim is just another layer of abuse and this author discredits that theory with a few strokes of her mighty pen. She appears to have an intimate understanding of the inner workings of a mental abuser and her knowledge flows freely from the pages directly to you. Where it is the abuser's goal to destabilize, Marie-France Hirigoyen is the friend who lovingly shakes your shoulders and shouts "It's not YOU," leading you back to sanity.
As a reminder, this book was originally written in French and the small translation difficulties should not deter you in any way.

Pulls no punches
Ellen C. Falkenberry (Birmingham, AL USA)

Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my.
I could only read bits of this book at a sitting. Dr. Hirigoyen equates emotional abuse with trauma. That explains my intrusive thoughts and flashbacks while reading it. This is SO satisfying to one who has experienced the lasting effects of emotional abuse. At last! Someone understands!
This book is not for the timid. It is a clear-eyed, and unabashedly biased (toward the victim) look at the abusive process in varied aspects of life - the family, in business, and in the intimate relationship. Grit your teeth and read this one. It's a keeper.