The Focus On You

*Motivational & Self-Care Blog*

No More Secrets: Healing From Domestic Violence- Book Review

This writer received this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. 


“The more we tell our story, the more it loses its power.” Click To Tweet

I have been working with domestic abuse survivors for 4 years. There is power in their story. The quote mentioned above is a message I have shared with survivors when they begin trauma treatment.

I recently reviewed the book entitled “No More Secrets: Healing From Domestic Violence.” This story is told from the viewpoint of six domestic abuse survivors who used narrative storytelling to heal from their trauma. Thanks to their group and support system at The Second Step in Newton, Massachusetts, Allison, Becca, Cecilia, Donna-Marie, Olive and Selma received counseling, but also built a sisterhood within themselves. “They encouraged each other, they challenged each other, they’ve encouraged each other to be true to themselves, and in so doing they have discovered the profound healing power of connection.”


What makes this book unique?

  1. This book doesn’t just focus on red flags and traumatic stories. Part I did include chapters that told graphic stories of each woman’s background and experiences. But Part II and III shared solutions, the lessons they learned about safety, self-worth, lessons they learned from each other and parenting, to name a few.
  2. I appreciated the personal quotes that were woven between the chapters. And these are not clichés from professionals. These messages are from their voice and reflect how far they’ve truly come.
  3. I appreciate the informational blocks within each chapter that describe the dynamics of domestic violence, red flag behavior and boundary setting. For someone who is just learning about working with this population, these blocks of info help solidify the seriousness of intimate partner violence.

Who is this book for?

Social workers, nurses, medical professionals, domestic violence advocates, law enforcement personnel, probation officers, parents of teens, adult survivors of childhood abuse, graduate students who are entering the mental health field, addiction therapists, psychology students, legal advocates or paralegals, school personnel and university staff.


This story made me feel like I was within their support circle. I felt like I could hear the pain and fear in their voices as they recounted their personal experiences.

As a therapist for survivors, I recommend this book especially for support staff. Having an empathetic ear and understanding of their experience is important. Trauma informed care is becoming a standard for any helping professional and this book weaves in education AND intimate experiences.

If you would like to learn more about Second Step’s program, please find them here.

If you would like to pick up this book for yourself or someone you know, please click below!

No More Secrets: Healing From Domestic Violence

They’re Not Just Words

Trigger warning: emotional abuse, childhood abuse and bullying are mentioned

I usually don’t write poetry on my blog but this beauty came to me out of the blue. Inspired by recent political events and domestic violence awareness month, I felt compelled to share this with you.

They’re Not Just Words

They’re just words he says.

Words that bully a 7-year-old who can’t understand what he or she did wrong.

They’re just words that deafen gentle ears.

Words that make you believe you’re stupid and ugly.

They’re just words that leave wounds no one can see.

Bruises heal faster than poisonous words.

They’re just words he says.

Words that can be held against you in court.

Words that you have to be careful saying at work so you don’t get fired.

Words that we don’t want our kids to repeat.

I say they’re just words too.

Words that can make a difference.

They’re words that rebuild self-esteem because they’re cloaked in love.

They’re words that I never believed before spoken to me by a therapist.

Words like, “You didn’t deserve this” and “One Day At A Time.”

I didn’t know the power of words.

Gentle words spoken by therapists, teachers and social workers.

Words that parents never told us but a stranger can make us believe they’re true.

They’re just words that I speak in my head to ward off anxiety and the Devil.

Biblical words, meditative words, words in other tongues.

My words have power too, I tell him.

My words build bridges.

My words take me higher.

Where do your words take you?


If you would like to learn more about domestic violence awareness or red flags in relationships, please refer to my previous blog posts:

Have You Seen These Red Flags In Your Relationships?

5 Elements Of A Healthy Relationship

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