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Tag: domestic violence

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

Have You Seen These Red Flags In Your Relationships?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This topic hits close to home for me since I provide therapy for domestic violence survivors.

Learning about red flags is just as important after a survivor has left an abusive relationship. Many times, survivors missed the red flags and could view future friendships and/or relationships as “safer” than previous relationships.

Empowering and educating survivors makes a world of difference in their healing. Click To Tweet

Have you seen these red flags in your relationships?

  • Blaming you for his/her actions. “You made me do this…”
  • Minimizing hurtful behaviors towards you or others.
  • Refusing to admit emotional and/or personal problems
  • History of aggressive behavior while using alcohol or drugs
  • Giving large gifts early in the relationship.
  • They don’t accept your friends or family. They frequently talk bad about them and try to make you question their loyalty.
  • Frequent attempts to isolate you. They want you all to themselves.
  • Constant calls or texts about your whereabouts.
  • Encourages you to drop hobbies or interests.
  • Publicly embarassing you.
  • Accusing you of cheating and flirting.
  • Makes negative statements about your clothes/appearance/weight.
  • Plays mind games and makes you feel like you’re going crazy.
  • The relationship seems intense and deep very quickly.
  • Pressure to move in, get engaged or marry early.
  • Secretive about history of legal troubles and/or arrests.
  • Shows signs of hurt/anger if you ask to slow down the relationship.
  • Refers to women and/or female family members with sexist comments.
  • Was abused as a child or grew up in an abusive home.
  • Uses intimidating body language, punches walls or breaks objects when upset.

Please keep in mind that one of these red flags doesn’t constitute a batterer. A person who grew up in an abusive household isn’t automatically considered an abuser. Trust your gut and your instincts if you recognize a few of these red flags.

In addition, a person who threatens, hits, punches, or kicks you doesn’t need to have two or three of these behaviors. They are definitely being abusive.

The most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she leaves. Contact your local domestic violence agency to speak with their counselors and advocates to help you transition safely. You can also call 211 if you’re in the United States to find your closest domestic violence agency. 

The National Domestic Violence Emergency Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or

TTY 1-800-787-3224

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