Monday, June 4, 2012
Book Review: Stop Signs (TW for abuse)
It was hard to read this book, for several reasons. One, this book should never have to have been written, but we live in a world where it is necessary. Two, I grew up with a very abusive father, so reading this book was a little like reliving my childhood.
People, unfortunately, think of abuse like they would see in the media: only physical abuse "counts" and the woman in question is white, cis-gender and able bodied with enough money and resources to flee their abusive partner. In reality, domestic violence does not discriminate because it can happen to anyone, regardless of income, race, gender, sexuality, upbringing, etc. And there is far more than just physical abuse that can happen: economic, religious, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse are also extremely prevalent. Fairweather also makes a point that domestic violence does happen in LGBT communities, but she is not an expert on the community, the specific circumstances or laws regarding the community.
The book is broken down into three specific categories, recognizing, avoiding and escape. The author provides a plethora of real-life examples (with names changed), resources (including advocates, pet injury help, websites, books, etc), as well as a listing of the domestic violation lifelines for every single state. Fairweather lays out clear instructions for helping women through every stage of life while being involved with an abusive partner. The author has done a wonderful and necessary service to women by writing this book, this manual as a beacon and lifeline to safety.
(Photo credit: Seal Press/I received a review copy of this book, but all opinions are my own.)