Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women (Seal Press)

An outstandingly caring, practical, and wise book for the loved ones of an abused woman. If you are trying to assist a woman who is in a bad relationship, read this book. It will help you to feel better and make you a much more effective helper. (However, one word of caution: A section at the end of the book on reporting child abuse contains information that I find ill-advised. Before you involve child protective services with a mother you care about, call a program for abused women in your area and seek advice about whether and how to make a child abuse report.)

Domestic Violence Advocacy
by Jill Davies and Eleanor Lyon (Sage Publications)

This is a professional book, but is very readable and helpful for anyone who wants to understand what is really involved when a woman is considering leaving an abusive partner, and provides guidance for how to help a woman be safer even if she can’t leave or doesn’t want to. The authors talk about more than just advocacy — they address the full range of practical realities that abused women face in a way that I have found in no other book, including an outstanding guide to safety planning.

Trauma and Recovery
by Judith Herman (Basic Books)

Dr. Herman’s book is the bible of trauma, especially for those kinds of traumatic experiences for which the society tends to blame the victim or deny the reality of her/his experience. An outstandingly brilliant work.

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