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Unclenching our fists; abusive men on the journey to nonviolence.


Unclenching our fists; abusive men on the journey to nonviolence.

Acker, Sara Elinoff.

Vanderbilt University Press


211 pages



Acker, a battered women's activist, ran therapy groups for abusive men for 10 years. Here, she collects 11 first-person stories of men who were once perpetrators of emotional and physical abuse, describing their healing journeys in formal, long-term, violence-intervention programs. To provide context for the stories, the book contains background on research and controversies related to violence and abuse intervention programs, and also lets the abused partners/former partners tell how they responded to the abuse and how they responded to their partner's efforts to change. One chapter reminds women what to do if an intimate partner is abusive and outlines the stages of change an abusive man must go through to become a healthy partner. The last chapter offers a group discussion where advocates and former victims (who are not acquainted with the men) comment on the men's accounts. The book includes a list of websites for national and state organizations for battered women. B&w photos of the men are included.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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