It would be difficult to overstate the importance of A Safe Place for Women by Kelly White. A well-educated and accomplished woman, White does not fit society’s stereotype of a battered wife. However, her riveting first-hand account of spousal abuse takes the reader on a very real and terrifying journey through the psychological and physical battering she endured during and after her five-year marriage. In this remarkable book, she explores the thinking of both perpetrator and victim, helping the reader understand how such a relationship sustains itself over time and why women return again and again to the men who hurt them.
White’s well-researched work delves into numerous aspects of domestic violence, including (but not limited to) historical and cultural factors contributing to the devaluation of women, generational patterns of abuse, groups most at risk of violence in the home, the relationship between substance abuse and battering, the effect of poverty on the equation, and the red flags that may signal a potentially abusive situation. Stories of other battered women are woven throughout, helping to drive home the need to address this tragic and often hidden societal problem.
White has used her personal experience as a springboard to assist thousands of women throughout her career as the executive director of such programs as Safe Place in Austin, TX, and now the Chicago Foundation for Women. In A Safe Place for Women, she goes far beyond telling her own story. She provides down-to-earth, practical guidance for creating and building effective domestic violence programs across the nation.
This is a must-read for anyone who has experienced or been affected by domestic violence. This is a must-read for all of us.