No Visible Bruises: Masterfully unpicking cliches around domestic violence

Review: Rachel Louise Snyder talks to survivors and perpetrators in deeply impactful book

‘What we might conjure, if anything at all, is a punch... But that’s not how it happens.’ Photograph: Getty Images/Eye Em

‘What we might conjure, if anything at all, is a punch... But that’s not how it happens.’ Photograph: Getty Images/Eye Em

Our perceptions around domestic abuse tend to lack nuance. This realisation is precisely what Rachel Louise Snyder wedges between the reality of life for victims and perpetrators of what she calls “domestic terrorism”, and our generally complacent perception of it in No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us.

Domestic terrorism. The phrase is an odd one – somehow both jarring and clarifying, encompassing the terrible spectrum of abuses that can occur within intimate relationships, from emotional to physical, sometimes peaking in murder of a partner or familicide (murder of a partner and family).

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