An award-winning journalist's investigation of the true scope of domestic violence. Through the stories of victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, and reform movements from across the country, Snyder explores the real roots of private violence, its far-reaching consequences for society, and what it will take to truly address it.
...extraordinary ... She powerfully dismantles the question of why women seem to stay in violent relationships ... There’s an immediacy in these scenes, the raw, ragged tension of people exhausted by fear, that recalls Donna Ferrato’s portraits of domestic violence in Living With the Enemy. I read Snyder’s book as if possessed, stopping for nothing, feeling the pulse beat in my brain ... In its scope and seriousness — its palpable desire to spur change — this book invites reflection not only about violence but about writing itself. What kinds of reportage really move policy? ... She brings all of fiction’s techniques to this new book — canny pacing, an eye for the animating detail and bursts of quick, confident characterization. There is a fullness and density to every one of her subjects ... She glides from history to the present day, from scene to analysis, with a relaxed virtuosity that filled me with admiration. This is a writer using every tool at her disposal to make this story come alive, to make it matter.
...the product of copious, immersive research, an investigation into a universal and insidious violence and what can be done about it ... No Visible Bruises sounds like an appallingly dark read, and it's true that the content is deeply disturbing. But by focusing on case studies--individuals' stories--Snyder returns humanity to the horrifying larger issue ... told with such compassion and curiosity, they turn out remarkably accessible ... an impressive body of knowledge about domestic violence in the United States.
'Michelle was buried with her children in the same casket, oversized, with her arms wrapped around each of them,' Rachel Louise Snyder writes, a detail almost unbearable in its poignancy ... Her empathy for the victims is powerful, and infectious. But so is her interest in the perpetrators, some of whom may be able to recover, to change and atone. And as she makes very clear, those who undertake reform — studying and quantifying risk, asking smart questions about whether women’s shelters help or hurt, counseling survivors and getting them the support they need — are heroes.