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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Domestic violence is a touchy subject for many and not a topic people will readily discuss. Love, Bruises and Bullsh!t: 20 True Stories of Survival is an anthology of stories concerning domestic violence compiled by Yasmin Walter and Sheree Schonian. There are individual stories from survivors seen through the eyes of a child, a wife, or even a family member. Defining domestic violence beyond just the physical issues, the stories include sexual and psychological aspects. The warning signs for the different types of abusive relationships are outlined, as well as tips for getting away from abuse. Throughout the stories, specific behavior stood out as the women spoke of the signs they wished they had recognized sooner. In conclusion, the book explains how to get help and goes into detail as to what typifies a healthy or unhealthy relationship.
This compilation by Yasmin Walter and Sheree Schonian, as well as the advice, provides an eye-opening read. I found the definitions of the forms of abuse to be helpful. It is easy to feel empathy for every one of the women who shared their stories. I noticed that isolation from family and friends was a major warning sign. Through isolation, the abuser gains control of every aspect of life. I have experienced some of the same issues the women described. In 2017, I lived in a domestic violence shelter for women. I didn’t grow up knowing how to differentiate between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. One particular story stood out for me, as it was almost identical to my relationship with my ex-husband. I would recommend Love, Bruises and Bullsh!t to anyone who counsels victims of domestic violence as well as those recovering from abuse. The knowledge of not being alone and that you have a support system is something that many people would benefit from.