68 books like The Refuge

By Jenny Smith,

Here are 68 books that The Refuge fans have personally recommended if you like The Refuge. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of When I Was a Girl

Stuart Larner Author Of Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge

From my list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I worked for thirty five years as a psychologist and my late wife, Rosie Larner, was a social worker and lecturer. We have both dealt with cases of domestic abuse and have recognised the extent of the problem worldwide and the misery that it causes. We offer these tales under the pen-name of Rosy Stewart to show the diversity of the problems and to bring hope to the sufferers with the hope of resolution of each case to reach a wider audience.

Stuart's book list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

This is told in the voice of a young girl living in a household of domestic violence in the 1960s in UK.

She is regarded as presenting difficulties for her parents right from the beginning with her difficult birth. It is written in short scenes and excerpts from her childhood. She adores her mother, but she is sexually assaulted by one of her mother’s boyfriends. The writing of this is realistic as seen by an innocent four-year-old girl.

When the mother marries another boyfriend the family dynamics change from being kind at first to much stricter. It is clear that the little girl will develop psychological problems in later life.

By Ros Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When I Was a Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cursed by her grandmother and trapped in domestic violence in 1960s Britain, Evelyn must find a way to protect her five young daughters. Aware that her firstborn, Kim, is doomed to repeat her own disastrous life choices, Evelyn places her in the care of one of her admirers to protect her from her fate.


Meanwhile, her daughter Bess carries a deep-rooted sense of shame and guilt that her birth nearly killed her beloved mother. Subjected to sexual abuse, she tries to make sense of her feelings and her place within the secretive family she grows up in, desperately seeking love…


Book cover of In Control: Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder

Stuart Larner Author Of Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge

From my list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I worked for thirty five years as a psychologist and my late wife, Rosie Larner, was a social worker and lecturer. We have both dealt with cases of domestic abuse and have recognised the extent of the problem worldwide and the misery that it causes. We offer these tales under the pen-name of Rosy Stewart to show the diversity of the problems and to bring hope to the sufferers with the hope of resolution of each case to reach a wider audience.

Stuart's book list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

This is a non-fiction book about how domestic abuse can easily turn into murder.

The author is an authority on cases of coercive control, stalking, and domestic abuse. Case studies are used frequently and the writing is clear and easy to read quickly. I found some of the concepts echoed some minor bullying that I was subjected to at school.

It begins with a typical scene where a victim of domestic abuse will not report the incident and will not get into the ambulance even though they are badly injured. The author says that it was this case which opened her eyes to the complexities of domestic abuse incidents.

The book debunks some common myths which perpetrators use as excuses, such as ‘crime of passion’. It describes eight stages of coercive control which can often lead to homicide. These are a whirlwind of commitment in the early stages of a…

By Jane Monckton Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Control as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Groundbreaking' OBSERVER 'Blows assumptions about abusive relationships out of the water' CAITLIN MORAN 'Offers a strategy for intervention that would save lives' INDEPENDENT Every four days in the UK, a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner - and in the past year, domestic abuse has become an epidemic. For thirty years, Jane Monckton Smith has been fighting to change this. A former police officer and internationally renowned professor of public protection, she has developed her ground-breaking research into an eight-stage homicide timeline, laying out identifiable stages in which coercive relationships can escalate to violence and murder. Drawing on…


Book cover of Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Stuart Larner Author Of Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge

From my list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I worked for thirty five years as a psychologist and my late wife, Rosie Larner, was a social worker and lecturer. We have both dealt with cases of domestic abuse and have recognised the extent of the problem worldwide and the misery that it causes. We offer these tales under the pen-name of Rosy Stewart to show the diversity of the problems and to bring hope to the sufferers with the hope of resolution of each case to reach a wider audience.

Stuart's book list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

I think this is a basic skills book from which I was able to refresh my own knowledge.

This is an excellent workbook for therapists dealing with domestic abuse. It shows the real statistics behind domestic abuse, and begins by debunking myths, then explores the long-term effects on the survivors including the cycle of abuse in families.

It itemises therapeutic approaches and how people can be helped. It explores ways in which people can be helped to reconnect with their own identity and find themselves again after the terrible period of trauma.

By Christiane Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse explains how counsellors can facilitate recovery from domestic abuse within a secure, supportive therapeutic relationship.

There has been growing awareness in recent years of the impact and consequences of domestic abuse, especially the relationship between domestic abuse and mental health. To appreciate the nature of trauma caused by domestic abuse, professionals need to understand its complex nature and the psychobiological impact of repeated exposure to control and terror. This book examines the therapeutic techniques and specific challenges, such as secondary traumatic stress, faced by professionals when working with survivors of domestic abuse. The author stresses…


Book cover of My Word Against His

Stuart Larner Author Of Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge

From my list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I worked for thirty five years as a psychologist and my late wife, Rosie Larner, was a social worker and lecturer. We have both dealt with cases of domestic abuse and have recognised the extent of the problem worldwide and the misery that it causes. We offer these tales under the pen-name of Rosy Stewart to show the diversity of the problems and to bring hope to the sufferers with the hope of resolution of each case to reach a wider audience.

Stuart's book list on realistic and helpful about domestic abuse

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

This is certainly a gripping tale as it gets going.

I was impressed by how it realistically shows abuse of children and abuse of women in different families in two different story threads that are tied together dramatically as a thriller. It is told from two points of view: Celia a mother who works in Citizen’s Advice, and Lucie the little girl she befriends.

It begins as a normal domestic scene with the two characters meeting by chance, but soon it develops into a thriller where Celia is suddenly hijacking at knifepoint whilst going about her business. It shows another aspect of violence against women where they can be suddenly assaulted by strangers.

By Lauren North,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Word Against His as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

My future hangs in the balance. They’re questioning both of us and every word I say matters. I need to be careful – it’s my word against his, and I can’t afford to lose…

Thirteen years ago. Teenager Lucie babysits our little son Henry. She’s like the daughter I never had. And she believes we’re the perfect family – just me, my husband and Henry.

But Lucie doesn’t really know what’s happening behind closed doors. Until one night, she sees something so awful she leaves. And my family is never the same again…

Now, Lucie has reached out, desperate for…


Book cover of What I Did

Gail Aldwin Author Of This Much Huxley Knows: A Story of Innocence, Misunderstandings, and Acceptance

From my list on contemporary adult novels with young narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

Novelist, poet and scriptwriter. My interest in young narrators stems from a desire to effectively capture the voices of children in my novels. Creative writing PhD studies with the University of South Wales encouraged me to research different strategies and techniques used by published authors and to experiment with them in my writing. The String Games my debut novel was the result of this academic and creative journey. Further novels continue to include young voices in a starring role as I get inside the heads of a range of characters. After a stint as a university lecturer, I dabbled in fiction for children and through a collaboration with illustrator Fiona Zechmeister, Pandemonium a children’s picture book was published in 2020.

Gail's book list on contemporary adult novels with young narrators

Gail Aldwin Why did Gail love this book?

Billy’s family gets caught up in the care system when the six-year-old narrator is smacked by his father. An only child surrounded by adults, Billy emulates the talk of others but mishears and repeats language incorrectly with hilarious results. Malapropism sees Billy using the word copulating instead of cooperating, he loves sayings but transcribes them incorrectly giving us a different cuttlefish rather than a different kettle of fish. Through Billy’s voice, readers are securely within the mind of a child. Extended periods of internal monologue and interrupted using an em dash to indicate speech. Questions directly to the reader add to the sense of intimacy created in this fine novel.

By Christopher Wakling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What I Did as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A boy runs across a busy road.
His father smacks him.
A passer-by intervenes ...

When Billy Wright runs across a busy road, his world is altered irreversibly, even though he doesn't realise it at the time.
Because a passer-by has stopped to watch the scene. She has seen Billy's father catch up with him and smack him. Within an hour she has informed social services, plunging the family into a living nightmare which begins with a social worker's visit and escalates through a series of misunderstandings until the family is threatened to its core.
What I Did is a…


Book cover of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

Beth Fehlbaum Author Of Big Fat Disaster

From my list on YA about broken people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always used food to cope with painful feelings, and I developed Binge Eating Disorder as a child. As an adult, I was in therapy to deal with traumatic stuff, and I lost 100 pounds. I finished therapy with a whole new set of tools with which to navigate the world, but I still regained the weight and started hating myself again. I said, “Whoa. Time-out. I am worthy of love. That has not changed, so why do I hate myself again?” That is what I explore in Big Fat Disaster: what is our worth, and why should that worth depend on what we look like? 

Beth's book list on YA about broken people

Beth Fehlbaum Why did Beth love this book?

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is the reason I am a YA author. When I read this book, I was in recovery from an abusive childhood, and Chris’ authentic way of revealing characters’ trauma told me, “There is a place in the world for stories like mine.” I could write without looking over my shoulder; I could be fearless, true, and validate my own & others’ experiences. In my own book, I write in a raw way what it is like to have a binge-eating disorder and to be scorned for one’s size, because I have BED, felt shameful, and I have experienced such scorn. I possess a determination to not feel obligated to write happy endings, but to always write hopeful endings. I learned that from Chris Crutcher’s books.

By Chris Crutcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Called a "masterpiece" in a starred review from School Library Journal, award-winning author Chris Crutcher's acclaimed Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is an enduring classic.

This bestselling novel is about love, loyalty, and friendship in the face of adversity. "Superb plotting, extraordinary characters, and cracking narrative make this novel unforgettable."-Publishers Weekly

Sarah Byrnes and Eric Calhoune have been friends for years. When they were children, his weight and her scars made them both outcasts. Now Sarah Byrnes-the smartest, toughest person Eric has ever known-sits silent in a hospital. Eric must uncover the terrible secret she's hiding before its dark current…


Book cover of Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice

Leigh Gilmore Author Of The #MeToo Effect: What Happens When We Believe Women

From my list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I marvel at the resilience, tenacity, and optimism with which survivors and their advocates confront sexual violence. As a scholar of life writing, I find the “me too” movement to offer a fascinating case study of how survivors broke through default narratives of women’s unreliability and “he said/she said” to be heard by a massive global audience. By telling their own stories as “we said,” they tapped into a new collective credibility. Each of my recommended books helps us to understand “me too” as a powerful episode in a long struggle for survivor justice.

Leigh's book list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice

Leigh Gilmore Why did Leigh love this book?

In trauma studies, Judith Herman is the GOAT. Truth and Repair follows up Herman’s landmark book Trauma and Recovery and cements her contribution to the study of sexual violence, healing, and justice.

Although The Body Keeps the Score became a surprise pandemic bestseller, it is Truth and Repair that updates trauma theory and clinical practice for the #MeToo era. Herman argues that justice is part of the healing process for individuals and communities.

Her feminist perspective on the real-world factors that enable sexual abuse is clear eyed and her prescription for how to connect healing and justice is ultimately hopeful.

By Judith Lewis Herman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Truth and Repair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Nadine Macaluso Author Of Run Like Hell: A Therapist's Guide to Recognizing, Escaping, and Healing from Trauma Bonds

From my list on trauma bonds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I also have my Ph.D. in somatic psychotherapy. In my clinical practice, I noticed how many smart, kind women were trapped in trauma bonds. So, I researched the topic and decided to write a book to help women understand the complex psychological process of trauma bonds and how to recover from coercive control and abuse. Also, my ex-husband is the "Wolf of Wall Street", so I have personal experience of a trauma bond as well.

Nadine's book list on trauma bonds

Nadine Macaluso Why did Nadine love this book?

This is the best book ever written about the psychology of the male perpetrator in a trauma bond.

In this book, I was able to see into the mind of an abuser and no longer make excuses for them. I love how the author described the different types of abusers and how he explained how to leave a trauma bond.

I refer this book to every one of my patients.

By Lundy Bancroft,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft—a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men—uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued, and to find ways to get free of an abusive relationship.

He says he loves you. So...why does he do that?
 
You’ve asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men—and change your life. In Why Does He Do That? you will learn about:
 
• The early warning signs of abuse
• The nature of abusive…


Book cover of I Am Not Your Victim: Anatomy of Domestic Violence

Allison Bloom Author Of Violence Never Heals: The Lifelong Effects of Intimate Partner Violence for Immigrant Women

From my list on domestic violence from a cross-cultural perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a researcher, educator, and practitioner of domestic violence services for over 15 years, and am extremely passionate about this topic. After having worked in the domestic violence field, I then pursued my PhD to study this problem, which I now continue to research and teach about as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Moravian University. In our ever-globalizing world, I believe it's especially important for us to consider domestic violence from a cross-cultural perspective, and having studied this issue in Latin America and among Latina women in the U.S., I hope to spread that knowledge even further. More than ever, it is important for everyone to gain knowledge on this worldwide problem.

Allison's book list on domestic violence from a cross-cultural perspective

Allison Bloom Why did Allison love this book?

Hearing about domestic violence from a survivor’s first-hand perspective is one of the most important ways to learn about this widespread issue.

This book was one of the first that I ever read about this topic many years ago, and even though the book is nearly three decades old, it still remains one of the most powerful first-hand accounts of a survivor’s experience.

When I teach with this book, my students are blown away by Beth’s strength and what she overcomes. Through this book, they come to understand how someone can end up in such a dangerous situation, and the many barriers they often face to finding justice and safety.

By Beth M. Sipe, Evelyn J. Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Your Victim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I Am Not Your Victim vividly details the evolution of domestic violence during the 16-year marriage of author Beth Sipe. Encouraged to publish her story by her therapist and co-author, Evelyn J. Hall, Beth relates the background and events leading up to and immediately following the tragic act of desperation that ended the life of her sadistic perpetrator. Beth's subsequent mishandling by the police, the military, a mental health professional, and the welfare system illustrates how women like Beth face further revictimization and neglect by the very systems that should provide support and assistance. Insightful commentaries written by experts in…


Book cover of Here, Our Culture is Hard: Stories of Domestic Violence from a Mayan Community in Belize

Romina Istratii Author Of Adapting Gender and Development to Local Religious Contexts: A Decolonial Approach to Domestic Violence in Ethiopia

From my list on gender, religion, and domestic violence.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Moldovan emigrant growing up in Greece, I believed that Western institutions were centers of excellent knowledge. After studying in the USA and the UK and conducting research with Muslim and Christian communities in Africa, I became aware of colonial, ethnocentric, and universalizing tendencies in gender, religion, and domestic violence studies and their application in non-western contexts. International development had historically followed a secular paradigm congruent with Western societies’ perception of religion and its role in society. My work has since sought to bridge religious beliefs with gender analysis in international development work so that the design of gender-sensitive interventions might respond better to domestic violence in traditional religious societies.

Romina's book list on gender, religion, and domestic violence

Romina Istratii Why did Romina love this book?

Laura McClusky’s investigation of conjugal abuse among a Mayan community in Belize is one of the most ethnographically compelling books I have read on lived experiences of domestic violence.

McClusky was motivated to write this book because most domestic violence research had been clinical or sociological and had focused solely on the experience of violence, often approaching the phenomenon in a “peopleless manner.”

Refreshingly, McClusky decided to focus on the emotions, desires, motivations, and personal experiences of living women more holistically, thus overcoming tendencies to reduce women to the experience of violence and granting them the recognition as agents of actions that they deserve.  

By Laura J. McCluskey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Here, Our Culture is Hard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marriage among the Maya of Central America is a model of complementarity between a man and a woman. This union demands mutual respect and mutual service. Yet some husbands beat their wives. In this pioneering book, Laura McClusky examines the lives of several Mopan Maya women in Belize. Using engaging ethnographic narratives and a highly accessible analysis of the lives that have unfolded before her, McClusky explores Mayan women's strategies for enduring, escaping, and avoiding abuse. Factors such as gender, age inequalities, marriage patterns, family structure, educational opportunities, and economic development all play a role in either preventing or contributing…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in domestic violence, child abuse, and murder?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about domestic violence, child abuse, and murder.

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