Recommended Reading

Are you looking for more information on domestic abuse? We have compiled a list of our favorites below, both Christian and Secular, that we highly recommend on domestic abuse. Although we may not completely agree with everything in each book, they all have great descriptions about abuse.

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

by Leslie Vernick

You can’t put it into words, but something is happening to you. Your stomach churns, your heart aches, and the tension in your marriage is making you feel weary and a little crazy. The constant criticism, disrespect, cruelty, deceit, and gross indifference are eroding your confidence and breaking your spirit.

For any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage, Leslie Vernick offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of counseling experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse. Learn to:

  • identify damaging behaviors
  • gain the skills to respond wisely
  • promote healthy change
  • stay safe
  • understand when, why, and even how to leave
  • recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you

Trying harder to be a perfect fantasy wife won’t help fix what’s wrong your marriage. Discover instead how you can initiate effective changes to stop the cycle of destruction and restore hope for the future.

The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

by Leslie Vernick


Leslie Vernick, counselor and social worker, has witnessed the devastating effects of emotional abuse. Many, including many in the church, have not addressed this form of destruction in families and relationships because it is difficult to talk about. With godly guidance and practical experience, Vernick offers an empathetic approach to recognizing an emotionally destructive relationship and addresses the symptoms and the damage with biblical tools. Readers will understand how to:

• Reveal behaviors that are meant to control, punish, and hurt • Confront and speak truth when the timing is right • Determine when to keep trying, when to get out • Get safe and stay safe • Build an identity in Christ

This practical and thorough resource will help countless individuals, families, and churches view abuse from God's perspective and understand how vital it is for victims to embrace His freedom from the physical, emotional, spiritual, and generational effects of emotionally destructive relationships.

Is It My Fault? Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence

by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb


Is It My Fault? is a message of hope and healing to victims who know too well the depths of destruction and the overwhelming reality of domestic violence.

At least one in every three women have been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in their lifetime. The effects of domestic violence are physical, social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual, and can have long-lasting distressing consequences. It is common for victims of domestic violence to suffer from ongoing depression and recurring nightmares, self-harm, panic attacks, substance abuse, and more.

Is It My Fault? addresses the abysmal issue of domestic violence with the powerful and transforming biblical message of grace and redemption. It deals with this devastating problem and sin honestly and directly without hiding its prevalence today.

Shame Interrupted

by Edward T. Welch


Shame controls far too many of us. Worthless, inferior, rejected, weak, humiliated, failure...it all adds up to wishing we could get away from others and hide. We know what shame feels like. The way out, however, is harder to find. Time doesn't help, neither does confession, because shame is just as often from what others do to you as it is from what you have done. But the Bible is about shame from start to finish, and, if we are willing, God's beautiful words break through. Look at Jesus through the lens of shame and see how the marginalized and worthless are his favorites and become his people. God cares for the shamed. Through Jesus you are covered, adopted, cleansed, and healed.

Why Does He Do That?

By Lundy Bancroft


This volume offers women guidelines on how to improve and survive an abusive relationship, discussing various types of abusive men, analysing societal myths surrounding abuse, and answering questions about the warning signs of abuse.

When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse

by Lundy Bancroft


Can my partner abuse me and still be a good parent? Should I stay with my partner for my children's sake? How should I talk to my children about the abuse and help them heal? Am I a bad mother?

Mothers in physically or emotionally abusive relationships ask themselves these questions every day. Here, a counselor reveals how abusers interact with and manipulate children-and how mothers can help their children recover from the trauma of witnessing abuse.

This book, the first ever of its kind, shows mothers how to: • Protect children and help them heal emotionally • Provide love, support, and positive role models, even in the midst of abuse • Increase their chances of winning custody • Help their kids feel good about themselves

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond

by Patricia Evans


In this fully expanded and updated third edition of the bestselling classic, you learn why verbal abuse is more widespread than ever, and how you can deal with it. You'll get more of the answers you need to recognize abuse when it happens, respond to abusers safely and appropriately, and most important, lead a happier, healthier life. In two all-new chapters, Evans reveals the Outside Stresses driving the rise in verbal abuse - and shows you how you can mitigate the devastating effects on your relationships. She also outlines the Levels of Abuse that characterize this kind of behavior - from subtle, insidious put-downs that can erode your self-esteem to full-out tantrums of name-calling, screaming, and threatening that can escalate into physical abuse. Drawing from hundreds of real situations suffered by real people just like you, Evans offers strategies, sample scripts, and action plans designed to help you deal with the abuse - and the abuser. This timely new edition of The Verbally Abusive Relationship puts you on the road to recognizing and responding to verbal abuse, one crucial step at a time!

Violence Among Us

by Brenda Branson and Paula J. Silva


This book offers practical help in identifying abusive situations. It has strategic counseling tips, case studies and models of effective ministry to both the victim and the perpetrator. There are resource lists which include domestic violence hotlines and shelters, faith-based organizations, abuser treatment programs, and information on legal and safety issues.

If you are a pastor, counselor, or are ministering to abusive relationships in some capacity, this book is very helpful.