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Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women Kindle Edition

21 customer reviews

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Length: 274 pages

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Editorial Reviews

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“Many books address the issue of battered women, but this is perhaps the first that is meant to help those who want to help.” —Library Journal

About the Author

Susan Brewster has been a clinical social worker/psychotherapist for 26 years, ten of which have been devoted to working specifically in the area of domestic violence. She lives with her husband and two children in New Mexico, where she is in private practice.

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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By David Connell on February 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you know somebody who is a victim of spousal abuse, I highly recommend this book. It was immeasurably helpful in my experience.

Many of the reviews I have read for other examples of this type of book have been from social workers or instructors of some kind. I'm just a regular person. One day someone very close to me opened up about the spousal abuse she had endured for many years. I was the first person she had ever told. A year passed and I thought I was helping her, but her situation and her outlook, her actions and her excuses would barely change, or go completely backwards.

After finding this book by chance, reading it changed everything. I gained an understanding of how many of the predictable things I had done to "help" her would never help. Reading this book improved my understanding of her situation and my understanding of my own reactions. I took the author's advice and changed my behaviour accordingly. Every situation is going to be different, but within a couple months my friend was making dramatic advances.

She completely hid her situation for over a decade, but now she is getting professional help. She gives me a great deal of credit for helping her get herself out of the cycle she was in, but I credit this book. Reading this book was absolutely vital in my knowing how to act and react, and to really help her help herself. I would like to thank the author very much.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JT on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a concerned friend of a young woman in an abusive marriage I was getting extremely frustrated trying to obtain information on what I could do to help. So many people told me that there was nothing I could do, and the only thing the local domestic violence counseling service would tell me was to give her their phone number. This clearly written and easy to follow book helps you understand that while the sad truth is that there is very little anybody can do, the little that you can might make a huge difference in your loved one's life. Real life cases sited throughout the book show the value of effective communication and the need for patience when dealing with a friend or family member in such a terribly difficult situation. Without being too clinical or preachy the author provides insight into the dynamics of an abusive relationship that helps the reader start to make sense out of a subject that is hard to understand. She explains that while it will not be easy and there are no quick fixes you can make a difference by becoming an "anchor" for your loved one.
This book helped me realize that all was not hopeless, that I could play a role, if even just a small one, in helping my friend get through this. Although it is still a work in progress, the book has helped ease my frustrations and allowed me to be better able to offer the support my friend needs. If you too are tired of being told that there is nothing you can do, get this book!
Just a note: This book was originally titled "To Be An Anchor In The Storm" and the only obvious changes between that book, which I found at the local library, and this reprint which I purchased through Amazon was to some of the domestic violence resource info in the back of the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Deej Funk on October 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Helping Her to Get Free" (formerly "To Be an Anchor in the Storm") by Susan Brewster, is an excellent, no-nonsense, book to help the family and friends of women who are in being abused by a spouse or boyfriend. The book identifies the many ways that abuse occurs, how to recognize the conditions, and describes the background behind abusive relationships. Mrs. Brewster provides ways that friends and family members can aid the woman by being "anchors" in that woman's life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joan Torres on December 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was very helpful in realizing what you should and shouldn't do and what you should and shouldn't say. As a mother of a young woman in an abusive relationship, I feel helpless. I did the momma bear thing and flew down to where she is and packed her and her stuff in the car and she went back. WHY? She's not married to this jerk, there are no children. He has no redeeming qualities. I don't understand because she was a strong willed, self sufficient woman who has been manipulated.

I talk to her everyday and subtlely say what I need to say without forcing her to defend him. She knows how I feel and how her stepfather and brothers and cousins feel. By using some of these techniques, she is beginning to come around.

I just wish there was a group for families of abuse victims because I feel like I'm loosing my mind. This book plus a few others that I am reading are keeping me from going crazy. I keep my eye on the purpose which is to get her home before something terrible happens. There is advice I can give her to keep her safe. Couples counseling for abusive relationships is not a good idea. I didn't know that before reading this book.

The author has been there, done that so she is speaking from personal experience as well as professional experience. Best one out there that I've found so far for families trying to help their loved ones get out of a bad situation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By nonnie on August 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is very little help out there for families and friends whose loved one is in an abusive situation. This is one of the rare books that helps worried families and friends understand a confusing, fearful relationship and its dynamics. Understanding is the beginning of being able to help, to be there with compassion and practical assistance, while lessening blame and anger which can isolate the abusee further. We were so grateful for this book. I have passed it on, repurchased it, encouraged it as a resource for many others struggling to learn what they can do and what they can't do.
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