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

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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 i 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 thinking - Myths about abusers - Ten abusive personality types - The role of drugs and alcohol - What you can fix, and what you can't - And how to get out of an abusive relationship safely Prevention Programs, Harvard School of Public Health


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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 i 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 thinking - Myths about abusers - Ten abusive personality types - The role of drugs and alcohol - What you can fix, and what you can't - And how to get out of an abusive relationship safely Prevention Programs, Harvard School of Public Health

30 review for Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is a must read for any woman who has been or is in an abusive relationship. Bancroft explains in great detail why some men treat their girlfriends or wives so abhorrently . This book taught me that it's not external influences that causes a man to be mean and angry--like he had a bad day at work, he is stressed about money, his childhood, or whatever excuse he uses--it's a fundamental value system he has about women. He learned this value system most likely from his father or another abusiv This is a must read for any woman who has been or is in an abusive relationship. Bancroft explains in great detail why some men treat their girlfriends or wives so abhorrently . This book taught me that it's not external influences that causes a man to be mean and angry--like he had a bad day at work, he is stressed about money, his childhood, or whatever excuse he uses--it's a fundamental value system he has about women. He learned this value system most likely from his father or another abusive man in his life. Or he learned this value system from society in general that teaches men that women are property, that men own women, they are entitled to, and they deserve control over them. Even the most liberal sounding man can have this value system. Another very valuable lesson I learned from reading this book is how to recognize the red flags of an abusive man. The saddest realization I learned is that it is very rare for an abusive man to change. In order for him to change, he has to recognize he has a problem and seek a therapist who will help him learn a new value system. This almost never happens. It is most prudent for women to leave an abuseer rather than stick around and wait for him to change because change most likely isn't going to happen. If you know a woman in an abusive relationship, encourage her to leave, because even if he's nice some of the time, the fundamentals are there to stay.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Luxie Ryder

    This book was a lifeline for me during a verbally abusive relationship I was struggling with. What Lundy says is so spot on, that you get a sense he has been a fly on the wall in your house, quietly listening and taking notes, for years. The other thing that struck me is just how very boring and predictable my partner's abusive behaviour was. I was never in any physical danger so my comments only apply to my situation but, once the scales fell from my eyes, nothing my partner said could ever hur This book was a lifeline for me during a verbally abusive relationship I was struggling with. What Lundy says is so spot on, that you get a sense he has been a fly on the wall in your house, quietly listening and taking notes, for years. The other thing that struck me is just how very boring and predictable my partner's abusive behaviour was. I was never in any physical danger so my comments only apply to my situation but, once the scales fell from my eyes, nothing my partner said could ever hurt me again, because I'd figured out his game. Once I knew what to look for - tactics such as dismissing, distorting, diminishing, avoiding, passive aggression etc - it just did not affect me anymore. In my case the relationship ended once my partner realised that he no longer had the power to make me feel negatively about myself, but by that time, thanks to Lundy's book, I had already figured out that the man I thought I had fallen in love with never actually existed. This book is life altering.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    A fantastic book about abusive relationships that clarifies misconceptions about abuse, provides compassionate support to victims and survivors, and discusses the societal factors that contribute to violence in relationships. I love how Lundy Bancroft dispels so many myths about what makes abusive people abusive: that they do not know how to express emotions, that their abuse stems from issues with alcohol or from mental illness, that they are abusive because they were abused themselves, etc. Ra A fantastic book about abusive relationships that clarifies misconceptions about abuse, provides compassionate support to victims and survivors, and discusses the societal factors that contribute to violence in relationships. I love how Lundy Bancroft dispels so many myths about what makes abusive people abusive: that they do not know how to express emotions, that their abuse stems from issues with alcohol or from mental illness, that they are abusive because they were abused themselves, etc. Rather, Bancroft shows that abuse is about the values systems and beliefs of abusers, such that they care more about controlling, berating, and hurting their partners than they care about understanding and honoring their partners' emotions, needs, and health. He backs up his well-written assertions with several case examples and testimonies from abusers and victims he has worked with throughout his extensive career. In addition to sharing tons of insightful information about how abusive men think and operate, Bancroft provides kind, potentially life-saving strategies and resources for victims of abuse to escape and to start their healing process. He writes with conviction about this pervasive issue while maintaining a deep empathy, gentleness, and dedication for and toward abused individuals. As someone who has experienced abuse in my own life, I feel so moved and grateful for how Bancroft both supports people with similar experiences to mine as well as holds our abusers accountable for their actions. This passage about how we must remember to side with the abused and not the abuser serves as one of many revelatory ideas: "I have almost never worked with an abused woman who overlooked her partner's humanity. The problem sit he reverse: He forgets her humanity. Acknowledging his abusiveness and speaking forcefully and honestly about how he has hurt her is indispensable to her recovery. It is the abuser's perspective that she is being mean to him by speaking bluntly about the damage he has done. To suggest to her that his need for compassion should come before her right to live free from abuse is consistent with the abuser's outlook. I have repeatedly seen the tendency among friends and acquaintances of an abused woman to feel that it is their responsibility to make sure that she realizes what a good person he really is inside - in other words, to stay focused on his needs rather than on her own, which is a mistake. People who wish to help an abused woman should instead be telling her what a good person she is." I deeply appreciate how Bancroft holds society accountable for contributing to abuse. By teaching boys that they can do whatever they want instead of showing them how to nurture and respect people, and by turning a blind eye to all the songs, movies, pornography, etc. that normalizes violence toward women, we contribute to abuse. Bancroft thus reveals that we all can also contribute to creating a world without abuse, by supporting and believing survivors while fighting the toxic elements of our culture that condone the mistreatment of fellow humans. I would recommend this eye-opening, impressive book to everyone and anyone, especially those who want to educate themselves about a salient issue plaguing society. I will end this review with an iconic passage from the last part of the book, which showcases hope amidst the darkness: "If you choose to believe that your life could be free of abuse, or that the whole world could be, you will be taunted by similar voices, some originating inside your own head. Some people feel threatened by the concept that abusive is a solvable problem, because if it is, there's no excuse for not solving it. Abusers and their allies are reluctant to face up to the damage they have done, make amends, and live differently in the future, so they may choose to insult those who address the problem of abuse. But the taunts and invalidation will not stop you, nor will they stop the rest of us, because the world has come too far to go back. There are millions of people who have taken stands against partner abuse across the globe and are now unwilling to retreat, just like the woman who gets a taste of life without the abuser and then can't live under his control anymore, because the taste of freedom and equality is too sweet."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amory

    this book is SO GOOD. Bancroft describes the abuser mentality in a way that demystifies the cycle of abuse for survivors. As someone who works with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as a survivor myself, I recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand and end abusive relationship patterns. This book also helped me understand and demystify colonial dynamics-- read Said's description of the construction of the Orientalist on the fictional body of the "Orient" and/ or this book is SO GOOD. Bancroft describes the abuser mentality in a way that demystifies the cycle of abuse for survivors. As someone who works with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as a survivor myself, I recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand and end abusive relationship patterns. This book also helped me understand and demystify colonial dynamics-- read Said's description of the construction of the Orientalist on the fictional body of the "Orient" and/ or "Oriental"; or Fanon's statement in Black Skin, White Masks: "The feeling of inferiority of the colonized is the correlative to the European’s feeling of superiority. Let us have the courage to say it outright: It is the racist who creates his inferior.” Something else I took away from it (after reading it with Said) is how it helps articulate/ reveal patriarchal processes of gendering. This book is EXCELLENT and I have given copies to numerous friends striving to understand hierarchical power dynamics. Its title is offputtingly heterosexist, but Bancroft describes his use of male/ female pronouns throughout the book in his introduction, addressing the fact that just as patriarchy and sexual violence privilege male-assigned people, in his experience male-assigned people perpetrate much more of that kind of abuse, especially toward female-assigned people in heterosexual relationships. This book's gender politics could be more radical and inclusive but at the same time does a great job of addressing the role of hierarchical violence in enforcing binary gender roles within a heteropatriarchal system.

  5. 4 out of 5

    reed

    My favorite point from this book: abusive men want to think (and have others think) that their abusive actions spring from complicated and deeply buried traumas in their pasts. But the cause of abuse is actually quite simple and clear - it is the abuser's belief that they have a right to control their partner's actions and thoughts. My favorite point from this book: abusive men want to think (and have others think) that their abusive actions spring from complicated and deeply buried traumas in their pasts. But the cause of abuse is actually quite simple and clear - it is the abuser's belief that they have a right to control their partner's actions and thoughts.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I wish everyone would read this book. If you're like me- you tip toe around the most brutal and disgusting facets of life. You make excuses, or think, "it could be worse." Read this book as many times as it takes. I would have never thought a book so could accurately capture my personal experiences or those I have heard and read and seen. Lundy Bancroft has done humanity an incredible service in publishing this book; I truly hope that we might yet hope for a future untarnished by the things cont I wish everyone would read this book. If you're like me- you tip toe around the most brutal and disgusting facets of life. You make excuses, or think, "it could be worse." Read this book as many times as it takes. I would have never thought a book so could accurately capture my personal experiences or those I have heard and read and seen. Lundy Bancroft has done humanity an incredible service in publishing this book; I truly hope that we might yet hope for a future untarnished by the things contained therein. I no longer feel alone, and I feel more empowered than ever in my knowledge. There are now many books on this same topic, but none of them are as succinct and rational as this one. You can't hem err and ahh around this book. Buy this book for your sisters, your friends- it should be REQUIRED reading for every woman- especially young girls. It is unfortunate- but it is so easy to make excuses and deny facts- especially when you are working with someone as excruciatingly endearing, charming, and intelligent as many of the men who employ these tactics.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    “It is not his feelings the abuser is too distant from: it is his partner’s feelings and his children’s feelings. Those are the emotions that he knows so little about and that he needs to get in touch with.” He reframes abuse as something not done because of bad feelings, but because of a lack of empathy for the feelings of others. He reframes the problem of abuse as not one of anger, but of the actual conscious choice to abuse partners. “The sad reality is that plenty of gentle, sensitive “It is not his feelings the abuser is too distant from: it is his partner’s feelings and his children’s feelings. Those are the emotions that he knows so little about and that he needs to get in touch with.” He reframes abuse as something not done because of bad feelings, but because of a lack of empathy for the feelings of others. He reframes the problem of abuse as not one of anger, but of the actual conscious choice to abuse partners. “The sad reality is that plenty of gentle, sensitive men are viciously abusive to their female partners.” Abusive partners, in the experience of this author as an abuse counselor, do not usually “lose control”; they make justifications for their actions. He explains it thus: “Their value system is unhealthy, not their psychology.” Any connection between emotional abuse and mental illness has gone unproven. He reframes often-repeated ideas about low self-esteem and childhood abuse as the causes for further abuse, and points out that for every abuser who was abused as a child, there is another victim of abuse who does not themselves abuse. Okay so, to be real, I dislike some of the assertions about men and women in this book — the author’s experience in abuse counseling has been that many men who are abusers themselves accuse their ex-girlfriends of being crazy, and this is really important to point out, but also, the straight-faced assertion that straight women (straight women, because this author does believe lesbians can abuse. I don’t think he’s aware of bi people yet no one tell him about them) are literally never abusive to their partners is... it’s interesting, and it also is going to require a lot more citation. I do like the lens that abuse is caused, in the vast majority of cases, by patriarchy — but like, never? never? literally never has a wife abused a husband? This breaks down immediately when the author asserts that gay women can abuse (I don’t even think this is homophobic, it’s framed as a pro-lesbian-victims statement and that was good). So like, women can abuse, but only some of them? Citation needed. While I was annoyed by both this, and the lack of citations on statistics (in nonfiction you need to cite any statistics that you trot out as fact.) I do think this is a wonderful guide for abused women to recognize their situations. That is its ultimate value. On a more personal level, the descriptions of the family dynamic in custody battles is........ so disturbingly and disruptively close to home. There’s one description of psychological testing that genuinely made me rethink a good deal of my life. So that was cool. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Youtube | About |

  8. 5 out of 5

    KatieMc

    I am really sad that I had occasion to read this book, but I am really glad that I did. The author cuts to the quick about the origin of abuse and gives a sobering prognosis for change in an abuser's patterns of behavior. What I learned: * Abuse comes from a sense of entitlement and low opinion of the abused (not always, but most commonly the abused are women) * Drugs, alcohol, past trauma, or past relationships do not cause abusive behavior. * The abuser benefits greatly by their behavior, and thu I am really sad that I had occasion to read this book, but I am really glad that I did. The author cuts to the quick about the origin of abuse and gives a sobering prognosis for change in an abuser's patterns of behavior. What I learned: * Abuse comes from a sense of entitlement and low opinion of the abused (not always, but most commonly the abused are women) * Drugs, alcohol, past trauma, or past relationships do not cause abusive behavior. * The abuser benefits greatly by their behavior, and thus has little incentive to change. They generally have freedom to do what they want when they want, they generally contribute little to the household. * The abuser is a master at manipulation and diversion, confusing the abused as to what is happening with them. * Fixing substance abuse problems do nothing to fix abusive behaviors * Abusers learn how to use couples therapy, psychotherapy, or 12 step programs to their advantage in gaining leverage over their abused partners * Changing an abuser's behavior requires that they change core value system that is deeply ingrained, and as such, happens very rarely. Learning all this can be frightening to someone who is in an abusive relationship, but ultimately knowledge is empowering.

  9. 5 out of 5

    N

    This book contains good, straightforward advice for dealing with abusive relationships. However, it also promotes terrible generalisations.  Some iffy things this books claims:  - If a man slaps a woman, it's always abuse. If a woman slaps a man, it's not always abuse.  - People are either gay or straight, and are either men or women.  - Men are only very rarely victims of abuse by women, and if this happened more often than is currently known, the author would have heard about it by now. There's no This book contains good, straightforward advice for dealing with abusive relationships. However, it also promotes terrible generalisations.  Some iffy things this books claims:  - If a man slaps a woman, it's always abuse. If a woman slaps a man, it's not always abuse.  - People are either gay or straight, and are either men or women.  - Men are only very rarely victims of abuse by women, and if this happened more often than is currently known, the author would have heard about it by now. There's no need to talk about these abuse situations at all in a book about abuse... expect to repeatedly deny that they happen. - If men were frequently abused by women, they would go to domestic violence shelters more often. (The author ignores, or is unaware of, the fact that men are widely shunned and even expelled by shelters just because they're men, and that supposed women's rights groups have actively stopped the opening of men's shelters.) - If a man says that a woman has abused him, don't trust that man. - Relationship abuse doesn't happen in tribes where men and women are socially equal. Even if those tribes also have strict social taboos about violence of any kind, it's obviously the gender dynamics that prevent abuse, because only people with social privilege over their partner can be abusers. - Female victims in abusive relationships are never co-dependent.  - If a variable doesn't cause abusive behaviour in all people exposed to those circumstances, it is not a cause of abuse.  - If something happens around a quarter of the time, women should be taught that it's a "myth." - There is no one single mental disorder that causes abuse, but rather a variety of mental disorders that correlate strongly with abuse, therefore mental disorders can't ever cause abuse.  - The author has fifteen years of experience, and if he hasn't encountered something at work yet, the theory of it just isn't important.  All of those claims are extremely damaging and I'm worried for impressionable people reading this book. The author also has a serious problem saying "all", "every", "always" or "no", "impossible", "never" when he actually intends to just describe the most common situation. In addition to this, the book is entirely USA-centric. That said, the abusive personality types and relationship dynamics that the author lists are very accurate, and if you're looking for advice on how to cut through an abuser's bullshit and cope with this kind of relationship, the book does seem to provide a straightforward and comprehensive guide. 

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zinta

    In the United States, two to four million women are physically and emotionally assaulted by their partners. At least one out of three American women will be a victim of abuse by a husband or boyfriend in her lifetime. Author Lundy Bancroft was former co-director of Emerge, the first program specifically created for abusive men in the United States. He has worked extensively with abusive men for nearly two decades. Bancroft outlines warning signs of an abusive man; ten abusive personality types; In the United States, two to four million women are physically and emotionally assaulted by their partners. At least one out of three American women will be a victim of abuse by a husband or boyfriend in her lifetime. Author Lundy Bancroft was former co-director of Emerge, the first program specifically created for abusive men in the United States. He has worked extensively with abusive men for nearly two decades. Bancroft outlines warning signs of an abusive man; ten abusive personality types; the role of addiction in abuse; what can and cannot be changed in abusive men; and how to get out of an abusive relationship safely. First among 17 myths Bancroft dispels in his book is that the victim of the abuser plays any part whatsoever in the abusive behavior of her partner. Bancroft writes: “Part of how the abuser escapes confronting himself is by convincing you that you are the cause of his behavior, or that you at least share the blame. But abuse is not the product of bad relationship dynamics, and you cannot make things better by changing your own behavior or by attempting to manage your partner better. Abuse is a problem that lies entirely within the abuser.” (pg. 19) Bancroft explains why therapy escalates abuse rather than alleviates it. “You can’t manage an abuser except for brief periods. Praising him and boosting his self-opinion may buy you some time, but sooner or later he’ll jump back into chewing pieces out of you. When you try to improve an abuser’s feelings about himself, his problem actually tends to get worse. An abusive man expects catering, and the more positive attention he receives, the more he demands.” (pg. 43) With all this confusion in abusive relationships about what is and isn’t genuine love, Bancroft offers: “Genuine love means respecting the humanity of the other person, wanting what is best for him or her, and supporting the other person’s self-esteem and independence. This kind of love is incompatible with abuse and coercion.” (pg.65) Most abusers cheat on their partners; it is a large part of their sense of entitlement. Charming and flirtatious when he chooses to be, he plays his women, friends and lovers, against each other. He uses women with no regard for the effect of his behavior on them. Bancroft lists red flags for women entering into or already in abusive relationships; we can all be abusive on occasion, but watch for ongoing patterns that will not change even when confronted about the behavior. Bancroft advises skepticism in the victim not yet ready to leave, and describes what to watch for: “giving you some extended room to be angry about what he did, rather than telling you that you’ve been angry too long or tying to stuff your angry feelings back down your throat,” nor will he make excuses or try to offer rationalizations for his behavior. (pg. 133) Bancroft discusses why it is actually more difficult to leave an abusive relationship than a normal relationship that has run its course. “The longer you have been living with his cycles of intermittent abuse and kind, loving treatment, the more attached you are likely to feel to him, through a process known as traumatic bonding.” (pg.134) Recommendations are included for finding help-legal advice, support groups, therapy for the abused partner, hotlines and organizations to assist women in abusive relationships. The book concludes with a call to action for society—to not look the other way when we see abusive behavior, to offer support to abused partners, to take a second look at the kind of behavior we encourage with the current trend to objectify women. Awareness and sensitivity to this epidemic of domestic violence (and make no mistake, emotional abuse, too, should be considered violence) can go a long way to eliminating it. ~abridged from Spring '08, The Smoking Poet

  11. 4 out of 5

    A

    When I left my husband, I had a tremendous amount of guilt over it. There is a lot of literature on verbally abusive men and their psychology. But Lundy doesn't let them off the hook. He doesn't give them any excuses. I am so grateful for this book, it really helped me feel better about my decision to leave, and to recognize that the failure of my marriage was not all my fault, and not to feel sorry for my ex (which was something that was holding me back from healing and moving on). When I left my husband, I had a tremendous amount of guilt over it. There is a lot of literature on verbally abusive men and their psychology. But Lundy doesn't let them off the hook. He doesn't give them any excuses. I am so grateful for this book, it really helped me feel better about my decision to leave, and to recognize that the failure of my marriage was not all my fault, and not to feel sorry for my ex (which was something that was holding me back from healing and moving on).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    A straight-forward and essential look into the mind of an abuser and the tactics that abusers employ, full of compassion and excellent insight for people who are currently being abused. It's a deeply necessary book with the only short-coming imo being Bancroft's insistence that men abused by women are extremely rare. We can and should discuss the disproportionate effect that IPV has on women and children and the way that the male abuser's mindset and rights are supported by the patriarchy while A straight-forward and essential look into the mind of an abuser and the tactics that abusers employ, full of compassion and excellent insight for people who are currently being abused. It's a deeply necessary book with the only short-coming imo being Bancroft's insistence that men abused by women are extremely rare. We can and should discuss the disproportionate effect that IPV has on women and children and the way that the male abuser's mindset and rights are supported by the patriarchy while also acknowledging that anyone of any gender can be an abuser of anyone of any gender. Bancroft is right to dismiss the pervasive myth that IPV is an entirely gender neutral affair, but I think it's faulty reasoning to swing entirely in the opposite direction and insist that men are practically never victims of women.

  13. 4 out of 5

    MaryannC. Book Freak

    As a victim of physical and verbal abuse during most of the years of my marriage, my therapist recommended this book to me and let me tell you that this book is a tremendous eye opener for anyone wishing for insight into the mind of an abuser. As many other readers have mentioned this book is dead on about the tactics an abuser uses. While he may appear an all around great guy or a leader in the community this accurately describes the types of abuser and many women like myself will see their par As a victim of physical and verbal abuse during most of the years of my marriage, my therapist recommended this book to me and let me tell you that this book is a tremendous eye opener for anyone wishing for insight into the mind of an abuser. As many other readers have mentioned this book is dead on about the tactics an abuser uses. While he may appear an all around great guy or a leader in the community this accurately describes the types of abuser and many women like myself will see their partner's behavior within the pages of this book. I urge any women experiencing physical and verbal abuse to pick this book up and empower themselves with knowledge about the secret hell they may be living in their relationship.

  14. 5 out of 5

    K

    This book was really difficult for me to get through, simply because it mirrored so much of my experience in an abusive relationship. I found the book to be pretty up to date despite being written a while ago. Bancroft is empowering yet firm, and really seems committed to ending abuse. He's also not judgemental. That makes for this book being an affirming read. I recommend it for all survivors and wish I read it earlier. I wasn't expecting the book to be abolitionist, but it leaves me with a lot This book was really difficult for me to get through, simply because it mirrored so much of my experience in an abusive relationship. I found the book to be pretty up to date despite being written a while ago. Bancroft is empowering yet firm, and really seems committed to ending abuse. He's also not judgemental. That makes for this book being an affirming read. I recommend it for all survivors and wish I read it earlier. I wasn't expecting the book to be abolitionist, but it leaves me with a lot to think about. Bancroft points out the issues with the system, and also talks about how community support seems to be most important with ending abuse. Even his suggestions of calling agencies etc were well-intended, but he acknowledged the issues with those too, along with therapy. There really are so little options for survivors and that makes me so sad. I'll be thinking about this book a lot, and will probably re-read. I'm sad lol. I took off a star because there wasnt an explicit naming of the patriarchy, and how that facilitates violence. Pretty decent analysis of race, class, and also sexuality though, and how stereotypes and power dynamics can impact abusive relationships.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shanon

    Validation. This book made me cry, scream, sigh, and laugh. It has been a major stepping stone in getting me to where I am currently in my life. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever been in any kind of abusive relationship.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adaya Lemae

    As a survivor, this was one of the first books I read. It was as if Mr. Bancroft knew my abuser first-hand...it was like reading my own story. Lundry Bancroft his the nail on the head with this masterpiece. I don't believe his goal is to target men (being a man himself) but, rather, show the profile of an abuser, which is so common! The cycle of violence plays over and over while the victim doubts herself, questions her own thoughts, second-guesses her self-worth and begins to believe the lies h As a survivor, this was one of the first books I read. It was as if Mr. Bancroft knew my abuser first-hand...it was like reading my own story. Lundry Bancroft his the nail on the head with this masterpiece. I don't believe his goal is to target men (being a man himself) but, rather, show the profile of an abuser, which is so common! The cycle of violence plays over and over while the victim doubts herself, questions her own thoughts, second-guesses her self-worth and begins to believe the lies her abuser has spoken over her. Mr. Bancroft is a genius to provide victims of domestic violence an opportunity to see that she isn't the only one and the abuse isn't her fault because she deserves better. What a powerful tool that I highly recommend to all victims and survivors!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was possibly the biggest deterrent for me from re-entering a couple recent negative scenarios. I highly recommend it, and I wish I'd found it sooner. This was possibly the biggest deterrent for me from re-entering a couple recent negative scenarios. I highly recommend it, and I wish I'd found it sooner.

  18. 4 out of 5

    K

    Thankfully I don't have much experience working with domestic violence cases, so my five star rating may not be the same as one from an expert would be. Having said that, I took a brief course in domestic violence a few months ago and the instructor referred to this book as her bible. Now that I've read it, I can see why. This detailed book contains a wealth of practical information on domestic violence. Offering both depth and breadth, this book has the potential to assist victims of domestic vi Thankfully I don't have much experience working with domestic violence cases, so my five star rating may not be the same as one from an expert would be. Having said that, I took a brief course in domestic violence a few months ago and the instructor referred to this book as her bible. Now that I've read it, I can see why. This detailed book contains a wealth of practical information on domestic violence. Offering both depth and breadth, this book has the potential to assist victims of domestic violence as well as the individuals positioned to help them, whether they are professionals, family members, or supportive acquaintances. "Why Does He Do That?" includes sections on the nature of abusive thinking (including a chapter on the many variations of abusive partners from "Mr. Sensitive" to "the Water Torturer" to "Rambo"), how abusive partners function in relationships, how abusive men are viewed by others (hint: it's rare for an abusive individual to seem like "the type," and even therapists are frequently fooled by abusers' presentation), and the process of change for an abuser, the prognosis for which is quite poor, sadly. Bancroft addresses useful questions such as how abuse begins, how to distinguish between normative relationship tension and abuse, and how to determine whether the abuser's apologies and efforts to change are sincere or merely part of the cycle. Finally, he includes a wonderful resource guide for individuals involved with an abusive situation in a variety of capacities. Reading this book was depressing for me, although I could certainly see it being an empowering experience for someone in an abusive relationship who needs validation. It also made me wonder whether every conflicted couple I've seen was actually experiencing abuse, and whether I was all wrong in my approach to couples therapy (typical couples therapy is actually contraindicated for couples with an abusive partner, as is individual therapy for the abuser). I understand now why some of my colleagues who work in domestic violence have a tendency to see DV everywhere; simply reading this book sensitized me to the frequently camouflaged nature of abuse as well as to the grave danger of not seeing it where it exists. All in all, an excellent, informative, and helpful book. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, or if you think someone you know is and want to learn how to help them (and how not to), read this.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Todd Mika

    For many, this book is regarded as a drawing back of the curtain, a revelatory book exposing the truth behind male behaviors that are abusive. I've read this book in depth before, and on a second read I can't stress enough how many errors there are about male psychology, fed to the reader in comforting, easy-to-swallow coatings of commiseration over abusive male behavior, with very few alternatives for what "nonabusive" behavior looks like by contrast. Despite claiming to be very progressive in For many, this book is regarded as a drawing back of the curtain, a revelatory book exposing the truth behind male behaviors that are abusive. I've read this book in depth before, and on a second read I can't stress enough how many errors there are about male psychology, fed to the reader in comforting, easy-to-swallow coatings of commiseration over abusive male behavior, with very few alternatives for what "nonabusive" behavior looks like by contrast. Despite claiming to be very progressive in his views of gender roles, in the chapter "Myths about Abusers" Bancroft uses quotes of men who stopped violent outbursts as proof that such outbursts are actually planned, deliberate form of manipulation, because the clients he questioned could explain their reasons for stopping themselves. It sounds validating at first until you realize Bancroft's base for this conclusion logically, is that (1) men don't have irrational emotions, because our outbursts are all staged, but (2) women never stage their outbursts, and thus women have uncontrolled irrational emotions. Bancroft seems to hold the view that women are hapless, flighty lambs and men are opportunistic schemers whose emotions are staged to trick you. Not a very good perspective for healing trust in the opposite sex. As another example, he actually states that "an unabusive man" would never lash out but maintain perfect control and prioritizing even in a crisis situation. His example is a situation of husband and wife whose child is missing: "A nonabusive man would not expect his wife to be taking emotional care of him during a crisis of this gravity." Why not? He makes it perfectly clear later in the book that a woman under mental and emotional stress is likely to lash out in frustration or anger, but THEN says that calling her abusive for such an outburst is gaslighting and water-torture abuse. According to Bancroft, any expression of emotion beyond a aloof, controlled, unironic statement "I feel ____" is intimidating, posturing, and abusive. Bancroft's essays on masculine flaws shows a deeply gendered bias in the book. He makes the statement later on while listing off signs of an abusive person, that a man who wants a traditional stay-at-home mom type of woman is abusive for wanting to "force her to live in his box." But Bancroft at the same time defers to an antiquated stereotype of masculine strength that a man is a cool-headed leader in crisis and the woman the one who needs to be bolstered and cared for.... never the other way around. And any man who crumbles under that pressure is abusive, according to him. For someone championing the pains of abused women, Bancroft firmly sets forth a medieval ideal of men as the unflappable, generous protectors of womenfolk who need coddling lest they crumble in the pressures of everyday life (none of which, Bancroft repeats, are excuses for any ill behavior or mood a man might dare show). "Why Does He Do That?" offers a truckload of validation to the aching, hurting heart that wants to hear what a monster her abuser is... But while Bancroft's observations may be superficially accurate, the conclusions he reaches are deeply dehumanizing falsehoods about male psychology. Seriously, beware this book if you want to actually know why men do what they do.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nilanjana Haldar

    First off: Domestic Violence Has no Gender so 'He' here can be Substituted with 'She' I invite all domestic violence victims to read my review. I have lots of say and you can find one of the most reliable messages around this topic right here :) I have read lots of fiction on domestic abuse. Rarely do people recognise (FOR REAL) that amongst the ones seeking fiction on domestic abuse are interspersed men and women who are really craving for a stepladder method that would lift them out of the abus First off: Domestic Violence Has no Gender so 'He' here can be Substituted with 'She' I invite all domestic violence victims to read my review. I have lots of say and you can find one of the most reliable messages around this topic right here :) I have read lots of fiction on domestic abuse. Rarely do people recognise (FOR REAL) that amongst the ones seeking fiction on domestic abuse are interspersed men and women who are really craving for a stepladder method that would lift them out of the abuse that they have been dropped into. So, they are seeking answers, people, not just fiction! If I have to speak for Indians which only became nationally independent less than a century ago, there are soooo many who would really endure extended periods of thirst and hunger simply to obtain a solution out of this maze. This is how these Indians (includes both men and women alike) are groping about for liberation, their tearless, expressionless, unuttered cries run like this: "Help me please. Give me ONE ASNWER, just one answer out of this mess!" They fear crying. Why, you ask? Because their cries will be misunderstood or if expressed with the exact reason, stupid hearers will trivialise it by stating, "Don't worry, talk to him, he will understand," or "Go, talk to the police." THIS ABSOLUTELY DOESN'T HELP! So, if you happen to be someone like that (a man or a woman), you have miles to go and there are many things you need to study to finally discover the truth out of this mess. But jusssst hang in there, and try searching for answers---begin this liberation journey (it's very beautiful believe me! You will connect the dots mucccch later!) Through years of study of people in such scenarios and hardcore personal development, I can honestly say, this book offers a starting point out of this mess. And a very good one at that! You first need to understand why this "abuser" does this. This understanding your family members, friends and relatives, most of whom have never studied this topic in such depth, will lack, and there may have been many times when you struggled for answers in the middle of a sea of questions, trying explicitly hard to keep your nose above the depths, but found not a single one. It's a long long journey dear, but it is so blissful once you climb out of it you will be baffled. Trauma is a bliss but that you can forget for now. Right now, this book is a powerful handbook to show how really how much you misunderstood the misgivings laid against you. There is a another's mess that you are colliding against. Take it easy on yourself as you read along this novel and apply, which is enormously well-written and well-researched. You have to understand why this person does what he/she does, then carefully seek to apply the solutions provided alongside at the end of each chapter. Every chapter is short, concise and written in simple English, with a workable solution provided at the end. To check the credibility of the author, I must tell you this author is extremely reputed in the field of domestic violence---- You can even attain a personal appointment with him---check out his website. I am certain this book will guide you! Next---trust me when I say, trauma is bliss! :) I am not joking! You are being shown a doorway towards truth because you material world is no longer making sense! That's besides the point in this review but a relevant message that tags along with this topic!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This book is about abusive men.The author worked for many years as a counselor/therapist with abusive men, and he put everything down that he's learned about them and I'm pretty convinced he has unravelled the mystery of these sort of guys - which really isn't that much of a mystery, as it turns out they all behave in pretty predictable patterns. I never would have read this book (or even made it past the first chapter) if there wasn't someone close to me who is getting out of an abusive relation This book is about abusive men.The author worked for many years as a counselor/therapist with abusive men, and he put everything down that he's learned about them and I'm pretty convinced he has unravelled the mystery of these sort of guys - which really isn't that much of a mystery, as it turns out they all behave in pretty predictable patterns. I never would have read this book (or even made it past the first chapter) if there wasn't someone close to me who is getting out of an abusive relationship. She's been married almost 20 years, they've both been very active members of the LDS church (married in the temple) and he was even the well liked scout master in the ward when he was first arrested last fall. She doesn't live anywhere near me and I'm limited in what I can do to help her. I can, however, sort through every book on abuse my library has and send her the best ones to read herself. This book was by far my favorite. There's only a handful of books that I feel shifted my perspective and opened my eyes to something I'd previously ignored. I put this book in that category. For example, I used to think I really understood abusive relationships, and that I never could have been in one because I'm way too smart to ever put up with anything like that. Then I started reading the author's descriptions of the main categories of abusers, and found that he was describing in eerie perfection two guys (best friends) from my freshman ward at BYU who I was pretty close to. One played the victim card, and made your heart break for him because of his rough childhood. The other was "Mr. Right", always lavishing you with attention and gifts and his all knowing spiritually, but wanted total submission and focus on him once he began a dating relationship. I always thought these two guys were a little off, but everyone in our ward kind of loved them for their quirkiness, I guess. After hearing the author describe the two of them down to even phrases I remember them using, I thought about what I knew of their lives since we parted ways a decade ago. One was arrested a year or two ago for flying to Utah to meet a 14 year old girl for sex. (He was married and finishing up law school at the time.) The other brought a girl to the states from Korea, where he had baptized her while serving a mission. After about five years of marriage and multiple visits to their home from police on domestic violence calls, they finally divorced. The last I heard he was dating a 19 year old boy, which fits in with his desire to be older and in control of his partner, whether male or female. So yep, the author pegged them for what they were, and I didn't even recognize the signs until more than ten years later. Could I have been dumb enough to marry an abusive man? Probably. Why are teenagers allowed to even date, let alone decide to get married? They are so dumb, like I was. I also feel I've gained a much broader view of abuse in our society. I'm noticing things that never would have crossed my mind before. I've been watching that new show by Steven Spielburg, SMASH, on Monday nights. Honestly, it drew me in initially because it was all about a broadway musical and had interesting plot lines and blah blah, but now it's occurred to me that it's just a trashy soap opera done by more famous people than the daytime soaps. If you've been watching it you've seen Deborah Messing's character (the writer of the play with a bad case of writer's block) come back into contact with a man she'd had an affair with (which she regrets) five years earlier. He keeps pressuring her to see him alone, and she's told him at least a dozen times over the last few episodes to leave her alone. He showed up at her home one night while her husband was out of town and while she tried to make him leave, he forced his way in and ended up having dinner with her and her teenage son. She refuses to talk to him at the studio and he threatens to cause a scene if she doesn't. He calls her at home and talks to her husband as if they are friends, and she takes the phone and again demands that he never call or text her at home with her family. He asks her to meet him at the studio that night, and she says no again. Finally, she decides to go after all, intent on telling him once and for all that it is over, and to leave her and her family alone. Well, guess what happens when she gets to the studio? She tries again to tell him to leave her alone, but she is so overcome with her desire for him that they end up sleeping together on one of the set couches. The next day at rehearsal they are smiling and flirting with each other, and poof! Her writer's block is finally gone and she finishes the play. So, WHAT?! According to this story line, when a woman tells a man she isn't interested in him, it just means he needs to try harder. Go to her house. If she won't let you in, shove the door open and let yourself in. Call her at home. Follow her everywhere. In the end, she will fall passionately into your arms and sleep with you. You know better than her what she wants anyway - she's just saying no because that's what women do. She really wants you. See? If you just persist long enough she'll give in and you'll both be happy, and everything in her life will be better for doing what you wanted her to do. That is what some men imagine is happening in their mind, but in reality when a woman tells you to take a hike, she actually means it. I never would have thought much about the message this sends to young boys before, but now I do. What sort of society do we live in that this kind of entertainment is on prime time TV and no one objects? What's the next step - does the woman say no a hundred times until her rapes her, and then she's happy and successful? It's really not that far of a leap. Dang it. I always like to think that everyone else is happy and content and loving in their own homes. I now can't pretend that anymore - not even about the family that looks perfect. I also have to stop subconciously judging women in bad relationships, assuming that they did something dumb that put themselves in them in the first place. I don't know if this would be the most interesting read if you didn't have a specific abusive man in your life that you wanted to learn more about, but it turned out to be one of the most fascinating and eye opening books I've read in a long time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    SISTERS Magazine

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something I think is a universal truth, though maybe not a very popular idea: I believe that men, in their general position of greater physical and economic power, are at great risk of abusing that power thereby abusing women, children, elders and all people ‘weaker’ than them. Those of us in potential positions of being abused could do well to recognise some of the abusive behaviours which are common in many in positions of power. In turn, this could a I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something I think is a universal truth, though maybe not a very popular idea: I believe that men, in their general position of greater physical and economic power, are at great risk of abusing that power thereby abusing women, children, elders and all people ‘weaker’ than them. Those of us in potential positions of being abused could do well to recognise some of the abusive behaviours which are common in many in positions of power. In turn, this could aid us all to not let abuse trickle down the chains of hierarchy and spread. It is for this reason that I was curious to read Why Does He Do That? Inside The Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. At the time of writing the book, Lundy Bancroft had spent fifteen years working with angry and controlling men as a counsellor, evaluator and investigator. Bancroft identified many patterns among the men, making abusive behaviour less evasive to pinpoint, as simply recognising that something is actually abuse is difficult for most involved in it. One of the many useful things I found in Why Does He Do That? was Bancroft’s demystification of several commonly held false beliefs about why men abuse. These ‘myths’ are used by the men, and others, as excuses for their behaviours. Bancroft points out that it is abusers themselves who have so oft repeated these excuses, creating their own mythology within cultures - he also points out that abusers are master manipulators and, in this sense, have manipulated a great many of us. A few of these myths popped out at me as being frequently used as excuses among Muslims; when I shared Bancroft’s list of seventeen myths on Facebook, Muslim friends and acquaintances had had experiences with all of them. So, while I encourage people to read this book to get its full benefit, I will share some of Bancroft’s myth-debunking insights, keeping them correlated to the chronological order he uses in the book: 1. He was abused as a child. Bancroft uses studies to demonstrate how abusers manipulate or outright lie about childhood abuse in order to garner sympathy for their abusive behaviour. But for me the most compelling argument against this excuse is that when Bancroft corners abusers about this one suggesting, “If you are so in touch with your feelings from your abusive childhood…. You should be less likely to abuse a woman, not more so, from having been through it.” As Bancroft explains, “….he only wants to draw attention to [his childhood abuse] if it’s an excuse to stay the same, not if it’s a reason to change.” Like most other abusers, the majority who use this excuse refuse to use therapeutic measures to heal and discontinue their own abusiveness. 2. He loses control. In this section, Bancroft demonstrates the many ways that abusers themselves removed the façade of “out of control abuser who doesn’t realize what he’s doing”. For instance, when questioned why the abusers didn’t do certain things, such as leave visible marks or break their own valuable items, or about how they were able to immediately calm down when police arrive, abusers responded that they didn’t want to take things that far as they had something to lose if they did. That is not indicative of being out of control, rather Bancroft and his associates long term work with abusers revealed that abusers are actually extremely calculated in how they emotionally and physically abuse their partners. Control is the primary thing abusers seek by being abusive and they know how to get it. 3. There are as many abusive women as abusive men. It is unfortunate that I even feel compelled to address this myth, but since it nearly always comes up during conversations about abusive men, I am glad Bancroft addresses it. Part of this overall myth is that men are ashamed to come forward when they are abused by women so their numbers are harder to identify. Bancroft makes several points to correct this flawed reasoning, including “….that women crave dignity just as much as men” and it is often outside interference that brings abuse to light. If there were truly such high numbers of female on male abuse, they would have been brought to light by those same concerned family members, neighbours, police, schools and so on who interfere in male to female abuse. Another commonly upheld aspect of this myth is that men are responding to verbal abuse with physical abuse, but as author Margaret Atwood has famously been quoted, “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” Bancroft reminds readers that “....abuse is not a battle that you win by being better at expressing yourself” and that male abusers employ verbal abuse such as sarcasm, insults and threats as part of their overall abuse tactics. Female to male abuse exists, but it is much rarer and has no place in conversations about correcting the prevailing problem of men abusing women as it only derails from the solutions specific to the problem. 4. He is a victim of racism. As Muslims are often in circumstances to be on the receiving end of racism, Orientalism and Islamophobia, I thought this item needed addressing here. Racism causes a great deal of real stress, but non-abusive men deal with that stress in ways other than abusing. Just like with being on the receiving end of child abuse in issue #1 “…if a man has experienced oppression himself, it could just as easily make him more sympathetic to a woman’s distress…”. Bancroft points out that men of colour were among the first and strongest opponents of abuse of women in the United States. Consider, for example, the former slave Frederick Douglass who was a champion for the suffrage movement. Ultimately, Bancroft explains the motivations of the abusers: “The reasons that an abusive man gives for his behavior are simply excuses.... beliefs, values, and habits are the driving forces [behind his abuse].” A man is abusive because he has a warped belief. The abuser believes that the person he is abusing is inferior to him and deserving of a treatment he himself is not. Of course, that is a common belief held by some Muslims, that the ‘degree a man has over a woman’ is one of absolute human superiority. This is plainly known as ‘entitlement’. My belief is that this greater physical and economic power men often have can be a great fitnah for many of us and we should each do our best to fight the abuse of this power, either as exerting or receiving abuse. In the book, Bancroft says, “If any part of what I describe about abusers doesn’t match your experience, cast it aside and focus on the parts that do fit.” I would suggest that as Muslims with an interest in improving character and behaviour, as well as encouraging improvements and resisting injustices, we all truly could benefit from understanding the roots of abuse and oppression and can find something to relate to or overcome in this book. I by no means want to shame or blame victims of domestic violence; rather, I would like to remind them that Allah (SWT) tells us not to accept abuse to our persons. Accepting abuse is a form of wronging ourselves, as well as enabling or encouraging a culture of abuse: “And those who, having done an act of indecency, or wronged their own souls, should remember Allah and ask for forgiveness for their sins and who can forgive sins except Allah? And are never stubborn in continuing (and excusing) the wrong they have done. For them, the reward is forgiveness from the Lord and gardens with rivers flowing underneath as an eternal dwelling; how excellent a reward this is for those who work and strive for good.” (Al ‘Imran:135-136) Why Does He Do That? is an excellent resource for understanding and helping to dismantle abuse, insha Allah. You can also find more articles about domestic violence on the SISTERS website at http://www.sisters-magazine.com/index.... * Brooke Benoit reviewed this book for the August 2014 issue #59 of SISTERS Magazine. Brooke is an artist, SISTERS magazine editor, writer and unschooling mama living in Morocco.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tozette

    An interesting read that resonates strongly with some of my own experiences. The author of this book has experience in running assorted workshops and prison-mandated programs for men who abuse their wives or girlfriends, so a lot of it is anecdotal and casual, and should of course be taken with a grain of salt. The writing style is a little simplistic in places, which makes it feel condescending - despite assertions that the abuse of women by male partners (as an overwhelming majority of domestic An interesting read that resonates strongly with some of my own experiences. The author of this book has experience in running assorted workshops and prison-mandated programs for men who abuse their wives or girlfriends, so a lot of it is anecdotal and casual, and should of course be taken with a grain of salt. The writing style is a little simplistic in places, which makes it feel condescending - despite assertions that the abuse of women by male partners (as an overwhelming majority of domestic abuse is) is a result of cultural attitudes, Bancroft is himself ironically kind of tongue-clucking and paternalistic occasionally. However, despite its broadly unscientific writing, I think the book actually has some insights really worth thinking about: the focus on the abuser rather than the abused is a really excellent change from many of these sorts of texts - a lot of the time you end up reading about the victims involved and you don't receive any mental pressure to think about the perpetrator. By focusing on the abusers in these relationships, Bancroft places greater value on accountability. (This is something that western culture could probably learn a lot from as a whole. Just sayin'.) I think it is interesting for having been written by a male-identifying person rather than a woman, which is usually the perspective I have read from when reading about domestic abuse. It was also interesting for me because a lot of the behaviours Bancroft is describing are extremely recognisable. There is, sadly, only a very small section on same-sex partner abuse. I would like to read more about this sometime just because I feel like in homosexual relationships there should be less emphasis on gendered roles. I would have appreciated reading more about people's experiences with how certain attitudes bred abuse outside of heteronormative society.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielė Bužinskaitė

    In a world where it is more than 30% chance to experience domestic abuse for me, as a woman, it seems important to understand this issue better. The author has greatly expanded my understanding of abusive men. I have believed many myths! I thought men who abuse their loved ones must be mentally unstable or traumatised. However, it is not the case — most of them are mentally healthy, were not abused as kids nor mistreated in other ways throughout their life, nor is it low self-esteem or alcohol t In a world where it is more than 30% chance to experience domestic abuse for me, as a woman, it seems important to understand this issue better. The author has greatly expanded my understanding of abusive men. I have believed many myths! I thought men who abuse their loved ones must be mentally unstable or traumatised. However, it is not the case — most of them are mentally healthy, were not abused as kids nor mistreated in other ways throughout their life, nor is it low self-esteem or alcohol that causes it. Author lists the types of men who tend to be abusive. It is not necessarily the aggressive, hyper-masculine-macho-man, some abusers can be exactly the opposite — sensitive, very liberal and so called “modern men”. However, the book contains limitations. It could have been half shorter and I expected more scientifically based evidence.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Isabel

    extremely insightful assessment of abuse & what steps abusers need to take in order to change (outside of incarceration). talks about warning signs, myths about why men abuse, why men really abuse, abuser interventions, substance misuse, children and more. i found the argument about why therapy/couples counseling isn’t for abusers or their partners really compelling as he argues abuse isn’t about communication or relationship dynamics. dealing w/ abusers requires specific intervention by a media extremely insightful assessment of abuse & what steps abusers need to take in order to change (outside of incarceration). talks about warning signs, myths about why men abuse, why men really abuse, abuser interventions, substance misuse, children and more. i found the argument about why therapy/couples counseling isn’t for abusers or their partners really compelling as he argues abuse isn’t about communication or relationship dynamics. dealing w/ abusers requires specific intervention by a mediator who DOES take sides (the victims) as remaining neutral only enables the abuser. really great text. surprising tho that within this 400 page text on gender violence against women by men there’s no mention of patriarchy (the only reason it’s not a 5 star text, imo).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    All right, I picked this book up for one reason, and want to recommend it for so many other reasons than what led me to it! This is obviously not light fare. And you might not even think you need to read this book because you don't know any angry and controlling men (though I bet you do). If you see the word "abuse" in the first chapters and think, "what so-and-so does is not actually 'abuse' so this isn't relevant to me," don't let that stop you, read it anyway! All the way through to the end. All right, I picked this book up for one reason, and want to recommend it for so many other reasons than what led me to it! This is obviously not light fare. And you might not even think you need to read this book because you don't know any angry and controlling men (though I bet you do). If you see the word "abuse" in the first chapters and think, "what so-and-so does is not actually 'abuse' so this isn't relevant to me," don't let that stop you, read it anyway! All the way through to the end. This book is now something I'm going to talk about in the future at random times, I'm sure. It has gone on my list of books my kids will have to read in high school before they leave my house. I recommend this ESPECIALLY for a late teen daughter or the parent of a late teen daughter or before your daughter gets ready to date. I've always wondered how the men I know that are like this pull the wool over the smart, capable women who fall for them and stay with them as they are. I now have insight into that. The author has a chapter of red flags that are subtle, but you can pick up on when a man like this starts a relationship. With you and your daughter paying attention for these cues, perhaps you can avoid a miserable situation altogether or at least if you don't, you & she have knowledge ahead of time that may help get her out of a bad situation quicker. Caveat: there are some hard curse words in the book, almost all in example lines/scenes from abusers/abusive scenarios. They did not feel gratuitous despite them being the harshest of the curse words, though of course they make you wince--as they should. If you are concerned about that in handing this to an older teen, read it and cross them out if you must. But don't let that keep such vital info from her. I would have felt better equipped dating to avoid what I wanted to avoid in picking a life partner way back when. (Thankfully, I did avoid the type of man I wanted to avoid, but still, this book would have helped.) I did not pick this book up to minister to me, but it did. And so I recommend it to people I know that have ever faced abuse in the past. Long story short, I grew up with the kind of man that this book is written about. I often hear after sharing my story, "how are you so well adjusted?" and I would shrug it off by saying, "My mother and the grace of God" but along with those two things being the very biggest reasons for my ability to function and succeed, I learned even more how I survived as well as I did by reading this book--though I certainly did not get out completely unscathed. This book may be aimed at women in abusive relationships, but it was a balm to my soul and insightful to my life on what actually happened to me as a child (nearly cried in the chapter that addressed children because there were parts that were my life), the book helped encourage me to no longer feel any guilt from certain family members for my current life decisions in regard to interacting with certain men in my family, plus the ability to put into words and make sense of what happened, and I hope it will help me empower others who find themselves in situations like this. Coupled with my life experiences AND this book, I feel more able to make a difference. The entirety of what this author wrote in regard to my situation rang true, so I'm sure the parts I'm less familiar with are just as solid. I also feel more able to deal with those members of my family that are men like this instead of just trying to avoid them (I still have to see some of these men-they're blood relatives) or how to deal with my family members that defend them. The author's insight that he gained through leading men in abuser counseling was the missing piece to my understanding of what I went through--a very freeing feeling. I now see what I could have done in the past better in response to things, but I don't feel guilty for it--all fault is on them, but I now know what I can do in future situations better. If you've been in an abusive situation and even if it's done and over and you've built a life apart from that, you may find this book still extremely useful for your own understanding of what you experienced. I'd also recommend this to any in the church that deal with dating teens or married couples to be prepared to help when necessary or who volunteer in any sort of support group, dealing with kids in any capacity, and even therapists who've not been taught specifically how to deal with an abuser. Even if you haven't been in an abusive situation, don't know anyone in an abusive situation, don't have children in the dating scene, I'd still recommend you read this book. You might be able to see why that relationship of your coworker feels "wrong" but you just can't stay why. You may be encouraged to volunteer to help where there is so desperate a need to help. You may be the one who can pick up on where some man is being fed wrong cultural ideas (or having them reinforced) that may lead him down a destructive path and you can be a part of guiding him to see things the right way. You may realize, you've been wrong about some of your own thinking in regard to others' situations. This is just an all around necessary book that I think should be on everyone's shelf and not just there to collect dust. There's a reason it's a bestseller.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Out of all the books I've been reading on the subject, Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That has probably been the best of them. Its not perfect, but it helps explain and accurately portrays so much of the physical/emotional/verbal abusers actions. Even if your abuser is not a physical abuser, this book still helps greatly. It should be noted that this book can be helpful for all situations where abuse is involved, even if it isn't an intimate relationship. As a precursor, this is about abusive me Out of all the books I've been reading on the subject, Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That has probably been the best of them. Its not perfect, but it helps explain and accurately portrays so much of the physical/emotional/verbal abusers actions. Even if your abuser is not a physical abuser, this book still helps greatly. It should be noted that this book can be helpful for all situations where abuse is involved, even if it isn't an intimate relationship. As a precursor, this is about abusive men mainly. That's not to say women aren't abusive too, this just doesn't happen to be a book written on that topic. It could also to a smaller extent be applied to lesbian relationships as well. Bancroft splits it into several parts. The first part covers the nature of abusive thinking and the most helpful part of this section is identifying the types of abusive men. Bancroft takes care to explain that a man may not be one certain type, but rather can be a mix of several. I especially like how he explained the actions of each type. The next section is the Abusive Man in Relationships and it helps explain how the abuse begins, how it effects everyday life, and what happens when you break up. The third part is the Abusive Man in the World and it shows how they interact with the legal system, gain allies to their side, and how they are as parents. The last part of the book is Changing the Abusive Man and don't be fooled by the title. While there are a few rare cases that the abusive man changes, it is not highly likely and this chapter will only be helpful to a few. Bancroft finishes off the book with a listing of resources for people in abusive relationships. This book was much better than the others because it doesn't focus on blaming the victim. It acknowledges that these abusive actions are never acceptable and tries to explain how it happens and gives validation to those experiencing it. And there are parts that some people can skip over. If you don't have children, the abusers as parents won't be relevant to you. If your abuser fails to see that anything is wrong or blames everything on you, you probably won't find the part on changing the abusive man helpful. And it is ok to skip those sections. This book should be used to focus on the relevant areas to your situation and to help with those. A compassionate book with a lot of information, this one should be a go to book before all the others on this topic. Why Does He Do That Copyright 2002 400 pages Review by M. Reynard 2011

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stanley Hall

    I have read a lot of books on psychological abuse and domestic violence but this is the best! I was hooked from the Introduction. The author has decades of experience working with battering males, and he leaves them no excuses. I love chapter 2 where it shatters all the myths of why people abuse. Chapter 3 explains the abusive mentality that is essentially summed up by "entitlement". The chapters just keep getting better too. One of the best points from this book is when it points out that anytim I have read a lot of books on psychological abuse and domestic violence but this is the best! I was hooked from the Introduction. The author has decades of experience working with battering males, and he leaves them no excuses. I love chapter 2 where it shatters all the myths of why people abuse. Chapter 3 explains the abusive mentality that is essentially summed up by "entitlement". The chapters just keep getting better too. One of the best points from this book is when it points out that anytime someone says they are out of control there is some point at which the person can identify when they chose to get out of control. At some point they felt pushed over the edge and gave themselves permission. I am excited to finish the book and then reread it. I have continued reading this book slowly, digesting it carefully. Every page is amazing! Now that I work in a domestic violence center the information is invaluable. The other counselors are amazed by the insights I share, I tell them it's from this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Feather

    Lundy Bancroft gave me the understanding I have longed for when it comes to abusive men. He doesn't give the generic, just leave them, they won't change but proceeds to explain the mind games they play and how to tell if they are really wanting to change or not. His 15 years of experience counseling abused men provides the necessary understanding that even psychologists and the court system doesn't understand. He also gives women of these abusers comfort as they may be abandoned by friends and f Lundy Bancroft gave me the understanding I have longed for when it comes to abusive men. He doesn't give the generic, just leave them, they won't change but proceeds to explain the mind games they play and how to tell if they are really wanting to change or not. His 15 years of experience counseling abused men provides the necessary understanding that even psychologists and the court system doesn't understand. He also gives women of these abusers comfort as they may be abandoned by friends and family from the struggle to overcome this. It's a terrific book, far more comprehensive into the minds of the abuser than I had expected to read. Men that control women do it intentionally and this was exactly what I needed to know if I didn't want to believe it. I know this book will help many women know they aren't the crazy ones. The author states at the beginning of the book the term "abuser" can mean "mistreatment" too. There are different levels of mistreatment but they all relate and someone who mistreats is much like a physical abuser.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I think this book should be required reading for everyone. Even if you are not an abuse survivor or know an abuse survivor (you probably do), Bancroft does an amazing job of breaking down the abusive mindset and explaining why it's unlikely they will change. I was enraged by a lot of things in this book (the chapters on the effects of spousal abuse on children and abused women dealing with the legal system were particularly difficult for me to read) but it made me realize that if I'm that angry I think this book should be required reading for everyone. Even if you are not an abuse survivor or know an abuse survivor (you probably do), Bancroft does an amazing job of breaking down the abusive mindset and explaining why it's unlikely they will change. I was enraged by a lot of things in this book (the chapters on the effects of spousal abuse on children and abused women dealing with the legal system were particularly difficult for me to read) but it made me realize that if I'm that angry about how things are, I need to do something to change things. The final chapter is full of tips on how to help do that. One thing that really struck me from this book is that abuse is a microcosm of oppression--what the abuser does is the same thing oppressors do, only on a smaller scale. That means his book has real implications for anyone involved in any kind of social justice movement. So, go read it.

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