Book Review: Overcoming by Dr. Charlene Quint

I don’t think I’ve started a book review with a disclaimer, but today, I’m going to because I want you to read this even if you don’t make it to the end of the review.

If you’re on social media of any kind with a friends list, I can guarantee that at least one person has been, is right now, or will someday be in an abusive relationship. This book deals with this subject in a comprehensive way. Please, if you do nothing else, please share this book (via this review or in another way) with your entire friends list on every social media channel you’re on. And if you are someone who attends a church in any way, please share this book with your church staff.

Within ONE HOUR of sharing a picture of this book on my own social media page, I had multiple friends reach out to me to either ask about the book, share their experience of finding themselves in an abusive relationship, or ask more questions about it. And I personally know there are more on my very small friends list who could benefit from this book.

What this book is about:

Overcoming is a comprehensive guidebook in identifying, recognizing, and recovering from abusive relationships. With many case study and personal examples to highlight the points being made, Dr. Quint paints a vivid picture of what goes on behind closed doors. She outlines abusive behaviors, examines the progression, demonstrates how churches can be complicit in rewarding abusers and further victimizing victims. She talks about how to safely remove oneself from an abusive relationship and she doesn’t minimize at all the difficulty and danger of extracting from an abusive relationship. Finally, she outlines ways to begin recovering from the trauma and experience of abuse. This book is incredibly powerful in not only being able to help victims of abuse, but to also help others identify abusers, understand victims and support them, and to stop supporting abusers.

What I liked:

This book is so massive and comprehensive. It’s so much to take in, but mindblowingly poignant. It speaks candidly about a difficult subject and absolutely calls out complicit behavior in others.

It’s well organized, full of real-life examples and stories, and easy to read and understand. I was glued to these pages, reading for hours at a time when I could.

Finally, this book has a decoy cover, which means the dust jacket can be turned around to reveal a cover specifically designed to deflect attention from the subject matter of the book, and thus be a safer cover for display.

What I didn’t like:

Only the fact that a book like this is needed.

Overall thoughts and opinions:

This is such an important book and literally everyone needs to read it. Church and business leaders should be familiar with the contents in order to identify abusers and victims and be equipped to deal with each appropriately. People in relationships should be familiar with its contents in order to identify whether behaviors occurring are abusive or not. People who aren’t in relationships should be familiar with its contents so as to avoid being taken in by an abuser.

All too often, victims are not believed because the outward persona of an abuser is incongruent with abusive behavior. This book explains why someone may not recognize abusive behavior or stay in a relationship where they are being abused for long periods of time. Only when we are so familiar with the actions of abusers and stand with victims rather than further victimizing them can we begin to tackle this scourge that is domestic abuse.

So, as I said above, please share this book with everyone you know, on every social media channel you have. Share it with your church, insist they purchase a copy AND READ IT. Read it yourself. Request copies for your local libraries. Buy a copy for your local domestic violence center or shelter for use by those needing their services. But most of all, take a stand against abuse. Speak out about it. Listen when victims speak. Show support even if you don’t know what to say. Saying ‘I’m sorry you’re in this situation’ is enough. Ask how you can help and mean it. Remove yourself from abusers and don’t condone their abusive behavior. Be a safe space for victims, not victimizers. Don’t use your religion to condone abusive behavior and refuse to stay in a church that does. Call out the unhealthy practices. We all collectively can do so much to work toward the ending of domestic abuse, but only if we are equipped. This book is capable of equipping anyone.

I give Overcoming five stars.

Learn more about the book and the author. Visit the Abuse Care website.

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