Fleeing the House of Horrors: Women Who Have Left Abusive Partners


249 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-3726-7
DDC 362.82'92




Reviewed by Susan Thomas

Susan Thomas is a middle-school guidance counselor, teacher, and social
worker in Milton, Ontario.


Fleeing the House of Horrors is a report of findings from interviews
carried out between 1995 and 2000 with 39 survivors of partner abuse and
violence. The overview of the literature that existed prior to the study
is reasonably comprehensive, although some feminist sources are omitted.

The personal accounts of the women offer insights into the abuse and
its impact on the children who witnessed it or were also targets. These
stories continue with testimony about the support systems that should
exist in the social services, health, and justice communities. A
troubling chapter addresses the debate about the self-destructive and
abusive behavior of the women themselves. There is an attempt to make
connections with various cultural and ethnic groups, and to place the
topic within the current context of terrorism.

Despite the author’s obvious desire to help victims of abuse, this
book does not offer practical advice or suggestions as to how to break
the cycle of violence. As such, its most likely audience is the academic


Sev'er, Aysan., “Fleeing the House of Horrors: Women Who Have Left Abusive Partners,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9724.