Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence

Holt. Apr. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781250214249. $28. MEMOIR
Selvaratnam (The Big Lie) deftly combines memoir and research to deliver a timely, must-read analysis of domestic violence. As a child, she witnessed her father inflict violence upon her mother, which she believed would help her to better understand and recognize intimate partner violence. However, while engaged in a relationship with then-New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the author consistently brushed off signs of emotional and sexual abuse inflicted upon her. As the level of mistreatment and control increased, so, too, did her awareness of her situation and the need to seek professional help. Tanya’s situation was further complicated by her partner’s considerable sphere of influence and connections as the top law enforcement official in the state, leaving her with few safe options for exposing and ending the cycle of abuse. She highlights the importance of recognizing varying forms of abuse, and shatters the assumption that because of your history, education, wealth, or past experiences, this cannot happen to you.
VERDICT A critical and timely piece in the era of the #metoo movement, this work will appear to a wide audience.

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