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Summary

At the office of Safe Steps, Victoria's dedicated 24/7 family violence response call centre, phone counsellors receive a call every three minutes. Many women are repeat callers - on average, they will go back to an abusive partner eight times before leaving for good. 'You must get so frustrated when you think a woman's ready to leave and then she decides to go back,' I say. 'No,' replies one phone counsellor, pointedly. 'I'm frustrated that even though he promised to stop, he chose to abuse her again.'

Domestic abuse is a national emergency: one in four Australian women has experienced violence from a man she was intimate with. But too often we ask the wrong question: why didn’t she leave? We should be asking: why did he do it?

Investigative journalist Jess Hill puts perpetrators - and the systems that enable them - in the spotlight. See What You Made Me Do is a deep dive into the abuse so many women and children experience - abuse that is often reinforced by the justice system they trust to protect them. Critically, it shows that we can drastically reduce domestic violence - not in generations to come, but today. 

Combining forensic research with riveting story-telling, See What You Made Me Do radically rethinks how to confront the national crisis of fear and abuse in our homes. 

Winner of the 2020 Stella Prize.

©2019 Jess Hill (P)2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"A shattering book: clear-headed and meticulous, driving always at the truth." (Helen Garner)

"One Australian a week is dying as a result of domestic abuse. If that was terrorism, we’d have armed guards on every corner." (Jimmy Barnes)

"Confronting in its honesty this book challenges you to keep reading no matter how uncomfortable it is to face the profound rawness of people’s stories. Such a well written book and so well researched. See What You Made Me Do sheds new light on this complex issue that affects so many of us." (Rosie Batty)

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"Audible hopes you enjoyed this..."

It would be difficult to say the reader would enjoy this book, although this is the comment at the end of each book on Audible.
It is, however, fascinating, well written, well narrated, heartbreaking, infuriating, thoroughly researched and investigated, and incredibly hard to put down.
The subject of the book is difficult to listen to, and the tragedies contained within its pages would make the ancient Greeks wail and gnash their teeth, but it is not just an unrelenting litany of horror. There is hope. There are things that society can do to change the outcomes for women who deal with these abusive relationships.
The choice to have the book narrated by the author was perfect. Throughout the book, the reader can hear that the author was not unaffected by the subject and the emotion in the author's voice clearly and emphatically underlines the rage, frustration, and deep, deep sorrow they experienced while investigating and writing this book.
So, no, Audible. I didn't enjoy this book. But I did find it compelling, absorbing, and vital to listen to, and I think everyone should read or listen to it as soon as possible, because these stories need to be heard and acted on, for all of our sakes.

8 people found this helpful

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A hard listen but essential.

Beautifully written, thoroughly investigated, and a voice women need. Too often women are drowned out by men, either defending other men, or saying, "what about us"?! This book should be a must read or listen for anyone involved in Psychotherapy, Psychiatry or Support work, and a definite read or listen by men who think they're the victims all the time.
A must read also for women to better understand other women who act and react in ways that some don't always understand. There is as much finger pointing and judgement from women towards women. than there is from men, and this needs to stop.

Jess Hill writes and narrates with unbiased grace, empathy, and obvious distress at times, reconnecting in her mind and heart with the lives of the women she is talking about.

I genuinely hope she goes on to investigate other subjects that need to be heard and exposed.

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Hard hitting, harrowing but truely insightful

For anyone interested in Psychology and wanting to gauge an understanding of the basis of domestic violence this book is incredibly insightful. However I do think that anyone having had a history of physical violence in a relationship may find it very triggering. it is very well written and presented.

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Unbelievably accurate and heart wrenching

This was amazing from beginning to end! As a survivor and a mother who has been dragged through court by her abuser and continues to be abused post separation, I found this book both bittersweet and incredibly emotional. This should be given to all “professionals” that come into contact with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. Well done Jess!

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domestic abuse

This book isn't an easy listen. it's narrated really well by the author but the content is distressing in many places. An account of some of the harrowing cases, people and police attitudes towards domestic violence. There's still an awful lot of work to do to keep people safe 🙁

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Essential reading for every adult.

This is the work of a lifetime, and should be mandatory reading for everyone. Jess Hill shines a light into the darkness and confusion of coercive control and domestic abuse and challenges every myth and preconception.

I thought I was reasonably well informed on the subject and yet have ended this book far more informed, and far more humbled.

Jess’s very moving narration does the text justice, and I came away from this in awe of the work she’s done and the personal emotional toll this has taken on her personally.

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Recommended.

Intelligent, thoughtful, and impassioned.
A little hard to listen to sometimes, a huge difficult topic.

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  • CM
  • 11-09-21

Must read for everyone

This book has the power to change the word. Domestic abuse is at the root of many of the worst crime in our society. Not only does the book provides a great understanding of what domestic violence is, but also explore actual solution.
Jess Hill is a fantastic narrator in the audio book and really brings her book to life.

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A gut-punching call to arms

An incredibly powerful, insightful, informative, heartbreaking yet inspiring book that perfectly blends facts and statistics with individual stories and looks at all angles of the issues. I truly hope people in power heed the authors call that domestic violence is preventable and that the police, justice system and society can and must do better for the benefit of all.

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This book should be read by all

I am a survivor of domestic abuse and stalking my by ex, 2.5 years later still being controlled and dragged through the court by him. This book is real, researched thoroughly and gives a scary and clear picture of life in and after leaving an abusive relationship. Also, how the justice system that can get so wrong. This book should be read by everyone, especially professionals dealing with domestic abuse cases. Its time things changed.

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  • Jane Gavan
  • 05-04-21

A fascinating read

The author showed great empathy for many women and children and the early chapters are moving and well researched.
In the final two chapters the author veers off into PC rhetoric and displays unhelpful political bias.
Overall it was a pleasure to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charmaine
  • 20-11-20

Amazing insight into DV & coercive control

I could not stop listening!!!! This book had me laugh, made me angry at the injustice of the system, made me cry at the pure tragedy of lives lost that could have been prevented but it has taught me soooo much and ignited a passion to support the woman who make it out and to the other side. Jess, thank you for your contribution to this extremely important area. So glad I heard you interviewed on the science of psychotherapy podcast!!

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  • Ngoc
  • 20-11-20

Courage to Write, Courage to Read

One of the heaviest books I’ve read, I normally breeze through books of all kinds but this really addresses the heart of domestic abuse and asks that you don’t look away. A confronting and important read. Props to Jess Hill for her strength to deliver this book with the voices of victims ringing loud and clear and to the victims for sharing their story.

1 person found this helpful