Shackles: Overcoming Domestic Abuse, by Malaika Cohen

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This essay explores the story of Malaika Cohen and her account of experiencing and overcoming domestic abuse. In her book “Shackles” Malaika describes various forms of domestic abuse from life as a young child with a controlling Mother and a physically abusive Father which continued into her adult romantic relationships. It will highlight the changes to legislation since Malaika was a victim and how the meaning of domestic abuse has changed over the years. It will also take a look at behaviour patterns of children who grow up in a household with an alcoholic and how this can impact future relationships. Domestic abuse is often diagnosed under the banner of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”, this essay will look how this can have a negative impact on a survivor as it rarely contains the pain and on-going fear and lack of self-esteem, it just prevents the feelings from being felt. A number of theorists will be used to explain how Malaika made sense of her situation including using the narrative of Arthur Frank and behaviour patterns of various authors related to Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA). It will highlight the difficulties facing a person when they try to leave an abusive relationship. This essay will also briefly look at a study done on Violent Men and where the justification to be violent comes from. To conclude this essay will show the impact of domestic violence on children and how Malaika being a child of an abusive Father did not have the skills to then protect her own children. It is the story of a women who due to an overbearing Mother, never had a voice, it is the story of the invisible children and how writing her book gave Malaika an opportunity to transform her experience from one of chaos to a quest of understa... ... middle of paper ... ...dicine: an Integrative Text. Raphael N. Melmed 2001, Oxford University Press. New York Children of Alcoholics – How parent’s drinking can affect your life – David Stafford. 1992 Judy Piaktus London Leaving Abusive Partners Catherine Kirkwood SAGE 1993 London The Illness Narratives – Suffering and Healing and the Human Condition – Arthur Klienman, M.D – 1988 – Basic Books – USA Shackles – Overcoming Domestic Abuse – A Modern Day Taboo – Malaika Cohen with Carole Yeoman, 2008 – Canaan Press, West Sussex Changing Violent Men – R.Emerson Dobash, Russel P. Dobash Kate Cavanagh, Ruth Lewis – 2000, Sage Publications USA The Wounded Storyteller, Body Illness and Ethics, Arthur W Frank, 1997, The University of Chicago Press Making an Impact – Children and Domestic Violence – A Reader second edition, Marianne Hester, Chris Pearson, Nicola Harwin and Hilary Abrahams

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