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Breaking the Silence
to End Domestic Violence Committee

Book Review:  Ditch That Jerk 
From Strategic Living Self Defense Training Newsletter January 2009 (www.strategicliving.org)


Book Review:  Ditch That Jerk: Dealing with Men Who Control and Hurt Women, by Pamela Jayne

This book was recommended by a student.  She had left her abusive husband about a year earlier, and since then has been reading everything she
could get her hands on about domestic violence.  Not only does she
strongly recommend this book, she's bought multiple copies and given
them to friends who she thinks need to read it.

Really, everybody should read this book. Consider this: over 25% of all women
have been, are, or will be involved with an abusive partner sometime in
their lives.  Even if that person is not you, it was, is, or will be
someone you know.  I often ask students if they've know anyone who's
experienced abuse. Most of the time most students raise their hands.
Sometimes only half the class raises their hands.  Sometimes everyone
raises their hands. Even in classes for teen girls, most of them
already have a friend who's experienced dating violence.

Pamela Jayne clearly depicts what abuse is, and how it is distinguished from
other normal human behaviors that may be immature, petty, selfish,
stubborn, or disagreeable. She points out the early warning signs, or
"red flags," of abuse. She goes into great detail, with lots of real
examples, of the various ploys and manipulations used by abusive men to
justify, deny, or blame someone else for what they've done. And she is
clear that in order for an abuser to change, they need to take full
responsibility for their behavior and really want to change.

Jayne divides the world of abusive men into three camps: the potentially
good, the bad, and the hopeless. While they do have a lot in common,
there are several important differences that predict whether or not any
given abuser may change his abusive ways. This is an important part of
the book, since so many women stay with their abuser because they
believe they can change him, or if only they were better girlfriends or
wives he wouldn't be abusive, or even that it's their obligation to
stay and not abandon him. Jayne is clear that change is very hard, the
abuser has to be willing to put in a lot of work and face some very
unpleasant facets of his approach to life, and that not many will
change. All the willpower and good intentions and love of the wife or
girlfriend won't make someone else change.

The potentially good man (who is less likely to use physical violence and usually does not
have an alcohol/drug problem) may change if he realizes the emotional
costs of his behavior and its impact on people he cares about, and
takes responsibility for his own actions. However, those men who seem
to constantly swim in chaos, who have trouble holding a job, who have
substance abuse issues, and who believe they are life's victims are
unlikely to change.  And those who totally lack empathy, who use
violence freely, chronically lie whenever it's in his interest, and is
routinely manipulative, are deemed hopeless. (Other authors, such as
Martha Stout, have labeled those who fit this "hopeless" category as

Ditch That Jerk is well written and easily comprehended. It is a fairly short book, and
can be read thoroughly in a weekend (or several weeknights). It's very
suitable for young women, including those in their late teens, who may
be less certain what abuse is or what their rights in a relationship
are. I highly recommend this book, whether you believe you need it or

Joanne Factor of Strategic Living
Ditch That Jerk : Dealing With Men Who Control and Hurt Women
by Pamela Jayne M.A.
Hunter House Publishers
List Price: $16.95


Got an Article You'd like me to include? Just let me know.

If you have any domestic violence news, information or articles you'd like passed on to the NYWA Domestic Violence Committee, or you'd like to join our mailing list, email the
information to  Susan Bartelstone,

Tags: Book, Control, Ditch, Jayne, Jerk, Men, Pamela, Review, Who, that

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