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Publisher's 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)

What listeners say about See What You Made Me Do

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Must read for literally everyone

I have been incredibly invested in the subject of men’s violence against women for quite some time now (to the point where I’ve decided to study social work next year so that I can actively work to combat it) and this book both reinforced my existing knowledge of the key drivers behind mens’ need for control, along with the societal structures that facilitate said control, and added to my understanding of the subject as a whole through the examination of things like wartime brainwashing techniques, impacts on children, and the horrendously under explored topic of how colonisation has created a climate of violence among indigenous communities.

This book seriously needs to be on school reading lists so that everyone can be aware of how they (and their immediate circles) interact with the problem, and how we as individuals and as a society can go about fixing it.

25 people found this helpful

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Important read but bias

Having worked in law enforcement for 25 years, I found this book tested my own bias, and I found inconsistencies in the facts. I saw passed this though to appreciate the messaging. I did however find myself incredibly frustrated at points with the authors bias. It just her opinion after all, but watching first hand how my sister in law committed family abuse on my brother for 15 years, then watching her manipulate the courts, police, psychologist, child protection works to alienate the children Flys in the face of this authors opinion. I can't help but wonder if the author became a victim in some part to the female victims (only a few of the case studies) negative advocacy! I would have preferred the author speak to some of the fathers also for a more holistic study.

22 people found this helpful

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Outstanding, utterly devastating and inspiring

A heart felt thank you, Jess Hill, for opening my eyes to this national crisis. After reading your book, I feel a burning desire to be part of the solution in some way. I want to help. You could not have told this story in a more compelling, sincere and inspiring manner. I wish every Australian would read this book.

17 people found this helpful

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Devestating, harrowing and tremendously important!

A shocking and painful journey of women and families suffering from domestic abuse and control. With personal stories of abuse weaved into the bones of the book, it really transported you into the homes of the people suffering. It was a completely visceral and often disturbing experience, which makes this book so powerful. It inspires you to think deeply about domestic abuse, to walk in shoes of the families suffering at the hands of controlling fathers and partners, and somehow beyond all the twisted and harrowing stories the author makes you see the potential for serious change to occur. I am so disturbed at the system which has severely failed victims of domestic abuse. The author brings to the fore how extreme the injustice and prejudice is that is still cemented in our society and the systems responsible managing domestic abuse, its both shocking and heart wrenching. As an attachment style parent, the thought of having my children taken from my care within itself is difficult to digest, let alone at the hands of an abuser. Narrated by the author, she is a fantastic story teller and despite the harrowing content, I couldn't put it down. I believe this book can cause the urgent and needed change of how domestic abuse is dealt with in Australia, and beyond. This is extremely important work and I can't recommend listening to it enough so we all become part of the cultural shift which is drastically needed. ("Living is easy with eyes closed" John Lennon).

12 people found this helpful

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Essential listening

If the 3 part series on SBS has stirred you, listen to this to get the full story. It's devastating at times but worthy of our time if we ever want a better world for so many.

10 people found this helpful

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Astoundingly good

As an audio book, this is fantastic. As a book, in general, this is quite an undertaking. Breaks are necessary. It goes deep into domestic violence and presents balanced, quantifiable viewpoints.
As grueling as it is, there is hope in it, which makes the effort worth it.

9 people found this helpful

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If you are human, read this.

I don't know how to sum up this book other than:
Thank you Jess Hill for the depth at which you have delved and thank you to the survivors, victims, prior perpetrators and all others who have contributed. You have helped reassess my own preconceptions and misunderstandings, you have helped me develop more of an understanding and compassion where I didn't think it was deserved. I hope I can now use what I have learnt to contribute to a country less shrouded in domestic violence. I see you, I hear you, I believe you.

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Incredibly powerful

I have never felt so compelled by a book. I encourage everyone to listen to this incredibly powerful book by investigative journalist Jess Hill.

See What You Made Me Do shines a light on Australia's domestic abuse crisis.

This book breaks down the stereotypes, biases and myths surrounding domestic abuse. It also shows how our cultural, political and legal systems are letting down victims and enabling perpetrators.

A harrowing but important read about a dangerous, frightening and complex phenomenon that is all too often hidden, minimised and ignored.

5 people found this helpful

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a must read for every Australian

amazing, inciteful - full of information and very engaging. excellently researched and written. a must read.

4 people found this helpful

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Stunning and Mind Opening

A well put together and well sourced book that has not only opened my mind towards the reality of domestic violence but gave me insight to where it comes from and how we all should combat it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jane Gavan
  • 05-04-2021

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
  • 20-11-2020

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!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ngoc
  • 20-11-2020

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

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  • Rachel Sanderson
  • 30-07-2020

"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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  • Aiyana
  • 26-08-2020

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • G. Dakeyne
  • 05-10-2020

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • taylor laing
  • 15-08-2020

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!

4 people found this helpful

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  • A. M. Costa Correa
  • 14-08-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun
  • 16-09-2021

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 🙁

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 22-11-2021

Recommended.

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

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  • CM
  • 11-09-2021

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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  • CLB
  • 04-08-2021

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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  • belinda lowehr
  • 16-05-2021

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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