Blame Changer by psychologist Carmel O'Brien, former head of Clinical Services at Victoria's Doncare, provides straight forward answers to common questions and aims to debunk pervasive myths around what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year called "one of Australia's greatest shames" domestic violence. But Blame Changer is much more than the definitive rebuttal of some of society's most damaging, ill-informed and pervasive attitudes about domestic violence. It sounds a clarion call for a change in the way we talk - at the dinner table, on social media and in national conversation at the highest levels - about women and the violence they experience.
What's more, it's also a practical guide that will help victims of abuse: Blame Changer also shows friends and family how to help a victim of abuse and challenges how the Family Court system responds to allegations of abuse. This is the definitive guide to domestic violence in Australia, by a woman who has worked with countless victims over many years.
About the Author
Carmel O’Brien managed the counselling programs and led the development of domestic violence programs at Doncaster Community Care and Counselling Centre (Doncare) in Melbourne’s east from 2001-2015. She established the Dorothy Rose Fund, in memory of her mother, to provide services that meet the individual and practical needs of women and children in recovery from domestic violence. She also founded the SaSSing Choir for victims of DV and their supporters. She is a Fellow of the Australian Pyschological Society and the Cairnmillar Institute.
Carmel has seven adult children, and lives in Rosebud, Victoria. This is her first book.
There is certainly no shortage of writing on domestic violence. Every so often however, someone comes along with a contribution that might just make a profound and lasting difference. CarmelO'Brien's Blame Changer takes a tough and fraught issue and deals with it with experience and wisdom writ large, providing plainly written, cut-through propositions on every page, without losing qualityor rigour. It could be a game changer. -- Mary Crooks, Executive Director, Victorian Women's Trust
Blame Changer provides a thoughtful explanation of the ways in which women's lives are impacted by family violence. It helps to clarify many of the myths and misconceptions about the nature and dynamics of family violence informed by women's lived experiences. It will be a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about this pervasive social problem. -- Domestic Violence
Victoria Unapologetically direct and honest about the realities of domestic violence, Blame Changer is a breath of fresh air. Written in everyday language from frontline expert experience, this is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand domestic violence, help those it hurts, challenge the myths and work to stop it. -- Dr Chris Atmore, Senior Policy Adviser, Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria) Inc.
Groundbreaking. A major strength is the author's use of real life examples when challenging long-held beliefs, and it offers us new insights into the nature of domestic violence. Everyone should read Blame Changer. -- Irene Gerrard, social worker and family therapist
Blame Changer speaks directly to the many Australians who have experienced domestic violence, or know someone who has.It should be on the desk of every counsellor, police officer, politician and health professional who is in a position to take action at an individual, family, community or policy level to stop domestic violence. Actually, isn't that all of us? -- Heather Gridley, community and counselling psychologist, APS Honorary Fellow