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My Partner, My Enemy: An Unflinching View of Domestic Violence and New Ways to Protect Victims

John Michael Leventhal

ISBN 10: 1538110342 / ISBN 13: 9781538110348
Published by Rowman & Littlefield
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Title: My Partner, My Enemy: An Unflinching View of...

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title


The problem of domestic violence and partner abuse knows no bounds, can affect anyone, and when kept silent and in the dark can become deadly. Hon. John Leventhal presided over the Brooklyn Felony Domestic Violence Court, the first felony domestic violence part in the nation, since it opened in June 1996 until he was elevated to the appellate court January 2008. While domestic violence has greater social and legal visibility today then it did in the past, the problem still remains a massive and ongoing crisis. My Partner, My Enemy brings truth and reality to a matter that desperately needs to be addressed. So how do we help reduce and eliminate intimate partner abuse, especially when the public knows so little and much goes unreported? By exploring the severity of the problem through true case studies of violent and abusive men, and their motivations, Leventhal successfully brings to light the problem and ways to help.


After seven-plus decades as a female and twenty five-plus years a judge (fifteen of them Chief Judge) of a court system that annually sees thousands of domestic violence cases, I am astounded that My Partner, My Enemy by Judge John Leventhal should have been such a gripping, emotional, heart-wrenching education in the scourge of domestic violence. Yes, the statistics are impressive, but there is no substitute for actually meeting the participants - victims, batterers, families - who Judge Leventhal powerfully brings to life as he tells a wide variety of tragic stories. They give true meaning to the gratitude we feel for what's been accomplished, and the genuine urgency for us all to do much more. The answer to 'What's the solution?' begins with 'Read this book.'--Judith S. Kaye, Former Chief Judge of the State of New York

My Partner, My Enemy is a very important book. As far as I know, Justice Leventhal is the first Judge to share his experience deciding domestic violence cases, and his insights and eyewitness accounts are gripping and important. Also very significant is the set of recommendations Leventhal makes for change in addressing this so-serious and so-difficult problem. It is also heartening to see more and more influential male voices speaking up for gender justice and against violence against women, and feminism should welcome such advocates.--Naomi Wolf, Phd, co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, noted feminist and bestselling author of The Beauty Myth and The End of America

Judge Leventhal has not only written a timely and important book, but it's also a page-turning true crime thriller. The well-written tales he tells are utterly compelling and all the more chilling because they are true. This is a gritty, hard-driving book that kept me up reading well into the night. I couldn't put it down.--Howard Blum, NY Times bestselling author of American Lightning and Dark Invasion

My Partner, My Enemy is a painful read but it is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the devastating reality of domestic violence. My Partner, My Enemy captures graphically the terror, pain, and humiliation inflicted upon families by the ravages of violence. Having spent much of my career working to reform the justice system's response to domestic and sexual violence, I am accustomed to hearing these questions: Why didn't she leave? Why didn't she seek legal protection? What in the world goes through the mind of a batterer? Justice Leventhal's book helps to answer these questions by sharing stories of the real-life drama which played out every day in his courtroom and, tragically, in families across America.--Bonnie J. Campbell, Former Iowa Attorney General and First Director of the Office on Violence Against Women of the U.S. Department of Justice

My Partner, My Enemy is an important and thoughtful book. Justice John Leventhal is a deeply caring judge who handled many domestic violence cases in a specialized court at the trial level in New York. His commitment to and concern with the complex issues of domestic violence is impressive. This book is an especially useful read for other judges who handle domestic violence cases.--Elizabeth M. Schneider, Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School; author of Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking (2000), co-author of Domestic Violence and the Law: Theory and Practice (2013)

As a co-founder of the NYS Coalition against Domestic Violence and the founding director of the first 'batterer program' in New York State, I love this powerful, truth telling book. Judge John Leventhal exposes case after case of the brutality and torture of intimate partners, perpetrated by domestic violence offenders who have appeared in his court. He does not embellish. He simply writes it as it was, in a manner that is remarkably readable and deeply impactful. The horror of these felony cases clarifies how far we have come and, at the same time, how much further we must go. I see this new book as a must read for judges and advocates alike, as well as for everyone else who wants an educated vision of what it will take to bring an end to the epidemic of domestic violence.--Phyllis B. Frank, Co-Director, Training Institute, NY Model for Batterer Programs

As the presiding judge of the Brooklyn Domestic Violence Court (the first of its kind in the nation when it opened in 1996), author Leventhal certainly knows his stuff. Startling statistics immediately draw readers in--a woman is beaten by her domestic partner every 15 seconds in the U.S., accounting for at least four million reported incidents against women every year. Domestic violence is a crime 'committed across all strata of the population, ' and certainly the cases presented by Leventhal reflect that. This is an important book in its field. . . . It's clear that books like this are needed to raise awareness.--Publishers Weekly

Leventhal's wisdom on the subject [presented in his book My Partner, My Enemy: An Unflinching View of Domestic Violence and New Ways to Protect Victims], is available to a new generation of domestic violence judges and practitioners. And wise he is....The details in these stories initially seem overwhelming.... But those thoughts quickly pass because it is the details of repeated battering incidents, with their escalating and sickening level of violence that gives the book its strength.--New York Law Journal

Justice Leventhal has brought the reader into his courtroom and exposed us to the true life tales of people at a most difficult time of their life. It is story after story of domestic brutality whose existence we should all be are of, and who better to tell it than the judge who first witnessed it all and had to make the tough decision for almost 12 years? Case after case is recounted in sufficient detail to understand how difficult it must be to administer justice in such a court.... These stories will hold your attention and arouse your sympathy, especially when there may not always be a happy ending.... This book is a quick but disquieting read and is recommended to lawyers even if this is not their field of practice.--NYSBA One on One

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