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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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May 29, 2019

Whether we call it domestic abuse, private violence, or even intimate terrorism in America domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime. The World Health Organization deemed it a “global epidemic,” and yet too often it remains locked in silence, even as its tendrils reach unseen into so many of our most pressing national issues.

Acclaimed journalist Rachel Louise Snyder took the stage to deliver a reckoning with this urgent and widespread problem with insight from her powerful new book No Visible Bruises. She was joined onstage by KUOW’s Sydney Brownstone, and together these two journalists reveal the scale of domestic violence in our country. They framed key stories that demolish common myths—if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; a violent person cannot become nonviolent; shelter is an adequate response; and the insidious notion that violence inside the home is a private matter. Through the stories of victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, and reform movements from across the country, Snyder and Brownstone took us on a sobering exploration of the real roots of private violence, its far-reaching consequences for society, and what it will take to truly address it.

Rachel Louise Snyder’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post,the New Republic, and elsewhere. Her books include Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade, and the novel What We’ve Lost is Nothing. She has been the recipient of an Overseas Press Award for her work on This American Life.

Sydney Brownstone is the online editor for KUOW, and a contributor to The Stranger, Fast Company, Mother Jones, and Village Voice. Brownstone’s writing covers topics of general news, the environment, and sexual assault, and in 2017 her coverage of the Seattle porn scammer Matt Hickey was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Recorded live at The Forum at Town Hall Seattle on May 21, 2019.