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  • Writer's pictureKaren Tate

Normalizing Abuse: A Commentary on the Culture of Pervasive Abuse

by Karen Tate

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The paperback book is 350 pages and 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches available from

Normalizing Abuse...

Do you make excuses and rationalize abuse because it is so familiar that you discount it as being normal?

Many of us may be enduring some kind of pervasive abuse or are witness to it and may not even be aware of it. We're being bombarded from so many directions that we may have become blind to it. The abuse almost feels normal. We might sense something's not right, yet the problem is not apparent. That could be because abuse and resulting trauma is not always blatant or obvious. It can be collective, insidious and pervasive. We may also be conditioned to it so deeply that it is no longer recognized as abuse by the victims, perpetrators and greater society.

Normalizing Abuse - A Commentary on the Culture of Pervasive Abuse

By Karen Tate, an abuse survivor herself examines some of the countless ways blatant and pervasive abuse is being acculturated and present in so many aspects of our lives today.

Normalizing Abuse - A Commentary on the Culture of Pervasive Abuse

Offers some reasons why we have become so accepting of the abuse and offers suggestions to help recognize pervasive abuse all around us.

Normalizing Abuse - A Commentary on the Culture of Pervasive Abuse

Is a synthesis of observation, shared anecdotal real-life stories, and information examining acculturated pervasive abuse in the hope that we might better recognize it and the trauma that could result from it.

We need to stop normalizing or accepting abuse because it is unhealthy and potentially devastating. We need to stop burying our collective heads in the sand. Normalizing Abuse should no longer an option.

Rev. Dr. Karen Tate is a seven-times published author, radio show host, speaker, workshop presenter, sacred tour leader and social justice activist.

Foreword by Matthew Fox

Reviews by Leaders in the Community

"This is a very valuable book because it thoroughly examines the reasons for dysfunction in individuals and societies because of trauma that transpires from cradle to grave unless some conscious intervention interrupts this malignant state of being. "This is an important study, especially in this age and in this country, where we are finally trying to come to grips with the effects of slavery and the genocide which is affecting every individual in our society on a personal level and in different ways." Cristina Biaggi - Author of "The Rule of Mars: Readings on the Origin, History and Impact of Patriarchy." "Ask almost anyone, having examined their authentic humanness, if they deserve to be abused, traumatized or exploited and the definitive answer is no. Yet nearly every human system promoted by sacred or secular constituents normalizes violence especially toward women and BIPOC people. The domination structures planted by patriarchy seem cemented in all our practices for all time. Although the ancients taught different ways, especially following Goddess traditions that created equitable and peaceful societies. Can we return to, or create anew, that kind of social structure that honors both earth and every creature (humans included)? Karen Tate's compassionate and extensive work gives us hope by first identifying the reasons and systems that normalize abuse and exploitation and then presents tools for deconstructing the systemic gender and race based perpetration of trauma and evil. But she doesn't leave us in our woundedness. She offers paths to healing, restoration and systemic change. Reading her book is like being awakened and hugged by an ancient Goddess who is both a fierce warrior and tender lover. In Normalizing Abuse we find tangible hope for healing the body, mind and soul of humanity!" Rev. Stacy Boorn - herchurch San Francisco "Normalizing Abuse by Rev. Dr. Karen Tate is a tour de force. Everyone who has experienced mistreatment and cruelty will recognize the suffering it yields regardless of our stations in life. But why read an entire book about abuse, enormous hardship, and exploitation? The purpose is to open our eyes, to unveil the reality of what is taking place in order to see and understand the dynamics of exploitation and cruelty within ourselves and others. To look the other way and to be silent in the face of anyone's mistreatment perpetuates the damage for everyone concerned. After breaking her own silence, Karen Tate has become a powerful truth-teller who calls all of us to stand up and join her in having the courage to speak the truth in the face of injustice in order to have any hope of transforming the suffering that is rampant in this world." Joan Marler - Executive Director of the Institute of Archaeomythology "Karen Tate has given us an important book that speaks from the heart, and recognizes that personal abusive behavior is not an isolated event-- it is embedded in a culture that we must change from domination to partnership. A moving and inspiring book." Riane Eisler - Author, The Chalice and The Blade; Nurturing Our Humanity, and other books "The title of this book conjures the all too familiar scenarios of domestic abuse, misuse at the hands of persons most to be trusted, but the palette has many colors and the canvas is the entire expanse of our society, the flawed supposition of male superiority, the entrenched constructs of historicity, the dogmas of political correctness, the academy whose members are more impressed with power than truth. Anyone who is found not in conformance is fair game. Interspersed with the author's commentary that attempts to organize, categorize and make sense of it all, are the many short personal accounts of abuse, testimonies confided by victims shielded from the shame of their sufferings by pseudonymous anonymity. These are not a compendium of Jerimiahs, Cassandras, a voice crying in the wilderness, but a clarion call for reform - to discover who we are, before it is too late, and uncover a braver new world with many marvelous creatures in it." Carl A. P. Ruck - Professor of Classics, Boston University, Prolific Author "Karen Tate's passionate advocacy of subjects ranging from Goddess Spirituality to social justice is in full view in Normalizing Abuse, an examination of exploitation and abuse in the modern world. While the many individual accounts Ms. Tate shares are heart rending, she places these within the context of the wider culture, making a compelling case that human society has long reinforced these dehumanizing behaviors. Karen calls for nothing less than a widespread transformation of culture - no easy task. At the same time, she provides a roadmap for addressing these entrenched patterns on the macro level, while providing guidance and resources for individuals suffering from exploitation and abuse in their daily lives. A major epiphany for me is the recognition of how I have been unwittingly complicit in perpetuating this paradigm; fortunately, our author provides guidance on how to stop feeding that cycle. Ms. Tate's identification and explanation of the problem, and the solutions she suggests, are well worth the read." Stephen Gerringer - Community Coordinator, Joseph Campbell Foundation

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