Recantation and Domestic Violence

The Untold Story

Welcome to, the official website for the groundbreaking book “Recantation and Domestic Violence: The Untold Story.” Discover the manipulative tactics used by abusers to coerce victims into recanting their statements of abuse. 

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"Recantation and Domestic Violence:
The Untold Story"

“Recantation and Domestic Violence” is a comprehensive resource that empowers individuals and communities to better understand and address domestic violence cases involving recantation.

Why Recantation Matters

Recantation is when victims retract their abuse allegations. It’s a significant challenge worldwide, often resulting from abusers tampering with and manipulating their victims. Our research exposes this issue, challenging the perception that victims lie, and provides solutions for professionals.

The U.S. Supreme Court recognizes witness tampering as prevalent in domestic violence cases, with abusers pressuring their victims to recant to lessen criminal charges (Davis v. Washington, 2006). Until now little was known about this area until Prof. Amy Bonomi and her collaborator David Martin conducted groundbreaking research using actual jail recordings of abusers.

The Upcoming Book:

Our upcoming book, scheduled for Fall 2023, delves into the direct connection between abusers’ manipulation and recantation. By immersing readers in actual abusive encounters, it offers a profound understanding of domestic violence dynamics. 


5-Stage Model of Recantation

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From experts in the field and from survivors who have read the book

When we read Recantation and Domestic Violence that so brilliantly analyzes the jailhouse calls of abusers who are trying to get their partners to recant, to get them out of jail, we begin to understand how and why victims of domestic violence “behave” the way they do.

-Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN,
Anna D. Wolf Chair and Professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Bloomberg School of Public Health

About the Authors

Amy Bonomi

Amy Bonomi, PhD, MPH, is Professor and Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives in the College of Health and Human Services at Northern Arizona University, Founder of Social Justice Associates, Faculty Affiliate at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, and Consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice. Bonomi’s distinguished career as an award-winning professor at the Ohio State University and Michigan State University includes widely cited research on domestic violence, recantation, and long-term health impacts. Bonomi and her research team (including David Martin) published the five-stage model of how domestic abusers tamper with and coerce victims to recant. The five-stage model (along with the team’s subsequent publications) has been used to train professionals globally. Bonomi continues the practice of expert testimony work to describe the dynamics of recantation. As a result of her work in recantation and broader domestic violence topics, Bonomi received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Ohio State University and was named Diversity Champion in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. Bonomi is appointed by the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary (Xavier Becerra) as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and serves as an elected peer reviewer (for violence prevention research) for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice.

David Martin

David Martin, J.D. is a Senior Deputy Prosecutor for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO) in Seattle, Washington. He serves as supervisor of the KCPAO Domestic Violence (DV) unit, co-manager of the King County Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit, and a Fulbright Specialist in Gender Based Violence response. Almost all his 25-year career as a prosecutor has been spent in the Domestic Violence Unit. David has created innovative responses to serve victims of DV from the first evidence rule on immigration to systemic provision of civil legal aid in criminal cases, to diversion and sentence alternatives for defendants with past histories of gender violence victimization. David serves on numerous DV task forces and work groups, is chair of the national Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s Domestic Violence Committee. David has authored several of Washington’s criminal DV laws including felony sentencing reform, removal of the marital rape exception, stalking reform, batterer treatment reform, felony strangulation, and repeat DV assault. David is coauthor of Washington’s statewide DV prosecution manual, articles on strangulation, and recantation together with Dr. Amy Bonomi. David has served on the board of multiple community based domestic violence organizations. He provides training and consultation on DV issues locally, nationally, and internationally. David is the recipient of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Outstanding Trial Advocacy Award, Lifewire Norm Maleng Award, Consejo Founder’s Award, Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence System Change Award.