When Michael Clark was arrested for domestic violence and his wife moved out, he saw his world falling apart. He knew this was not the person he wanted to be. He wanted to change, but didn’t know how. Everything he’d tried in the past to control his behavior had fallen short.
Part memoir, part how-to, From Villain to Hero is unique among domestic violence and domestic abuse books. Michael’s true story provides readers rare, first-hand insight into a person’s journey from being violent and abusive in an intimate relationship to becoming a safe and non-violent partner. Along the way, he reveals the essential principles needed to stop domestic violence and abuse that he discovered on his transformative path toward healing and change.
From Villain to Hero is a must read domestic violence book for men and women who are motivated to stop hurting the ones they love. And, if you’ve ever wondered why a person commits an act of domestic violence, or what it takes to change that behavior, this book boldly and honestly answers those questions by someone who has been there and done that.
About the author
As Michael Clark overcame his issue with domestic violence, he felt called to share what he’d learned with others who were facing the same challenge. He took what he had learned in his career as an entrepreneur and business consultant and founded the Ananias Foundation, a Christian-based non-profit that works to end domestic violence by providing guidance and encouragement to individuals who have been violent with their partner but want to change.
Michael lives with his wonderful wife Lynn and their assortment of spoiled pets in West Des Moines, Iowa. Together they enjoy spending time with their friends and family, traveling, hiking, kayaking, and working on home projects.
Meet Michael, hear more about his story, and learn about his motivation for writing From Villain to Hero by checking out this video.
What others are saying
I’ve been blown away by the kind words given from so many experts and authors working in this field. Here is what they are saying about From Villain to Hero:
“Michael Clark has written the most moving and profoundly informative book on the actual experience of a man abusing his partner that I have ever seen in more than thirty years of doing this work. He says in his introduction that he is not trained in counseling, criminology, or social services and that he’s never written a book before—but you would never know it. He writes with just the right blend of heart, smarts, and wisdom and manages to address complex issues in ways that both men who abuse and counselors who treat them can learn from. This book is a gem.”
–David B. Wexler, Ph.D., Executive Director – Relationship Training Institute, and author of When Good Men Behave Badly and The STOP Domestic Violence Program
Although not a professional therapist, Michael Clark has successfully synthesized effective treatment concepts and strategies commonly used by psychotherapists in the treatment of those who have become abusive in their intimate relationships. In doing so and by sharing his own journey, he has offered his readers a real gift. Admittedly defensive and resistant himself, he helps other abusers to get past their defenses in order to experience real change. I highly recommend this book to anyone who truly wants to stop abusing others.
–Beverly Engel, author of The Emotionally Abusive Relationship and It Wasn’t Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Compassion
Michael Clark’s book, From Villain to Hero, is a deeply personal account of his healing from the psychological wounds that led to his perpetrating domestic violence towards his loved ones. He described in great detail the family dynamics that may have, in part, contributed to his anger and aggression, and the personal issues he had to confront in order to effectively stop his violent behavior. The book is not just a memoir of Michael’s life. It is also a self-help book full of practical advice and techniques, that will help the reader learn the necessary behavioral skills for stopping violence and finding new and constructive ways of expressing feelings and thoughts in close relationships. Through the telling of his own story, Michael will engage the reader to begin the process of looking at his or her own life story and how it contributed to violence as an adult. Many domestic violence programs are led by people who never had the actual experience of violence in their lives. Although having perpetrated violence is not a prerequisite to effectively helping others, having walked in someone’s shoes can help to reduce the stigma of these problems, and motivate readers who might otherwise need to know that the person who is helping them understands what they have gone through in their life. I highly recommend Michael’s book to men and women who want to stop the violence in their life and need a roadmap to that goal. Each person will have their own unique story, but the road to recovery is often the same – realizing you have a problem, wanting to change the behavior and doing the day-to-day work necessary to learn new behavior skills, change attitudes and develop better coping with emotional conflict in close relationships.
— Daniel J Sonkin, Ph.D., LMFT, author of Learning to Live Without Violence: A Handbook for Men, The Male Batterer: A Treatment Approach, and Wounded Boys/Heroic Men: A Man’s Guide to Recovering from Childhood Abuse
Self-help books are hugely popular but a clear gap in the literature is a book for people who use aggression towards their partners. Michael Clark’s book is therefore valuable addition to this literature. Aggression towards partners is a common occurrence and not only impacts of the victims but also is a significant adverse childhood experience for children who are exposed. This book therefore is an important step towards enabling men and women who are aggressive to their partners in helping them to understand and change their behaviour.
–Nicola Graham-Kevan PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice Psychology and Criminal Justice Partnership lead for Violence and Aggression School of Psychology, University of Central, Lancashire, UK
From Villain to Hero is a uniquely important book. It is important because male irritability and anger is a problem that impacts the lives of millions of men and women. Too often male anger can explode and harm the families we love the most. We think of domestic violence as a rare occurrence that happens to others, but it is extremely common and impacts people of all ages and backgrounds. Michael Clark offers hope for the men and women who are caught in a web of hostility, hurt, pain, shame, and blame. Most are confused and don’t know what to do. Michael offers his wisdom and guidance based on his own experience. He knows what doesn’t work and he knows what does. The book is unique because Michael shares the painful truth of what led him to become a violent man and also his heroic journey to find the good man that had become buried inside. The book is a godsend to men and the women who love them. It will also be of great help to health-care professionals who work with violence and abuse. I highly recommend it to all.”
–Jed Diamond, Ph.D., author The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression and 12 Rules for Good Men
Michael bravely and openly recognises the problems that afflicted him and which afflict many: a readiness to react rather than to reflect, a lack of recognition of his own emotions, and the deep shame and disgust with himself that he feels from abusing a partner that he loves. Three cheers to Michael for allowing us so much insight into ways of making progress. Let us all hope that out of his experiences, anyone wanting to stop their abusive behaviour will not only see that a much better life is possible, but also will find their way it. To take full benefit from Michael’s very useful book, read it carefully from beginning to end.
– David Eggins, Project Developer, Temper Domestic Violence in Northampton, United Kingdom
Michael Clark’s book From Villain to Hero makes a solid contribution to the domestic violence treatment literature. Although its approach includes a faith-based component that will undoubtedly limit its appeal, it is an otherwise very practical guide for clients and clinicians alike, combining a compelling personal journey with a strong social science research base.
–John Hamel, Ph.D., LCSW; Editor-in-Chief, Partner Abuse; Director, Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs; and author, Family Interventions in Domestic Violence: A Handbook of Gender-Inclusive Theory and Treatment