As some of you may know, I am a huge advocate for victims and survivors of domestic violence. I talked about it in my last blog post and now I have started a new Facebook group for victims and survivors of any kind and the people that care about them. Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, I thought this would be the perfect time to start. This is a private group, and as such, members are directed to keep everything confidential. My goal is for victims, survivors, and their advocates to share their experiences and knowledge to help each other. Anyone in these categories is welcome: women, men, counselors and crisis counselors, family members, friends, medical and mental health professionals, spiritual advisors, educators, law enforcement, or anyone else that might help or is seeking help. NO ABUSERS. No one will know in which category you fall unless you choose to tell them. If you are in an unhealthy situation, please consider joining us. There is hope! https://www.facebook.com/groups/568280924383401
Some of you may have read the article I wrote last year prior to the release of my book, “The Prettiest House on the Block: A Revealing Story of Domestic Partner Abuse”. (The Prettiest Home on the Block, title changed.) If not, October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is the perfect time to reintroduce it, as well as the ages old, pervasive problem of intimate partner violence (IPV), aka domestic violence (DV). The term has been adjusted to reflect abuse not only associated with domestic partners, but with intimate relationships of any kind. It’s difficult to provide exact statistics on this scourge because there are several categories: physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression, with several subpopulations: married, unmarried, same sex, degree of injury, etc. that are tallied. The broadest statistic, as reported by the CDC in October 2020, says that “about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime”. These figures may be even higher due to underreporting, especially among men and same sex partners.
This problem is not disappearing from reality, but it’s not generally in the foremost part of anyone’s memory banks, either, unless they are directly involved in some way. Being distasteful to any compassionate human being, it’s not a topic that is comfortably discussed, especially by victims, which is why providing constant awareness is a necessary piece to finishing this alarming puzzle. Regardless of what might be a lack of exact accounting, one thing is glaringly clear, the COVID 19 pandemic has spawned a concerning increase in the incidences of IPV on a global scale. A study conducted at Georgia State University found that that there was a six to eightfold increase in intimate partner abuse incidences across the United States since the onset of the pandemic, fueled by stress and shelter-in-place restrictions. Clearly the problem is worsening, not improving, so constant education and awareness remain crucial.
My book journals the real life of a survivor of domestic abuse, but it is more than just her story. It’s an educational voyage into the cause and effects of domestic violence. I explore the nature (genetic) and nurture (environmental) factors that contribute to our personalities, particularly in relation to abusers and victims. More specifically, I attach these factors to scenarios in my characters’ lives from childhood through their story’s conclusion. I explain the medical conditions suffered by both husband and wife, all of which were paramount to the progression and outcome of their story. I provide avenues for help and suggestions for developing an escape plan, I repeatedly proclaim support and hope for victims, and much more.
Victims, survivors, friends, family members, counselors, healthcare providers, spiritual advisors, educators, even abusers, themselves, or anyone else interested in this topic will benefit from reading this book. If any of you happen to be in a position in your relationship that threatens your emotional or physical health, please remember there is help and there is hope. You don’t need to be a statistic, because you are strong and “you got this!”
The purpose of writing this book was less about making money as it was about being a victim advocate and an agent for change. In addition to promoting sales of my book, I am available to present a Power Point program on Domestic Violence, either in person or virtually, as indicated, for any group interested in learning more. I have done both, so regardless of where in any English-speaking country you may reside, I can help. I am providing this service free of charge at this time. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests.
Here is one of the 5 star reviews of my book.
Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2020
“As a survivor of domestic violence, I can only say how much I wish this book was available sooner. It is profound and raw and real. Whether you are in a terrible situation or someone you love is .. please read this book. And if you are like many.. why doesn’t she just leave? This is for you!”
Another said it should be required reading for all high school students. “Excellent, valuable, a must read, pertinent, fascinating, highly recommended, well-written, and informative” are all adjectives used in Amazon reviews. Another person said: “I just couldn’t put this book down!” But you can see for yourself. It is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, walmart.com, and other online merchants.