Over the last few years, I have written three books that deal with domestic violence. My first story, Whether I’ll Live or Die was published in 2012.? My second was Barbara’s Plea and it was released on April 10, 2015. There is a third one that will come out in a few months, that one is called You’re Not Alone.
There is a difference between all three of these books. Whether I’ll Live or Die delves deep into the domestic violence as you follow Amanda through her abusive relationship. Barbara’s Plea is about a woman who escapes with her daughter to survive and You’re Not Alone deals with a woman ten years after she was almost killed by her abusive husband. While there are major difference in these three books, there are some very serious similarities.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a police officer and have been for 15 years. I also serve on the board of directors for my counties domestic violence center. I see both sides of abuse, from the abusers I arrest to the victims that I attempt to protect. I see the woman who are battered, the children who are subjected to the trauma and the men who are afraid to come forward. Abuse targets no specific gender, and while all three of my stories do have women as the victims, I will in time bring to life the story of a male victim.
One of the most frustrating and aggravating questions that is asked is why doesn’t a victim leave. That is such a hard question to answer, because there is so much at play. As an outsider, you have no idea of the threats that have been given. You don’t know how finances are controlled. You have no real knowledge of how much control the abuser has over a victim, and let me tell you, they have a lot of control.? An abuser can control a few things, or everything in a victims life. They can be the only voice in the household that carries weight, and the only one who can make decisions. What they say is law within the walls of their home.
Most relationships don’t start out abusive. Abusers take time to groom and court the victims. They earn their trust and slowly chip away at their self esteem and confidence. They verbally abuse the victim subtly at first and the victim might question if the abuser is right or not. Over time, the victim will stop questioning the abuser and start believing the words that leave their tainted mouth. Victims will look in the mirror and and not see the actual face that stares back at them, rather they will see the stupid, ignorant, worthless, fat, ugly person that they have been told they are.? We all know that if someone says something enough to you, you’ll start to believe it. You’ll even start to think their way sometimes. So imagine what might go through a victims mind if they are told this over and over again. If they are distanced from their family, pulled away from their friends and the only words they hear are the nasty words out of an abusers mouth.
One of the points that I try to make in my stories is that even when the victim gains their freedom, the abuse does not stop. Inside their minds and hearts it will live on.? I have had people comment on how Amanda in Whether I’ll Live or Die was weak. Damn right she was. Once upon a time, she was a fun loving person who loved life, but her circumstances and the abuse she received, over and over again changed her. Years later, Amanda still dealt with residual effects of that abuse, even when she was in a healthy stable relationship.
In You’re Not Alone, which will release later this year, Trinity Morris is woman who is a true survivor. It is ten years after her husband almost killed her, and yet, she still deals with the insecurities that he conditioned her too. I had someone question me on that, saying don’t you think that it’s odd that she keeps questioning herself as she finally allows herself to love again. The answer to that question is, No. There is nothing odd about that. Just because a victim is free of their abuser does not mean that they don’t question almost everything that is said to them. It doesn’t mean that five, ten, twenty years down the line a single sentence said by a loved one won’t slam them right back into a PTSD moment and they are reliving it all again.
It happens. It’s real. It is a victim’s own personal nightmare that can come to life years after the abuse stops.
In these books, I write from the heart. I have cried while I have written scenes, I have walked away from my computer in the middle of a sentence because I needed to take a break. I don’t gloss over the cold hard facts. There is more of a need to put those facts out there. There is a need for people to understand what a victim goes through, during and after. I want people to understand that abuse can happen to anyone, you, your neighbor, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your son, your daughter, your best friend, your co-worker or your neighbor. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is. It doesn’t care how much is in your bank account or what kind of car you drive.? It makes no difference if you are a teenager or an elderly person. Abuse knows no bounds.
I have had many people reach out to me and tell me thank you for writing these books. I have had people tell me they cried, they yelled and they sometimes had to put the books down and walk away for a little while. I’ve had family members of victims read them and tell me that they finally have some understanding of what someone they love went through. I have had victims write me and thank me for giving voice to their stories.
I write this stories for the victims, for the ones that have survived and for the ones that haven’t. I write these stories not only to entertain, but to educate. I write these stories so that a voice is given to all of those people who can not speak. I write these stories because at one time, I lived it.
To learn more about Whether I’ll Live or Die, click here.
To learn more about Barbara’s Plea, click here.
To learn more about You’re Not Alone, click here.