October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). If you’re fortunate enough to have no firsthand knowledge of domestic violence, this is a good time to learn about it. You may be surprised to find out that someone you know and respect is an abuser or a victim.
Many years ago, I knew nothing about domestic violence. I was teaching a third grade Sunday School class and was surprised at how one young child reacted when he accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee and spilled hot coffee on my dress. I described the incident in detail in an earlier post. Much later, I realized the child’s behavior—backing away from me, holding up his arms in front of face, and apologizing over and over again—were signs that he was a victim of abuse. However, his parents—a military officer and a stay-at-home mom—were active in our church and respected in our community. I would never have suspected either of them of domestic violence. But someone close to the child had obviously made him fearful, and I didn’t recognize the signs.
Many, many years later, I started writing Dream or Destiny, a romantic mystery. For the first time, the characters guided me in writing the story. That’s not as crazy as it sounds; many writers will tell you something similar. The hero let me know he and his sister had been victims of child abuse. I did a lot of research, described in a post for Domestic Violence Awareness Month several years ago. I’m pleased with the favorable reviews and reader responses to the story, but I’m proudest that several reviewers and readers thought I was writing from personal experience of abuse. Of course, I hope the romance and mystery elements of the story are as compelling and believable as the abused characters.
To learn some of what I discovered in my research, type “domestic violence” in the search bar and read my previous posts on the subject.
I have some author copies of Dream or Destiny, and I will give an autographed copy of the book to each person who makes a donation to any domestic violence organization—shelter, hotline, or provider of resources or education. The book is free; all I ask is $4.00 for shipping and handling. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of the receipt for your donation along with your mailing address and how you want the book inscribed. Send the shipping fee to that same email address through PayPal.
Thank you for donating to raise awareness or to help abuse victims. I hope you enjoy Dream or Destiny.