Sunday, October 16, 2011

Domestic Violence Month & The Safehouse by T. Thomas Ackerman

From T. Thomas Ackerman:
My latest book is titled THE SAFEHOUSE. The book is about fictional character police detective Jessica Warren. She spends her time on the job, and many times off the job, helping abused women and their children break free from their abusers. Jessie works within the confines of the law whenever possible, although at times she has to work outside of the law to protect these victims of domestic violence. Every nine seconds in the United States, another women becomes a victim of domestic violence. With all the laws that have been enacted to protect these victims, it seems that with each new law, more women and their children become victims.
Although THE SAFEHOUSE is fictional, it states many facts that are know about domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. 25% of any royalties I receive from THE SAFEHOUSE will be donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

From Outskirts Press:
Every nine seconds, a woman becomes a victim of domestic violence in the United States. The laws don't do enough to protect these women and their children from the abuse, which will always escalate. The Safehouse is the story of Det. Jessie Warren and the closely knit network of powerful women who aren't willing to allow abusive men to hide behind inadequate laws. It's the story of the victims she helps and how she is able to navigate the police system with pragmatism, intelligence, and heart to extend a helping hand to women in need. True to life and riveting, The Safehouse will take you on a compelling journey to justice. The author is donating 25% of royalties from THE SAFEHOUSE to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

My words:
Domestic violence occurs across the board. It's victims are women, men and children. It occurs between opposite sex and same sex couples. Neither wealth nor poverty are indicators. The chances are either you have been involved in a relationship in which domestic violence was a part or you know someone who has. It is devastating. There are no easy answers to questions regarding it. There is no quick fix. Most of those involved cannot just simply walk away. It is not that easy. I know. My children know.I was in a relationship that was abusive. My children grew up in it. When I filed for divorce my spouse showed up with a gun. He gathered my children around me and then staring at me, he showed each bullet to us as he loaded it. My children then watched when he placed it in my mouth all the while explaining how much he loved me. The following 10 days were the most terrifying of our lives. I followed through with the divorce. I now live thousands of miles from everyone I love. I don't visit the state I use to call home. I do not feel safe there at all.  I tell this now because it is important to understand that "just leave him" is far easier to say than do. It can be done. It needs to be done. It should be done. It is possibly the most dangerous thing to do. It is certainly one of the hardest things I have had to do. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) orTTY 1−800−787−3224 for advice and assistance.  For more information and education on domestic violence please click the link or type the address into your browser. There is a red quick escape button on the page if you need to leave it suddenly. It is located near the top of the page by the phone number. 

If you are a parent or a teen, please talk about this issue. Make certain your child, you, your friends are aware of what an abusive relationship is and how to ask for help. Remember DV can happen to either sex so don't focus on the girl as the victim and the boy as the perpetrator. Also be aware that DV happens in all types of relationships and this includes dating. It can happen at any age. Prepare your children before they begin dating. Teach them respect for others and respect for themselves. Most importantly teach them to listen to the flip in their stomach that says something isn't right. Give them the tools to know what to do. Keep in mind you lead by example. 

If you know someone who is in this type of relationship, I understand how difficult it is to know what to do and how to help. Please talk to someone from the hotline or your police department about it. Let the person know that you know and care. Let them know you are there for them and state what you can do or cannot do. It helps to know exactly what someone is offering rather than just, "if you need something just ask". I never knew if that was a serious offer or not. I never asked.  Be specific. If you can hold personal items for them that they will need after they leave, (copies of birth certificates, id's, extra  clothes and car keys, etc), say that. If you can offer shelter say that, (but only say that if you really can - if you will be afraid to carry it out - we understand fear-  offer instead a ride to a shelter or someplace safe). Speaking to them lets them know they are not alone and giving specific offers of help lets them make a plan. Please be aware it may take several times before a victim really leaves the abuser. 

The link to Domestic Violence Hotline:

Please leave comments below.

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