It's Domestic Violence Awareness Month and today I am helping Author Kristie Cook "Share the <3" by spreading awareness. Personal stories of domestic violence are everywhere, but here is one shared by the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
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Living with a man like my ex-husband is like having a gun pointed at your head every single day, and you just don’t know when the gun is going to go off.
I am writing to tell my story – of how I have been a victim and survivor of repeated, relentless domestic violence – and to bring the weaknesses in the justice system and the general lack of knowledge in the community about domestic violence to your attention.
I married my ex-husband in October of 2005 thinking that he was a kind, gentle, compassionate, and caring man. Not until I was pregnant with our child did I see his true character. When I was about six months pregnant, he slapped me across my face, leaving me with a black eye and knocking me to the ground. Luckily nothing happened to my baby, but the abuse did not end there. At the time, I was living in Ecuador. I was trapped and scared.
My daughter was born in June of 2007, and we traveled to the U.S. permanently in August of 2007. Once there he did not hold back. Just three weeks after arriving in the U.S., there had already been three calls made to the police on domestic disputes, and he was arrested after battering me while I had our infant daughter in my arms. As I tried to call 9-1-1, he ripped the phone cord out of the wall. He threatened me that if I testified against him that he would kill me, and I believed him.
Rape was a regular occurrence in our home, and I cannot count the number of times I laid in bed crying as he raped me. He also strangled me on a regular basis, slammed my head into the walls of our home, leaving large holes, tortured me sexually, mentally, psychologically, and ruined me financially.
He hit our three your old daughter in the face, leaving a large bruise, then kept her home from day care for several days until the bruise was no longer visible. He put her head through our bathroom wall, which was reported to the Illinois DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services). DCFS decided that he did, in fact, abuse our daughter, but they did not pursue the case any further.
I tried so hard to protect her from him, but every time he would hit her, I would step in, and receive my own beating on her behalf. I did not report it since I was sure he would kill me or kidnap my daughter if I did.
Perhaps one of the worst parts of this whole story is that he almost killed me. Actually, he did kill me, but thankfully doctors were able to revive me. In this particular incident we were involved in a heated discussion because I had to leave Ecuador to return to the U.S. for medical school and my graduate work in biochemistry. He had not obtained a visa to come to the U.S. at that point, and threatened to divorce me if I did not stay with him in Ecuador. He grabbed my wrists, screamed at me, and then threatened me with a screwdriver. I walked home knowing that I would divorce him, and knowing that I had a flight back to the U.S. in about three days. I laid down to take a nap, and did not wake up until four days later.
I was on a ventilator in the hospital, and they informed me that I had undergone cardiac arrest on several occasions. The coma was so profound that I received the lowest rating on the Glasgow coma scale. It is truly a miracle that I survived.
It is my firm belief that my ex-husband poisoned me with scopolamine, a common date rape drug in parts of Latin America. He called my medical school and told them I had tried to kill myself, instead of giving them the true story, which then led to me being expelled from school. He has sabotaged my career, my jobs, did not allow me to have any friends or family in my life, destroyed my home and beat my pets
When I have told my story to friends and family, a few people’s reaction is to ask why I didn’t leave sooner, or they simply don’t believe me at all. It is a shock to me how undereducated the public is on domestic violence.
People do not understand how difficult it is to escape. It is almost impossible to gather evidence, because the abuser will find a way to destroy it. No one on the outside knows what is happening because the abuser has the victim trapped and alone. He cuts her off from all outside interaction, and attempts to control her mind, and in many cases, he is successful.
If a woman does manage to escape, the justice system does little to help or protect her. I have had a domestic violence advocate tell me that there is only a 50/50 chance that someone will get convicted of domestic battery in my county, even in cases where there are bloody pictures, good witnesses, hospital reports, and other evidence. This is why women cannot simply just walk out the door. It is a real life or death risk to leave a man that believes he owns you. You could, and many have, die in the process. 4 out of 5 deaths due to domestic battery occur when a woman tries to leave.
I am asking for your help to educate the public on these issues. Women are beaten every day by their husbands, and it is a misdemeanor. You can get a felony charge for getting in a bar fight, but if you beat your wife, the justice system is sending a message that you will only get a slap on the wrist, if even that.
One of the most difficult problems I think battered women and children face is that the abuser isolates the victim to the point where most of the time there are no eyewitnesses. Because of this, it makes these cases very difficult to prosecute, but even worse, it makes the state’s attorney’s office reluctant to even pursue it because they see it as a waste of money and resources.
Domestic violence is NOT a family matter. It is everyone’s business. It affects us all even if we are not directly abused. Women should be able to speak out against their abusers. They should be able to bring their abusers to justice. The public should be educated about what it means to be battered, and why it is so difficult to escape. With stiffer punishments, and better prevention, many women would be able to leave sooner. PLEASE help me and all women fight for what is fundamentally right.
If you want to know how you can help people like Francesca, visitwww.TheHotline.org. And while you're there, Kristie and I hope you'll help bymaking a donation. Even just $5 can ensure one more call gets answered at The Hotline - an answer that could save a life.
Then, email your receipt to publisher (at) angdora (dot) com for entries into Kristie's giveaway and you could win some cool prizes. Get more entries in the Rafflecopter below. For more details, head on over to Kristie's Share the <3 Giveaway.
Author Website - KristieCook.com
Soul Savers Series
One night. That’s all Finn had with the only girl he ever loved. Years later, all he has left of that night is a silver cross, a broken give a damn, and the unrelenting desire to drink her memory away. As the lead singer of Blow Hole, Finn has his pick of women, but none are able to squash the need he still carries around for Faith. To hate her offers some relief, but when Finn sees her again after so many years, it’s hard to despise her. Especially when every reason he had to hate her, turn out to be lies.
As the daughter of a strict Baptist preacher, Faith Warren lived sheltered from all things sinful. When she met Jimmy Finn, the epitome of all seven deadly sins, she found out exactly what she was missing. After being forced to choose between her soul and the only person in the world who made her feel alive, Faith walked away from Finn and dove head first into her father’s preferred life. But now Finn’s back and he’s getting payback by wreaking havoc on her emotions. Except sometimes bad things feel good, and Faith has to decide once again if she wants to stay in her gilded cage or fly free with the dark angel of lust himself.
“I didn’t bleed for you, Faith, I died for you. There’s a big fucking difference. You didn’t wound me, you killed me. You murdered the boy I used to be in his sleep and he’s never coming back. Take my advice, give it up. All that’s left of that boy is me, and all you’ll ever get from me is a quickie and a door in your face.” ~ Finn, Finding Faith
“Throughout is all, there was only one thing I knew for sure. Finn was made for sin.” ~ Faith, Finding Faith
“It’s only fair. I sang for you. Just let go, baby. I wanna hear you sing for me.” ~ Finn, Finding Faith
“Tabatha Vargo is a USA Today bestselling author from a small town just outside of Charleston, SC. Tabatha is a sweet tea sippin', front porch sittin' kind of girl from the south. She loves old, historical anything, wind chimes, and all things romantic. She is the mother of a seven-year-old rockstar/princess and the wife of her very own Prince Charming. When she isn't writing or reading, she's texting book ideas to herself and spending time with her friends and family. Her first publication was a little poem in her elementary school paper and from that point on she was hooked. She finished her first novel, ‘Wicked Fate’, in 2009 and released it in November 2012. She has since released ‘On the Plus Side’, USA Today bestselling ‘Playing Patience’, and ‘Perfecting Patience’.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Author Kristie Cookis asking us to "Share the <3"! 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men just in the United States have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (Center for Disease Control statistics). You likely know someone who lives through this nightmare every day - a relative, a friend, a coworker or a neighbor down the street. Too many don't live. And too many children witness the violence to/between their parents - or are direct victims themselves. Thankfully, help is available. Unfortunately, not enough people know whom they can call for help - safely and privately. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides this kind of secure resource, helping survivors of abuse do what they need to do to reach safety and restart their lives. I, along with Kristie, many other authors, bloggers and readers, ask you to join us in supporting The Hotline so it may continue to provide the refuge people need. Help us "Share the <3" because "all <3's deserve to feel safe."
If you can donate even $5 to The Hotline, you could be supporting one phone call that can save a life. And for each dollar you donate, you can be entered to win Kristie's Share the <3 Giveaway! Simply email your receipt(s) dated 10/1/2013 through 10/31/2013 to publisher (at) angdora (dot) com. There are other ways to enter, as well, in the Rafflecopter below.
You can win!!!
An Indie Book Nerd t-shirt signed by over 40 authors, including Kristie Cook, G.P. Ching, Tabatha Vargo, Tiffany King, Shelly Crane and Isaac Marion, author of Warm Bodies; Kristie Cook's Soul Savers and Book of Phoenix books signed; and a bag full of swag.
A bundle of Kristie's Soul Savers Series audiobooks, Books 1-5.
$25 gift card to Amazon, B&N or iTunes
So give what you can, email your receipt and gain extra entries below. The more you give, the better your chances of winning these amazing prizes. PLUS, Kristie will be matching all donation receipts, up to $1,000. So your donation will be doubled! From Kristie and from me, thank you for your help and support! Think of all that can happen if we each "Share the <3" today.
Korah Daniels has been through a lot in her nineteen years. Broken hearts, abusive relationships, and horrid dates have caused her to doubt love. When her friend talks her into attending the local frat house’s Halloween party, will she find the one person who can change her outlook on life?
Dane Davidson is the worst kind of playboy. The ultimate frat boy, drinking and ending up with a different girl every night. When his frat house throws a masked Halloween party, a certain angel catches his attention and may just turn his life upside down.
Masked Encounters is the first in a five part novelette series.
Dane has been haunted by the mysterious and sexy angel from his fraternity’s Halloween party. He sees her in every store, every class, on every corner. How long will he fight his feelings?
Korah is consumed with guilt over her vulnerability at the ball, vowing to never go to a party again. Leela and Windi desperately try to pull her out of her funk. The start of new semester should bring new beginnings…right?
The spring semester is now underway for Korah and Dane. When the pair ends up becoming biology partners, will Dane reveal his true identity
Korah and Dane have taken their attraction to the next level, causing both to guard their hearts closely. After a frightening encounter with Korah’s ex-boyfriend, she desperately seeks Dane’s comfort, but can’t find him.
What will happen when both decide to date other people? Will their true feelings prevail? Can Dane change his playboy ways when Korah dares him to be a better man?
Felicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.
She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking, books, and animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She's currently working on various projects, including the rest of the White Aura Series, the Scarred Hearts Series, and a novella series. Her dream is to write as many books as possible while entertaining as many people as possible.
in an accident I don’t remember… or maybe I don’t want to remember.
way, every day since, has been an adjustment and I’m left with a constant
reminder that nothing is forever.
life is a tangled web of darkness filled with deceit, hate, betrayal and lies.
I don’t dwell on the past, I don’t regret and I don’t remember… I survive. But
then I met Ryland Dare and he changed everything. He reminded me that life’s
worth living and that remembering isn’t always a bad thing.
don’t know true darkness until you've felt light…
outside looking in, some would say my siblings and I have had a pretty easy
life. But beyond the fancy cars, the huge house and endless social events, is
where the truth really lies. Power hungry father, defeated mother and fake
friends? Yeah I have one of each. Then Araya Noelle comes along and shows me
what I’ve been missing. She thinks I changed her life, but really, she saved
edge of darkness, you must
Cover Reveal for Book #2, Coming Soon
The Grace of Darkness
for The Grace in Darkness
part of me yearns for Ryland and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I
don’t question if I made the right decision. Adjusting is something I should be
used to by now but how can I do that when life has other plans?
darkness consumes you, only true light can free you
how I existed before Araya came into my life and turned everything upside down
has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I can’t stand to be round
anyone and the feeling is mutual. But I’m ready to take back what’s mine. I’m
ready to be whole again. But every decision has a choice and every choice has a
the grace in darkness, you must
Author Melissa Andrea
it hard to sum up my life in a paragraph, but I'll try.
has always been a passion for me and writing is as instinctive as breathing.
Every inhale is an idea; every exhale a creation. Flutter, The Discover Series
was my debut release and since then I have written a contemporary romance, The
Edge of Darkness. The only thing I do better than writing? Making beautiful,
sassy and independent, girls. My daughter's will always be my greatest
accomplishment, my biggest fans and my every inspiration. I live, breath and
would die for them! I've been married to one of the greatest men in my life for
7 years and I love him more than chocolate (you know shit just got real :),
Justin Timberlake and Friday's. Without him my website would be a mess and I
would probably being paying more taxes than I should be. He is a jack of many
trades and this is just my opinion but I like to think besides my daughters,
I'm his second biggest accomplishment. (Does anyone else hear a horn tooting?)I
was born in Denver, Colorado -but I will always think of sunny Arizona as my
home. I don't have a big family, but I'm close with my sister, brother & my
mom. My mom is my hero, my inspiration, and I couldn't have asked for a more
amazing person to be raised by. She has supported me throughout this crazy
adventure and I'm lucky to have her on my side!
things you should know about me:
a tornado with lipstick! Translation: I'm very girly, but I can get down and
dirty with the best of them.
adore the color pink!
love things that sparkle (including vampires!)
like even numbers (hence 6 things about me, not 5)
loyal to a fault but I like to see the good in everybody. Don't mistake my
kindness for weakness though because my bark is not always bigger than my bite
don't like calling readers 'fans'. When it come down to it, I am all YOUR
biggest fan! MWAH!I will never be able to thank every reader, every blogger or
every author who has helped me in one or a million ways since I published but I
will try every chance I get. Y'all are the reason I am here and every comment,
every message, every review makes me feel like I have a reason to be. So to the
moon and back, THANK YOU!
so this was a little longer than a paragraph.