I think a lot about myths, judgment and the lack of empathy in the world around us. I think about it so much, that I was inspired to write a novel in 2005. I noticed that many people empathized with women who were being abused, but I also noticed that many people were harsh. I noticed that many people were judging the woman who chose not to leave: assuming that she was weak or saying that she deserved to suffer if she was not 'smart' enough to leave.
There are so many ways to be judgmental, and there are so many instances where passing judgment pushes people deeper into a dangerous, unhealthy or dysfunctional situation. Hearing some of the harsh comments many women said about victims of domestic violence hurt me, because, I do not believe anyone should take the blame or be criticized in a situation so complex.
To this day, the things I have heard bother me. But the fact that those ideas were a misunderstanding (as many harsh critical ideals are) more than anything, inspired me. If I could change just one point of view, I thought to myself. And this is when I created the first main character: a strong, confident woman named Kendall, who stumbles into a relationship that literally brings her face to face with death. I wanted to show the gradual transformation from Kendall's initial confidence, to her frequently questioning herself, second guessing her instincts, then eventually losing her voice, and the essence of who she is.
I remember wanting to convey several things in my novel, and whenever I had the opportunity to share my view:
The importance of non-judgmental communication, listening to our ‘gut instincts’ and dispelling the myths about domestic violence.
In my opinion, through everything that happens in life, we must remember that in relating to one another, we find less time to prejudge.I want to see women (people) dispel myths, communicate, relate and empathize -- I want us to come together, not judge one another...
Here is some really informative information, which I am grateful for the opportunity to share whenever possible:
“If it were that bad, she would just leave.
- There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
- Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)
Some people deserve to be hit.
- No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
- Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.”
“ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.”
- On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.2
- In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.3
- Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.4