Good Morning everyone! Today we are back, spreading awareness through books that touch on the issues of Domestic Violence in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So, let’s get started.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. (via NCADV)
Today our guest is Author Alithea-Jae Smith. We will be sharing the issues of domestic violence displayed in her book, Love On The Track, with you today.
Lauryn Smith-Carter is an Olympic Gold Medalist. This past summer she won three gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x1 relay. Rae, as everyone calls her, broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s records in both the 100 and 200 relay. She has joined us today to share her story on domestic violence with us.
Interview with Lauryn
How long where you in an abusive relationship?
I was in an abusive relationship between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one, by my then boyfriend Shannon.
Do you remember the first time he abused you?
Yes, I still can remember the first time he hit me. I was sixteen and it was the weekend after my twin brother Jonathan and I sixteenth birthday party. During most of the party Shannon was upset with me for some reason or another. So he left the party earlier talking about he was sick. That was fine with me.
Over the next few days I tried to call, text and even emailed him but he refused to answer me. It was that Friday after the party when he came to pick me and Jonathan up from school like he did most Friday’s. However, Jonathan did not go to school because he was sick that day. So it was only me at school and I was surprised that he came because we had not spoken since my party. When I hopped in the car, I leaned in to give him a kiss but he turned his head. I asked what was the matter, why the nasty mood? He didn't say anything while he drove straight to the beach, not far from my house where we always went to hangout and be together. He just looked at me with fury in his eyes. Then he told me what the issue was he didn't like; that I danced with all kind of different guys and he felt like I was disrespecting him.
At the time I thought it was not that much of a big deal and I told him that he was acting like a giant ass for feeling threaten by high school boys, raising my voice at him. In the split of a second Shannon slapped me across my face. I looked at him in disbelief, in anger and most of all in fear. Once I had realized what he had done, I started to cry and quickly jumped out of his car. He went after me and brought me back to his car. He started telling me that he was sorry and promised that he would never hit me again and that I upset him. I’ve always been a forgiving person, so I gave him another chance. But like the old people would say, “Promise is only a comfort to a fool.” That saying is true. Shannon continued to abuse me physically and mentally during our whole four-year relationship.
Describe how you felt during the time you where dating Shannon?
That’s pretty easy to answer. Honestly, I felt unhappy, upset, uneasy and unworthy. I felt like I was dead but yet alive. Shannon killed my soul.
Did your family and friends know that you were being abused?
Yes, and no. The only people that knew were my twin brother Jonathan and my dear friend Tayshaun. They found out when I ended my relationship with Shannon. As forever else, they found out about a year and a half after the relationship ended.
What advice would you give to someone who is in an abusive relationship?
Seek help, and it’s not the end of the world. Also, share you story. It may help someone.
Love On The Track
Author Alithea-Jae Smith
Genre Sports Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher SBinkley Publishing
Publication Date June 6, 2016
Print Length 256 pages
Love On The Track is a story about love, helping to restore faith in the one you love, and fulfilling your desire to accomplish something despite having many hurdles. The story takes place in the beautiful islands of the Bahamas as Kenyon and Lauryn grew up wanting to win a gold medal and represent The Bahamas at the Olympics games in the sport of track and field. When they were in the fourth grade, Kenyon moved to North Carolina with his mother and Lauryn remained in the Bahamas. Their passion didn’t die for the sport as they both became standout athletes during their teen years. However, when Lauryn was fifteen she met and fell in love with Shannon Knowles, the young man who turned her world inside out. He abused her both mentally and physically during their four year relationship to the point where Lauryn quits her job in Texas to return home. Now more than fifteen years later Kenyon returns to the Bahamas to train with legendary coach Jimmy Thompson, who once trained Lauryn. Kenyon is a man on a mission to win a gold medal and not to fall in love. Now that Lauryn has returned home she works for the local paper as a sports writer. She has no intentions of going back to track nor to fall in love; that was until she reconnected with Kenyon. Shannon also returns with a plan to win Lauryn back but when he realizes that she's into Kenyon, he decides to end her happiness at all cost. Along the way Kenyon helps Lauryn realize her self-worth and the importance of accomplishing whatever goal she sets for herself.
Purchase The Book
Connect With Author Alithea-Jae Smith
Thank you Alithea for sharing your story with us. I look forward to reading your book and hope that others will as well. All of you please go show your support and purchase, Love On The Track.
If you or someone you know are in danger PLEASE CALL 911. For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.7233.