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 Tumika Patrice Cain. We will be sharing the issues of domestic violence displayed in her book, When A Man Loves A Woman: A Season of Change, with you today.
Good Morning Tumika. Is your book, When A Man Loves A Woman, based on your personal experiences? If not, why did you decide to include domestic violence issues in your story?
WAMLAW: A Season of Change is not autobiographical. However, it was written in my early twenties after growing up in an environment that was wrought with violence and chaos. It was written as the catalyst to start my healing process. There were a number of circumstances that I saw and that impacted my life. I wanted to show that domestic violence, and those involved in its destructive tentacles, cannot simply be seen as if it’s black and white. Instead, there are a myriad shades of gray. While no one should ever have to endure abuse at the hands of another, the backstory of another person’s life is very important. Those experiences that we oftentimes don’t talk about play a significant role in making us who we are. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not upholding the wrong of the abuser, just showing that hurting people, hurt people, and they hurt themselves too. Healing needs to take place for all parties involved.
Who is Avery?
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born this way. The question arises frequently whether the behaviors we see in others are based on nature or nurture. In my case, I’d definitely say nurture….or a serious lack thereof. After enduring the atrocities that were a frequent part of my life, something in me changed. Became almost savage. Even when I tried to quiet that beast inside of me, it would rear its ugly head. What was left in the wake was a destruction that was paramount to a tornado touching down. Everyone in its path was affected.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my wife. Hell, I still love my wife. After that first time, I convinced myself that she deserved it. That all women deserved it, wanted it. The truth is, Alicia was gentle, and sweet and kind. She did not deserve the horrible aspects of her life with me. None of them did. I have accomplished a great deal of success in my life, but in this area I don’t know how to change…
Interview with Alicia
VIP Alicia, did you see signs while you were dating Avery that would indicate he might have abusive tendencies?
Alicia Looking back I probably did. He was a little controlling. At the time, I was so young and green that I took all of his attention as love. Even though I’d be irritated at times by his controlling behavior, it wasn’t over the top so it didn’t raise any red flags for me.
VIP Alicia, why did you choose to stay with him after he started abusing you?
Alicia I loved Avery. It probably makes no sense to someone who hasn’t lived it, but he had been so good to me. Even in the midst of the abuse, he was still very good to me in other ways. I kept hoping that he’d change back to the man I initially married. Sometimes hope can be dangerous for a woman. It is the hope of his changing that keeps us coming back….not to mention the fear and soul ties. I knew how to love him, but I didn’t know how to love myself.
VIP Alicia, what took you so long to reach out for help?
Alicia We were so prominent in our community and in our professions. Things like this just didn’t happen to people of our echelon….at least not that anyone talked about. I feared what would happen to his career. I was embarrassed and thought others would look down on me. You have to understand…things like this just didn’t happen in our circle! I didn’t think anyone would understand. What was I supposed to do….go into a shelter? I mean come on, I lived in a million dollar home, ran my own company. How could I go from that to a shelter and still keep my dignity. I just couldn’t say anything and the idea of turning to my family never crossed my mind. My parents I didn’t think would care one way or the other, and my aunt lived such a beautiful, peaceful life I didn’t think she would understand. I thought she’d judge me.
VIP Alicia, what did you learn in the midst of this situation?
Alicia I learned that pride comes before a fall. I should have left after the first time he attacked me. I was too embarrassed to go. Although I never asked Avery to hit me, when I stayed, it was like I gave him permission to treat me anyway he wanted to. I guess the biggest lesson I learned is that if I want to see change, it has to start with me. He didn’t do anything to me that I didn’t allow. That pains me so much to say, because I lived through hell with this man. Yet I’m as much to blame as he is….
VIP What advice would you give to another woman who finds herself in this kind of situation?
Alicia I’d tell her that once the abuse starts, it doesn’t stop. It only gets worse. I’d also say to her that love doesn’t hurt, and anyone who is hitting her or abusing her in other ways is not operating out of love. For the woman who is afraid to leave because the man might kill her, if she stays he definitely will. Whether it’s a slow death or fast one, domestic violence destroys us on the inside, as well as the outside. At least if you leave, you have a greater chance of surviving. There are people who can, and will, help you.
When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Author Tumika Patrice Cain
Genre Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Publisher Inkscriptions Publishing
Publication Date December 17, 2015
Print Length 330 pages
The stars seemed to have been aligned for Avery and Alicia. From the outside looking in, Lady Luck passed their way and left a fortune! They had a whirlwind, fairytale romance filled with all the little things that make dreams come true, a wedding of grace and beauty, and perfectly magical careers that produced almost enough money to burn. They were the picture-perfect couple.
Unfortunately, time has a way of revealing fissures in what appears to the naked eye as impenetrable. The results send this fairytale romance spiraling out of control.
Avery, as perfect and so right as he seemed, struggles to free himself from his demons. He clings to this delicate relationship that he desperately needs as if his last breath depends on it. Alicia, on the other hand, struggles to make the necessary corrections that will release her from a prison of unexpected, agonizing turmoil.
A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, Book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.
Purchase The Book
Connect With Author Tumika Patrice Cain
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Thank you Tumika for sharing your story with us. I look forward to reading your book series and hope that others will as well. All of you please go show your support and purchase When A Man Loves A Woman, as well as the follow up, When A Man Loves A Woman 2.
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.