My journey started after my kids and I left their father, my husband of 17, years due to domestic violence and abuse. The last four years with him were really frightening as he became violent and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Since he refused to take medication and the violence escalated, I was forced to flee to another state with our five kids, ages 4 to 13 in an old pick up truck. The next three years we struggled to get help and protection from the legal system from their very angry father who had decided to devise new ways to punish us for leaving him. It was the worst experience of my life but has led me to my ultimate calling, helping other victims of domestic violence.
In 2009, I renewed my teaching certification (I have a BS in Elem. Educ., am certified to teach K-8 in NH) and in the process became very involved in research about the effects of domestic violence on children. As I researched and wrote the paper to recertify, I realized two things: I had enough material for a book about our experiences, and I wanted to learn more. I found a publisher interested and started an online program through Argosy University for my MA in forensic psychology. My book "New Day: One Woman's Journey Through Domestic Violence" was published in 2010 and is now available as an ebook on itunes, amazon, and Barnes and Noble and in 2013, I graduated from Argosy and started the program at Walden for my PhD in the same. Just two weeks ago, I signed a contract for a sequel to "New Day" which will be available in 2015. It will be called "Tomorrows" and contains a lot of information for victims as they negotiate the legal system.
I come at this work from the perspective of one who has lived it. I have a heart and a passion to help other victims of this crime that runs rampant in our society. One out of every four women experience intimate partner violence. That means that everyone knows someone or has been there themselves. I currently offer my services as consultant to anyone who needs help. I work often without pay as these women and children have nothing just as we did, when they finally get brave enough to run away and often hide from someone who ought to have loved them but instead hurt and scared them. This job is the hardest and toughest but most rewarding job I have ever done second only to my main focus and job which is being a mommy to my eight kids. Along the journey I have picked up a few more! I have been happily remarried for two years and so now have two step kids. Bill (My hubby) and I also adopted a girl who was a friend of our kids and was from a domestic violence situation. All of us as a family have trememdous drive to help others stuck in this turmoil and also, to show them that there can be a happy, safe ending.