October is designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this month I would like to give to a cause I feel strongly about. I have blogged about domestic violence on a couple of occasions already, primarily when Forever Sunshine first came out in April. Since then, I have heard from multiple domestic violence survivors, and each and every one of them told me that Forever Sunshine was not only very real to them but also hopeful for those still in a situation to get out. Naturally, that was part of the message I was trying to send, but I also wanted to draw attention to the issue itself. Often domestic violence is a hidden matter, a family matter that no one truly understands or wants to get involved with. For emergency personnel, it is also a cause for concern. During my time in the Emergency Medical Services, scene safety was our first priority. When responding to a domestic violence call, we often required the backup of police personnel to ensure the scene was safe before we could enter.There was one call where the husband was drunk, injured and required transport to the hospital, and though he was arrested the police officer followed the ambulance rather than riding in the back with me. As senior medical personnel I treated the patient, while my EMT (who was male) drove. The patient looked at me midway through the ride to the hospital and said, “I could kill you with my bare hands right now.” I must admit that I was a little unnerved, even though I reminded him coolly that we had an escort and a burly EMT up front. But that is how these people control their victims, through fear and intimidation. If a stranger would talk to another stranger so angrily, can we imagine how he must have spoken to his family?
Please do not get me wrong. Men are not always the offenders. Domestic violence can occur via women as well. The main point is that it is a problem for all involved, but there are means of escape and ways to get help for both the victim and the offender. Most importantly of all, there are opportunities to show that there is nothing to be ashamed of; there is help out there.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in honor of this important milestone I am putting together a donation for every sale of Forever Sunshine to a cause that I believe is worthwhile. I have contacted a national domestic violence organization and am working with them on this plan. Though I would love to give to more than one organization, this time around I have chosen one site to focus on. Depending on the success of my venture, I will certainly branch out because this is a serious endeavor.
The Hotline is a 24/7 non-profit organization that operates nationwide in the United States. They offer crisis intervention, advocacy, and information to victims or possible victims. Their database includes referrals to over 4,000 programs and shelters, so they work hard every day trying to pass on the means and education to help others. In these difficult financial times donations are harder to come by, and this is why I am hopeful that by buying a decent story of hope, healing and survival others can find a way to pass a day and give back to those who need help. My latest blog review has been completed by Book Reviews by Tima. Please take a look to learn more about my story. The eBook Forever Sunshine is only $2.99 on Amazon; the paperback just $14.95. For my UK readers, please click here. Remember, you do not need a Kindle to purchase an eBook. If you would like to read on your computer or smartphone, Amazon offers an e-reading application. Get yours here.
If you are in need, do not hesitate to call 1-800-799-SAFE or visit TheHotline.org for immediate assistance. All it takes is one call to get the ball rolling.
Thank you all, my good readers!
Young and naïve Cherisse Bridwell had focused solely on completing her college degree and beginning her career until one hot summer evening when her frightened older sister, Shelly, arrives looking for help. Cher's carefully ordered life quickly comes to an end. Trapped in an abusive marriage, Shelly is terrified and has nowhere else to go but to her overworked and oblivious sister. Though Cher is not prepared to handle the effects of a controlling and violent husband, fate delivers help via police sergeant Brandon Nicholson. With his strength and guidance, he shows Cherisse and Shelly how to survive and how to live life to the fullest. As both women find their inner strength, Cher and Brandon fall in love and build a future together. However, life is full of ups and downs, and through it all Cher and her family must continue to face every day with a feeling of hope and optimism, even when it seems as though all hope is gone.