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aka jayne doughAt the time, I was teaching Domestic Violence classes at the Women's Community Correctional Center.  There were a few more minutes left before our ladies were ready to walk over to the classrooms with us and I was talking to my colleague, Serena Camara, about (what else?) domestic violence. 

As we spoke, Serena confided that she was a survivor of domestic violence and from the little she told me of her story, I was like "WOW, you should really write a book!"  Casually she replied "I already did".  That was it - I had to check it out.

dara_carlin_holly_collins
Holly & Dara at the BMCC, January 2011 Credit: Battered Mothers Custody Conference
The email began with "My mother is a former battered woman who is the first American to receive asylum in Europe.  My brother and I were abused children who were failed by the American Justice System, but fortunately we also received asylum in the Netherlands."

This introduction was asking A LOT of the reader to believe; "the first American to receive asylum in Europe"?  Wasn't asylum something that people FROM foreign countries fled TO America FOR?

sorryWhen I received my Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy diploma "with all the rights and privileges thereunto" I felt like I had ascended to a higher level of human intellect with proof now attesting to my officially sanctioned "wisdom".  

barbed_wireSigh.  I thought I did a good job...  BUT my husband read my first article and shrugged "Eh, it's ok but what are you trying to say?  This doesn't say anything to me; it doesn't grab me.  You can do better then that."  

I thought I was quite clear in clarifying and exposing what domestic violence (DV) is and isn't because it's really important to be "on the same page" definition-wise before engaging in any productive dialogue or before further elaborating on a subject that's as open to dispute as DV is.  But I got a thumbs down so here's a re-write of what I was trying to say:

apple_snakeI was always told if you want to keep a civil discussion going, stay away from the topics of religion and politics but there's a third topic that's more explosive then both and like the nature of the problem, it's one that's kept intentionally hidden from public view: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

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