Breaking the silence

The themes running through Skipping Stones were difficult to work through and may be difficult for readers to get through as well. The impact of divorce and the death of a parent on a child, and the heartache and loss of self-identity and self-esteem in a home where there is domestic violence are not subjects for casual reading. And yet I was compelled to write about all of them. Sadly, one in four women will experience abuse at some point in her life. People have trouble believing that, but the statistics are available online to anyone. In the novel, Jess lived for thirteen years in denial about the cruelty she experienced by her husband in her beautiful up-scale home, beginning with the birth of her first child. She didn’t have a name for what she was experiencing and was convinced that the violence inflicted on her by her lawyer husband was her fault. And then she went in for a routine visit to her doctor and everything changed.

Jess and her family believed that “abuse” didn’t apply to people like them, that domestic violence was sordid and ugly and only happened in poor families or those of a different culture. Her parents and her sister didn’t recognize the signs, and Jess was too proud to confess to them the way she lived. A child listened. Josh searched for answers. He and his cousins vowed to fight against the emotional pain they were experiencing and cause change in their home. Josh risked everything that was dear to him to help save Jess and his cousins. Finally, Jess broke the silence.

Domestic violence happens in every part of the world to women of all cultures and all economic levels – even in up-scale communities to “women of means.” It’s important to be informed. It’s important to be aware and to be willing to communicate with women who we believe are suffering. think of it: one in four women will experience violence at some point in their lives. My message in Skipping Stones is hope, the resiliency of children, the importance of open communication, and the healing power of nature and unconditional love. Let’s break the silence and the cycle.

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