In this visionary and powerful work, Pamela Lassiter Cathey and Dr. Wind Goodfriend have combined the hopeful stories of women and men who have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, and child abuse with the theoretical constructs of narrative therapy and professional trauma advocacy to create a book that will change lives.
The narrative in Part One reveal the courageous voices of ten women and men who have experienced relationship violence, and have emerged on the other side as stronger and more compassionate human beings. And though the violence is horrific, the hope these writers communicate as they describe how they moved through victimization and survivorship to become the heroes of their own stories reminds all of us that even the most devastating of life's experiences can result in goodness and race.
The professional guide in Part Two offers practical suggestions for how each of us can get involved individually and collectively to respond to relationship violence in the present, and to prevent it from happening in the future. This section also includes an overview of narrative therapy protocols for trauma service professionals who are interested in supporting victims and survivors in further integrating their experiences and healing more completely.
Voices of Hope Breaking the Silence of Relationship Violence elegantly blends the personal with the political, the practical with the theoretical, the reality of where we are today with an optimistic vision for the future. The end result is a book that will ignite hope in those who have experienced violent relationships, in the friends and family who want to help, and in the professionals who offer support in healing from the trauma.
"I remember the first time I saw a cat kill a mouse. The cat was a twenty-pound tiger tomcat with frosty green eyes and long, silky tufts of hair sticking out from his ears and paws. I had walked into the garage that day and saw him crouched on the concrete in the corner, the tip of his tail flicking incessantly.
I didn’t see the mouse at first. Actually, I heard it before I saw it, bloodied and bewildered, hunkered down between those massive furry paws, watching the cat watch it back with a look of cold curiosity.
For what seemed like a long time, the two of them just sat there, looking at each other, and then the mouse tried to get away. The cat stretched out a paw, lightning quick, and dragged his prey back to center. And there they sat, staring into one another’s eyes, in a way that seemed almost intimate, until the mouse tried to get away again. This time the cat let it get far enough that he got to pounce and sink in his teeth before returning both of them to their place in the corner.
I stood there watching, my mouth agape, as the two played several rounds of this grisly game, and then the mouse squealed again.
The sound roused me from my stupor and I ran into the house to get a blanket to throw over the cat. By the time I got back, both he and the mouse were gone. I found the little corpse later that day on the back step, whole and uneaten.
I felt like that mouse during the first seven years of my marriage.
I felt wounded and stunned."