Welcome to another edition of Quill’s Edge! We are switching gears this week to the profoundly serious topic of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. In our Author Spotlight this week we have, author and Domestic Violence Advocate and gifted speaker Colleen Williams!
Colleen Williams was born and raised on the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Colleen now lives in Boston Massachusetts. Her new release, Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse was written out of the painful experiences she endured in her life.
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Stephanie: It is an honor to have you here with us on Quill’s Edge Colleen, welcome!
Colleen: Thanks for having me Stephanie.
Stephanie: Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse are two issues that are finally gaining some traction as far as awareness and advocacy. Whenever I read articles or view programs that tackle those very dark topics, I am always blown away by the resilience of the survivors. Your book, Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse at times is a very dark story and yet, there is so much light and hope and timely advice for those in similar situations.
Colleen: Thanks Stephanie. Yes, Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse are topics that are uncomfortable to talk about, but even in this day and age they are relevant issues that must be talked about. On average, a person is abused in the United States every 9 seconds; (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
On average, 3 women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in the United States: (Bureau of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics). In my book, Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse
I tell my story, my truth in how I endured years of physical and sexual abuse. Some may think my story a bit too graphic, but I know there are men women and children out there suffering right now that need to hear someone say, “I know you are hurting. I’ve been there and you deserve better.”
Stephanie: Colleen, I read your book in one sitting. When I finished, I sat in the quiet of my den for a long time with tears streaming down my face. Your raw emotion and pain resonated from the first page; but the wisdom, the fiery determination that I saw there made some of the darkest passages resonate with hope and inspiration.
Colleen: Thank you Stephanie. You are right. My story is dark in some places, but I wanted the reader to see that circumstances may seem bleak, but there is help available. There is hope. You don’t have to stay in a relationship that hurts. Love doesn’t hurt. Trust your gut. At the first sign of trouble get out.
Stephanie: Colleen your practical no nonsense approach is steeped in such love and compassion. There was a place in your book when you spoke of the abuse men suffer at the hands of their significant others. Even there, your approach was one of empathy and practical wisdom.
Colleen: My goal is to inspire men and women everywhere. Pain is pain and no one: man, woman or child should suffer at the hands of someone that supposedly loves them. I want my readers to know that no matter what they go through in life just have faith and believe in yourself. There is a life worth living beyond the pain. You deserve better!
Stephanie: Let’s switch gears a bit and talk about your writing process.
Colleen: Well, I always loved writing poetry. I found that journaling and writing poetry helped me to express myself in a positive way
Stephanie: Agreed poetry, journaling and just writing in general helps me to put things into perspective. What inspires you most about writing?
Colleen: My inspiration for writing is to help heal men and women who feels like they are too broken to be fixed. I want victims to know they are not the problem and they can reach out for help.
Stephanie: We all have a favorite writing space; coffee shops or libraries. Where is your favorite writing space?
Colleen: My writing place is laying on the floor on my carpet with my favorite pen and my notepad.
Stephanie: What are your favorite tools of the trade in writing?
Colleen: Libraries have a lot of inspirational books that help me not only with writing techniques, but there are so many authors that if find there that inspire and encourage me as a person but also as a writer.
Stephanie: Can you give us a couple of your favorites?
Colleen: At the top of my list would be Joyce Myers, T. D. Jakes Cindy Trimm and Joel Osteen.
Stephanie: I love the pastors you listed and their ministries! So, who is your favorite author?
Colleen: My favorite author is Raquel Williams I met her a few years back on Facebook. She is such a great person. She helped me out and gave me the drive to keep going. She is a great supporter.
Stephanie: Are there any authors out there that helped shaped your stance on Domestic Violence and how to assist those in that situation?
Colleen: There are so many books and authors that helped me to shape my experiences into a ministry that could serve as a lasting resource for positive change. I deeply appreciate Frederick L. Beaty for opening up his mind and heart. It isn’t often that you read about domestic violence from the male survivor’s perspective.
Stephanie: Are there any books in particular that you would recommend?
Colleen: Emiliya Ahmadova’s Broken Chains, M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled, and finally, and Domestic Violence: Love Was A Battlefield…. Stories of Survivors by a collection of authors Samantha Swain, Frederick L. Beaty, Kai Kaaron, Faith Waters and Rose Walters.
Stephanie: What is one piece of advice you’d like to give aspiring authors that want to use their personal experiences in a Memoir format to tell their story to help others?
Colleen: Never give up, keep writing you never know whose life you can be changing.
Stephanie: Thank you for joining us on Quill’s Edge Colleen. Your book Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse is an inspiration and I know it will help many people who find themselves in impossible situations to get the help they so richly deserve.
Colleen: Thanks Stephanie.
Stephanie: Alright Quill’s Edge Readers and Writers! Be sure to pick up your copy of Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse.
And if you or someone you know is in a Domestic Violence or a Sexually Abusive situation there is help. Contact the following places:
National Domestic Abuse Hotline:
1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224 or (206) 518-9361
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Above all else tell someone. Get out. Get someplace safe. Get help. Know that you deserve a safe, loving, and nurturing environment