Domestic Violence

Gail Davis, 06 April 2009

“Mommy Wars” is a anthology of essays by women who have struggled making career and parenting choices. When Sarah Palin announced her candidacy for vice president, Leslie was a frequent interview guest on national news outlets sharing the insights she’d gathered on women with children and career decisions.
Recently, Leslie made the brave decision to tell the story of her first marriage. A marriage to an abusive husband.

She included me on the select list of people (mostly journalists and book reviewers) who were given a sneak peak. It is among the most well-written, and yet, disturbing books I’ve ever read.

I kept coming back to how perfect the title was “Crazy Love.” Leslie had a way of writing the book so that you can really understand the mindset of a person in an abusive marriage. Love is what kept her from leaving. The details were hard to read, but powerful.

Leslie had no idea when she wrote this book and, subsequently, St. Martin’s Press decided to publish it that the timing would be such that the every living room in America was discussing domestic violence. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing? Because the sad reality is domestic violence is a big problem that reaches farther than any of us can imagine.

I am proud of Leslie for having the courage to tell this story. It can give so many people hope, encouragement and insight. Most of the experts we’ve been hearing on the news recognize that abuse is a pattern. Typically the abuser was abused and their current victims tend to feel shame over sharing their story.

My hope is that Leslie is starting a new pattern – making it okay to talk about the pain so that others can learn and find their way out.