Re: Re: Child of Misfortune (867 words)

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Hey Pegs,

Yes, it is a true story. It seems I didn’t make myself clear (gee, whoda thunk?)

Let me elaborate on my ideas and just let me know if I cross the line here.

Somebody else said here, I think, that this is a story that needs to be repeated and that people need to be reminded and made aware. This is absolutely correct. I worked with many, many abuse victims, and I know their stories well. But there is a problem.

As real and personal as the pain and suffering is of the abused, the term “battered woman” has itself become a cliche’. Socially people are becoming desensitized because, and I say this ONLY in the mechanical sense, it is the same old story, which has been told over and over again. e.g. woman marries Pothead, Pothead beats her, woman hides problem and won’t leave. Then of course there are the two possible outcomes, one of which you covered adeptly in your piece.

So, in my thinking, the question becomes, how do we remind people of this suffering in a way they won’t just inspire a sympathetic nod and be forgotten five minutes later? And to me the answer is with a twist. What I was suggesting, though it was poorly worded, was that you find a highly “untypical” victim, as in a physician or mental health professional, talk to them about their experience and weave that in with your piece.

It is a hook on a story that now needs hooks to jar people from complacency and disinterest; to un-numb them, if you will. And it can be done rightly within the nonfiction format you seek, especially as a quote or two from a real victim will add a more intimate and personal dimension to the story.

Also, people stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons. I think exploring some of the workings of that in more detail will add to what you have.

I hope you are not thinking that I think what you have is weak. It is not at all. You are an incredibly gifted writer. I just think that even though this story shouldn’t be overdone, it sadly is and needs a lift.

Just my two cents worth.