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Monday, 17 September 2018

Domestic abuse is hidden from the outside world, and even hidden from the abused through a mesh of mind games and psychological attacks. Read Silencing Anna, it’s truly harrowing. Based on true experiences. #domestic #abuse #thriller #fiction #authorontour@rararesources @sadiedmitchell

Silencing Anna
Sadie D Mitchell

James Green, Anna’s ex-boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with attacking Anna after she was found unresponsive in hotel bathroom. James claims he’s innocent and Anna, unconsciousness, in a hospital bed is unable to tell the truth. But James Green is far from innocent. 

He’s an abuser.

He believes he has the right to control his partner and he uses many tactics to achieve this. The first he uses is early in the relationship and it’s to build her up. He dazzles Anna with attention, compliments and gifts. He makes sure that she knows that he’s never ever had such an amazing woman before.

Anna feels loved, protected and cherished, and this is the hook James has dangled in front of his victim. She’s reeled in. But then comes the verbal abuse and coercive control.
James creates a cycle where he hurts Anna and then heals her again. It’s subtle to start with, but it eventually escalates to physical violence. James always denies responsibility for his actions, shifting the blame onto the victim and using mind games to make her doubt herself. He also isolates her from her family and erodes her self-confidence.
James is a horrible character. He is cruel and nasty and ugly inside, but only those closest to James would ever get to witness this. He controls himself in public and presents a wholesome image to the outside world. He has a good job, he is intelligent, funny, interesting, well dressed and softly spoken.  No one would suspect him to be an abuser and Anna herself doesn’t realise that she is being abused, even after he has violently attacked her.
This the most important message in Silencing Anna: domestic abuse is hidden from the outside world, and it is even hidden from the abused through a mesh of mind games and psychological attacks. 
I deliberately developed the character of James to show the contrast between how someone presents themselves to the outside world and the reality of their behaviour. You see, it’s not always possible to tell if someone is an abuser. They’re not likely to admit their behaviour, and are often the most presentable and charming of people!
I based the character traits of James on my ex-partner. He was gentle, softly spoken and funny. He wasn’t macho—far from it. He liked art and flowers, he loved interior design and could make anything look nice. He didn’t drink even beer or spirits, and he wasn’t into football. He appreciated beauty and culture. He didn’t fit any stereotype of abuser that I was aware of at the time.
Everyone was shocked when I left him, and told them why. But family and friends believed me and helped me grow again. I owe them a lot.
In all honesty, I think that most frightening thing about an abusive relationship is the fact that you don’t have to look far to find a woman who has met and had a relationship with someone just like James Green. 
That is the biggest reason for writing the book. I want to shout about this from the rooftops. I want to raise awareness and wake society up from its apathy regarding domestic abuse for Anna’s story is harrowing, but it is not unique.
Do you know a man like James?  I’d bet my life that you do.

Silencing Anna

Voices surround Anna as she lies on her hospital bed, but she cannot answer them. Her voice has been taken, along with her mobility and her sight. She can hear the nurses chattering and her family that come to visit.
Her mum cries a lot and her dad struggles to deal with what he sees. Life used to be good for Anna, but life can change in a heartbeat, as she knows so well. 
Paperback | Amazon

And then there are the people we think we know. When the smile hides the anger. When the beauty hides the beast.
Only Anna knows the truth, but Anna cannot speak.

About the author:
This is Sadie’s first novel. She has three children and works in healthcare. When she’s not writing or working most of her life seems to involve picking up toys and finding things she’d forgotten she has.
WWBB note: I have read Silencing Anna (review to follow) and it was truly a brilliant book. It won't be one to forget in a hurry!

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