Monday, May 07, 2012

Sisters in Crime and Domestic Violence

You may wonder how these two topics relate. If you are a mystery writer, it's always best to be as factual as possible with your details. What better way than to have experts come in and share information that you can use in your book.

Last week's guest speaker at our local Sisters in Crime meeting was the executive director of a local safe house for abused women and children. She presented information on domestic violence and some key notes on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an abuser and victim. What came from the meeting was some very interesting information about domestic violence but in turn, several members in our local group revealed that they too had been victims of such violence.

The numbers are staggering and what was even more surprising is that South Carolina is at number 7th in the nation for domestic violence. According to our speaker, since she started working in the domestic violence arena, South Carolina has never been out of the top 10 states in reported domestic violence cases.

There are many reasons for domestic violence and many cases unreported each and every year. Being informed of the signs of an abuser and a victim should help get more cases reported, but unfortunately, it doesn't happen.

One person mentioned to me that there are four A's that are lethal to women: Acceptance, Approval, Affection, and Attention. When women strive to feel these from a man, they usually turn against them, because the abuser will use these as a way to wear down the victim's boundaries and cause her to lose sense of herself; she no lnoger exists as the person she was known to be but exists only for him.

I encourage everyone to get the facts and if they suspect abuse of someone they know that they take action and report it and hopefully prevent the death of that person.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not but our local chapter has some of the best meetings. We bring in guest speakers every month who have a lot to offer writers and readers. We've been told that fiction really should be as realistic as possible, so these speakers share their expertise which hopefully makes our stories more believable or plausible.

What the persons who secure the guest speakers usually do for our meetings is alternately bring in a professional in some field and an author, so the topics range from things like FBI agents, drug trafficking officers, arson inspectors, 911 operators, weapons experts, forensic psychologists, lawyers, K-9 units as well as writing related topics from the authors. In the four or so years I've been a member and attending meetings, we have had some excellent speakers. The line-up for the next few months include Maggie Toussant who blogs over on the Murder Must Advertise blog, and funny thing is just last week she posted a delightful posting about marketing, a topic that is near and dear to me. I think Maggie was surprised how many people actually read and commented on her posting. I think one author coming is the author of a book titled The Blue Virgin which is set in Oxford. It looks to be a fun and interesting year with the Greenville Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

If you are writer and have the opportunity to attend groups that are similar or offer professional guest speakers for minimal fees, I highly recommend you join the group. What can be better than getting free (depends on the venue; ours is the cost of dinner and gas since none of live very close to the meeting place, but even still for less than $20/month) advice on how to make your characters or stories more believable? Check out your local Sisters in Crime group and if there isn't one near you, get one started and seek out guest speakers who can really help you with different aspects of your mystery writing, or your writing in general.

See ou all in the postings - E :)

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