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Conversation Topics Number Two

Witness to Grace:  From Surviving to Thriving, the forthcoming memoir sequel to Witness to Violence:  A Hatfield Family Story, chronicles the life trajectory of the daughter of an abused child. The story shows how one family stopped the violence.

Research shows that children who face adversity can develop skills that help them cope in childhood, and those skills can evolve to become assets in adulthood. Science also reveals that between 60-70% of trauma survivors go on to have well-adjusted lives. Yet, we don’t hear, read or see many of these narratives in the popular press. We must talk about the realities of domestic violence and child abuse in order to stop it.  Likewise, we need to talk about the resilience of the human spirit in order to encourage movement from barely surviving to joyful thriving.


  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is now somewhat understood by the public. First identified as one outcome of war and military service, we now know that children who grow up in violent homes can experience the same symptoms. The commonality is that both situations require the adult or child to maintain a constant state of being called “threat assessment.” How do you think the body responds to living in a constant state of Fight, Flight or Freeze?


  • Advocates have successfully raised awareness about PTSD. Have you heard of Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG)?  Approximately 30% of survivors experience PTG.  What resources or supports are necessary to promote PTG?


  • A friend says, “I’m sick of hearing that kids are resilient. That is used to excuse adults’ abusive behavior.”  What do you think of this idea?


  • It is hoped that the #Me Too movement is the tipping point in American society that leads to reduced sexual harassment, abuse and assault against women. What are your thoughts?


  • If you feel moved to do your part to reduce violence and help survivors learn to thrive, what actions can you take?


  • Think about a time in your life when you felt you couldn’t cope with any more pain. What did you do to push yourself forward, to push pass the pain and into a better future?


  • If you could befriend a child who is living in domestic situations described in Witness to Violence, how would you help her develop resilience skills?


  • It is said that the best writers are voracious readers. As a person who loves books, have you thought about writing your life story? Would you envision a Memoir or a Fiction story based upon your life? What effect might writing have on your quality of life?