As with any basic human need, sex is ripe to be distorted, destroyed and damaged. Sadly, the misuse of bodies and sexual acts is all too common. There was a meme on Facebook that asked: “If you could eliminate one thing from this world, what would it be?” Hands down, without a doubt, my answer is: sexual victimization of all kinds.
I am a survivor of sexual assault. Few know the story. For once, a part of my life will be kept private. The point is, because I love good sex so much, the misuse of it really pisses me off! I find myself in a unique position in my life. I belong to no man and as such, have no one to protect me, even from myself. Since it happened, people have voiced concern about me speaking against sexual victimization. If I'm completely honest, it was a relief. It's a foul subject. I felt like I needed to speak out and speak up but since others were concerned, I had an out. I liked having an out.
I don't like to think about sexual abuse let alone write about it, or God help me, advocate against it. It makes me feel sick inside. In my volunteer work with CASA I ask not to be put on cases with sexual abuse because I don't know how to deal with the feelings. It is one of the few things in life that moves me at such a deep visceral level. That means I need to do something. I have decided to advocate, for the child, for the young woman, for the boy, for any and all who are sexually abused.
My words are my weapons and this year I use them to rage against one of the most heinous evils in this dark world. The decision started late last year as I drafted Sailing with Rusty. I love the story but one of the arcs deals with Scarlet being sexually assaulted. It hit close to home and I knew it was time for me to say something.
This year my books go dark. Real-life romance will still find its way into my stories because, well, that's life. There is light and love amidst the darkness and evil. The job of the saints, of the good people of this world, is to RAGE against the darkness. I am small, I am weak, I am only one voice but I won't be silent. I cannot eliminate all sexual predators but I can bring awareness to some of the ways that we as a society unwittingly participate in the perpetuation of sexual victimization.
My new series, Just Gia, delves into childhood sexual abuse and the devastating after affects and journey to healing. Sailing with Rusty, due out this fall, will expose a more subtle, but even more common kind of sexual victimization. Finally as the year comes to a close I'll introduce Evie, a victim of date rape, who will be forced to relive the trauma of the night she was raped in eleven different lives.
My desire isn't to hurt anyone with my words but to stir up emotions to such a point that readers want to do something to rage against the darkness. My readers are cool people and I'm sure they will find ways to be a catalyst for advocacy.