June 23, 2011

Spotlight - Harriet Cammock Author of Through The Fire

After an abusive marriage, Harriet determined she would use her own experiences in overcoming abuse to teach other women that there is help available. She channeled those experiences in writing and through her blog, The Grace Chronicles; she provides inspirational and uplifting messages to many people.
Harriet began The Faith Hour in 2009 and used this platform to launch The Renewed By Grace Conference, which was designed to bring together men and women whose lives were touched by abuse. "I want to show women that you don't have to look like what you went through," Harriet said. Using creative resources and with involvement from other community organizations, Harriet plans to host another conference sometime in the next several months.
A published author, she now hosts The Harriet Cammock Show. The Harriet Cammock Show uses principles of surviving and overcoming; principles that Harriet learned first-hand. Harriet has appeared on The Word Network and Atlanta Live! and is a guest writer for The Hinterland Gazette. A gifted speaker, Harriet is available for speaking engagements.
Visit http://www.harrietcammock.orgfor more about Harriet Cammock's projects.
Cruel But Usual Punishment
Recent headlines have assured Americans that Osama Bin Laden (the terrorist mastermind of the September 11th attacks) is dead. The first thing that comes to mind is the rabid disregard men such as Osama Bin Laden have for women.

Osama's current wife is a twenty nine year old woman who had been sold to him by her family when she was a teenager. To our way of life, it’s inconceivable to give up your teenage daughter to a man twenty years her senior. What rights did she have in choosing her mate? I’ve observed that men of his culture have very little regard for women.

I have known of instances where one woman (of the same culture as bin Laden) dropped out of medical school because her parents told her to get married and was told if she didn’t marry him, she would be shunned from the family. In some cases, women who initially refuse to enter into these arranged marriages are physically brutalized and alienated within their community. In these cultures, it’s a way of life for women to be excluded from major decisions. Women are perceived as inferior and are thought to be of no value except for reproductive purposes. Even where women are educated, they’re expected to be extremely submissive.

The treatment of women in these societies fits the caption of Cruel but Usual punishment. Males are raised in a society in which women defer to male authority. That would be a good thing if males believed in equal rights for women. What if a man is raised seeing his father routinely beat his mother? What if a man is raised seeing his mother’s voice never heard or respected? What kind of man is he then expected to be? Many of these women live in fear of reporting this violence to the authorities. In that society, the man isn’t disciplined for hitting his wife. Instead, the woman is blamed for the man hitting her (backwards, isn’t it?). If she does have the courage to divorce him, she’s shunned (and possibly even killed) by the society.

And then there’s financial abuse. The money she earns? She has no say in how it’s spent. Any attempts to discuss finances on her part are met with brutality. Can you imagine going to work with black and blue bruises?  The man who causes the violence is praised and the women are expected to tolerate the battering. These situations constitute Cruel but Usual Punishment - usual because it’s expected and cruel because by its nature, it robs the woman of the right to make choices for herself.

It is my hope for women to be relieved from the effects of domestic violence.

 In Through The Fire, Harriet Cammock has written a captivating account of surviving domestic violence. Having lived countless years in an environment of verbal and physical abuse, Harriet recollects events no person ought to be able to call to mind. Vivid accounts create unease, knowing people are able to harm each other on such levels and call it love. Harriet shares her blinded love, innocent assumptions, dreaded encounters, and fear-driven hopes, as she recaptures the essence of her painful memories. We journey with her through dating a perceived white knight; coping in a hopeless marriage; raising a child matured, too early, through unfathomable pain; and surviving near-fatal encounters with a madman.

Harriet exposes the reader to an abuser’s enchanting personality as he unfolds to reveal heinous acts, detrimentally affecting the surrounding families, friends, extended networks, and self. “That my heart was beating was a miracle, because I was so afraid I could barely open my mouth to speak, much less breathe and give oxygen to my heart. I didn’t know what he was going to do.” Through the trials, Harriet made a plan, and you will root for her to accomplish that plan. “I would imagine what my future life would be like. I would imagine my daughter and I would one day live free from this horror and it would all be just an experience far behind us. We would be free to do normal things mothers and daughters do.”

Whether you or someone else is abused, has been abused, is curious to the signs of abuse, or simply wishes to read a remarkably engaging story, this book is for you. Once you open this book, map out some time, and get cozy, as you will not want to put Through The Fire down.

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