SOURCE: Author Linda O'Dochartaigh
BISMARCK, ND--(Marketwire - Aug 20, 2012) - For a child, sexual abuse can be just the first domino to fall in a lifetime of consequential pain and abuse, a reality reflected in Linda O'Dochartaigh's new novel, "Peregrine" (www.lavanderkatbooks.com).
"People read about child sexual abuse in the news, whether it's the Penn State scandal or the Catholic Church, and of course they're angry. 'How can someone do that to a child?"' says O'Dochartaigh, an activist working to raise awareness about the true costs of sexual abuse -- and the healing that is possible for victims.
"But these people, and the family members who deny it's going on in because they don't want to disrupt their lives and endure painful confrontations, really have no idea of the sentence being imposed on the victims."
But, as her novel demonstrates, victims of abuse can escape -- both from their abusers and the legacy they inflict.
Peregrine is a shy, studious girl. She's grown up sheltered, living in a fantasy world of old black-and-white movies wherein charming, witty men court sophisticated women. This black-and-white world of pretend, however, leaves her unprepared for the Technicolor world of real life.
She meets a charming, handsome man and eventually marries him. But after a few years of happiness, he begins to change. It isn't long before his verbal jabs become physical; he becomes a monster who, in effect, holds Peregrine prisoner.
"Peregrine" is the story of multiple forms of abuse, the toll it takes and the strength and resilience of "victims" who set themselves free.
"I wrote this book to help people understand the totality of what a victim of abuse, whether child abuse or domestic violence, experiences," O'Dochartaigh says. "Perhaps if people know how deeply damaging it is, they'll do more to stop it - especially within their own families.
"I also wrote it to give hope and encouragement to people in similar circumstances. 'Peregrine' is fiction, but it's not fantasy. Every day, with help, women step out of their past and start new, fulfilling lives."
About Linda O'Dochartaigh
Linda O'Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence. She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O'Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren.