Trump . . . and the normalizing of abuse’t worry. I’m not going to get all political. Vote for whoever you want. I won’t judge you. That’s the great thing – we don’t have to agree to be able to get along or have a reasonable conversation. But this election gives us a reason to discuss an important topic.

Trump made news last week for a hot mic video that surfaced of him engaging in what he describes as “locker room talk” about women. When I wrote Fatal Impulse, I did a lot of research about abuse. Here’s the thing about abuse – it isn’t all the Burning Bed kind of abuse (if you haven’t seen that Farrah Fawcett movie, watch it – it’s powerful). Sometimes the abuse is more subtle, emotional abuse, where the woman is put down so much, she starts to believe it. This isn’t something that only affects a certain demographic or economic class. The man has the power in the relationship, and he uses that power to take what he wants, regardless of how it affects the woman, or how she feels about it. She is not an equal partner in the relationship. That use of power is wrong, plain and simple. No means no. Consent is required for any type of sexual contact. If it is not welcomed, if it is not wanted, don’t do it. Plain and simple, but men who think of themselves as powerful see women as objects don’t get it. The way we fix that is to talk about it, to recognize that it happens, and to acknowledge that it is not acceptable.

Though Fatal Impulse is a work of fiction, the abuse it describes was inspired by real events. Though there are some protections in place for women who strike back at their abusers, it isn’t always cut and dried. There are women sitting in jail right now because they fought back, but the system didn’t protect them. Women who are in an abusive relationship don’t always see a way out. It’s not as simple as getting a divorce. The abuser often isolates his victim, and denigrates her to the point that she doesn’t see any option but to stay with him.

If you are in an abusive relationship, reach out for help. Tell someone, call someone, make a plan and get out. Start HERE.

You deserve better.

(By the way – abuse can happen regardless of gender. I use his/her here simply because that is the most common domestic abuse.)