Mother Marion recommended a book to me last week about domestic violence. Like the good little priest that I am, I ordered it immediately from Amazon because she said if you ever come across abusive relationships in ministry this is the book to read and to lend.
It is called Dragon-slippers (This is what an abusive relationship looks like) by Rosalind B Penfold. The power of this book is that the story is told in the form of cartoons drawn by the author while she was going through an abusive relationship. After it was over, she took the drawings from her journal and told her story through pictures. I can’t tell you how incredibly powerful this is. As Meera Syal says on the blurb “Does more to convey the effects of domestic violence than a dozen worthy textbooks.”
Roz tells the story of meeting Brian, a widower with four children. Brian woos her with roses and exuberant enthusiasm and she can’t help but get caught up in the whirlwind of romance. As time goes on, Brian’s ‘other’ nature reveals itself but Roz always manages to find an excuse to forgive. Her mother and friends all tell her that she is a fool but she always goes back, even if it just for the sake of the children. I won’t reveal much more but if you know anyone in this situation please read this book. And even if you don’t, you will have learned some valuable life lessons.