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Author Interview: Suzanne Milliesdottir

Book Title: The Crucible of Silence: My Journey to Prosecute My Husband for Sexually Abusing Our Daughter

Website URL: http://thecrucibleofsilence.com

What is your book about?

In The Crucible of Silence I chronicle both my emotional and practical journeys to protect my daughter following the discovery my husband was sexually abusing our daughter. Most people underestimate ― if not entirely miss ― that the mother is a secondary victim. Through personal anecdotes I explore how the mother is either vilified or forgotten during the crime’s aftermath. My book also includes facts and information provided by clinical researchers and subject matter experts to help readers demystify this sensitive topic

Tell us something about yourself.

I long have been concerned with furthering the basic dignity of human rights and specifically the social psychological issues involved in oppression. My career has spanned several rewarding decades in university and hospital management at CSUS, Stanford University, UC Davis and UC San Francisco hospital/medical centers. Previous to that, I was a health educator for the alcoholism program for the Seattle-King county health department. I have traveled extensively to immerse myself in the world’s diverse and fascinating cultures and remain involved in presidential campaigning. I enjoy the Jon Stewart Show, the Colbert Report and most anything on C-Span “Book Talk.”

What inspired you to write your book?

I was inspired to begin writing on behalf of my daughter and other mother survivors. I was encouraged to continue by cherished long time friends. Through my story I hope to connect to the grief and anger experienced by other mothers of this hidden family crime. By taking the mask off the deeply disguised familial child sexual abuser, I allow the general reader to see that he lives both a normal law abiding life … and a secret one. As I present the vivid and very human trauma of family pedophilia in the rarely heard voice of a secondary victim, I give witness to the fact that when silence wins, our children lose.

How did you choose the title?

Silence is at the crux of this family crime. The father either directs or manipulates his child into keeping “their secret.” When the crime is discovered and known by others, the mother will be swallowed up by a second silence, a silence filled with intimations of blame directed toward her as a wife and a mother. I explore the devastating social silence and distancing by others that makes the nightmare that her life has become both more” hellish” and a severe test of her resilience.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?

My early library of books focused on race relations, civil rights, women’s issues and psychology. Over the decades it has expanded to include early American history, politics and government, fiction― and always an interesting biography. As I wrote The Crucible of Silence, I was informed by numerous child sexual abuse books now listed in my book’s Reference and Suggested Reading page.

Can you share some of your best advice for our readers?

Family child sexual abuse is a difficult subject to discuss. Instead of tiptoeing around it, it will require our courage to give shape to the subject. That means dragging it into the light. We all must stop and consider how important it is to engage in constructive conversations with others about inappropriate adult touching within the family.

How did Authority Publishing help you with your author journey?

Authority Publishing is the crown jewel of self-publishing companies. Their customer service skills are simply outstanding. They tirelessly partner with each author as they nervously navigate the self-publishing labyrinth. The designers insightfully craft a unique design presentation for each author’s website and book cover. Detailed written on line marketing information is provided. These are professionals led by a savvy CEO, Stephanie Chandler. You wouldn’t want your precious book in anyone else’s hands.

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