I am thrilled and honored to be on the tour for Clipped Wings. This project is close to my heart and I would like to thank Jennifer Gilmour, Emma Mitchell and everyone who took part to make it happen.
Title: Clipped Wings
Author: Jennifer Gilmour
Date of publication: October 30th 2017
Number of pages: 148
The silent chorus.
Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.
But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do
it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all
but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.
But you are.
A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly
common problem in today’s society.
The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.
Two words hiding stories to which Jennifer Gilmour gives a voice to.
Jennifer Gilmour, a woman who faced the worst “love” can give you and decided not to stay silent. Jennifer Gilmoure, who offered us a story fulled by her own experience, Isolation Junction, in which she is standing for herself, showing her scars, sharing her vulnerability, but most importantly her strength. And now Jennifer is helping others do the same in the hope to change things.
What things? Abuse. Domestic abuse. This virus spreading but for which no doctors have a cure. What to do then? It’s easy to try and give answers when you’re on the other side, the safe side. We all have an idea of what it’s like to be under someone’s power, we have TV shows. But the reality of it is so much more striking, horrendous, and difficult to bear.
I don’t know whether I would advise other survivors to report those who have abused them to the police or not. It’s a very personal matter, not one that can be judged by others.
In this single quotation I chose, you can feel the respect for the sufferer. I reread this sentence so many times it’s now carved in my memory. At first, I disagreed. I thought the police was the best way, the only way out. Then this testimony got me thinking about the situation of the person, whether or not he or she would be able to handle all that comes with speaking to others, whether it would actually help. The number of cases for which the police can’t intervene or the cases lead to nothing is appalling. Frightening, even. How can we force a victim to get out of their shell and talk, when they haven’t done anything wrong and should have to go through questioning, bringing evidence, and enter a system that is flawed? Now I agree with this quote. You can’t choose for the person at the heart of the story.
So what can you do?
Clipped Wings taught me to be here.
Among all those stories, all those names, what stayed with me the most was the loneliness created by the abuser, and the fact many of the abused men and women had no one to turn to. This broke my heart. I started wondering if I’d ever turned a blind eye on a situation that did not feel right, what I would do if I witnessed something or if someone confided in me. I hope I can be one of those helpers. I want to be. This is not about bravery from us; it is about doing what is right. It’s about holding out a hand. I wish more of us would do it, although I understand the first step must come from the person who needs help.
Clipped Wings is not just pieces of paper glued together to teach you a lesson about how bad it is to hit your wife or husband. You are not in class. You are in real life, reading about what happens behind closed doors.
Reading Clipped Wings is unsettling, upsetting, and it should be! Many of the victims talked about how they did not see the signs, how guilt eats them away, how hard it is to escape a prison with no bars. It made me sick, it made me want to punch someone very hard. But most importantly, it showed me, with their own words, how those men and women did not let go of life, despite everything. This is the most beautiful part of the book.
I want to say how proud I am of Jennifer for creating and going through with this project. I want to scream how proud I am of every person who shared their stories. It must not have been easy, just as it is not easy to read them. But they did it because the world needs to know it is not okay. Because we readers need to know how it is like, how we can help, what we can do.
Yes, Clipped Wings tells the chapters of people who have gone through hell and came back with horrific scars, but at the end of the line, Clipped Wings is a cry for hope and awareness, brought to you in the most naked and raw way that speaks to your heart before talking to your brain.
Thank you to everyone who took part in this project. It takes courage to share, to put words on the things we don’t talk about. You were perfect, you are perfect, and I hope life treats you all better now. You are survivors.
I wish everyone would get a copy on their shelves to prevent this virus from spreading. I know it can’t be, but I sincerely have faith in the power of those testimonies, and in people, so we can find solutions to make it stop. Statistics need to be used to do something, not to analyze and get put away in a folder. It’s not okay to be used to hear about someone being beaten to death or pushed to suicide because of a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse.
If you are out there and suffering, I hope you find a hand to grasp in the night and lead you back to the light.
Born in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base.
Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.
From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive
relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write this first novel Isolation Junction’. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.
Since the publication of her debut novel Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for
those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.
Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.
Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that ’Clipped Wings’ give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raises awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.
I’d love for you to take a look at the other stops on the tour!