Sunday, November 16, 2014


"In a centuries deep sea of clichés despairing that 'prostitution will always be with us', one country's success stands out as a solitary beacon lighting the way. In just five years Sweden has dramatically reduced the number of its women in prostitution. In the capital city of Stockholm the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%," says a report on the website,

"There are other major Swedish cities where street prostitution has all but disappeared. Gone too, for the most part, are the renowned Swedish brothels and massage parlors which proliferated during the last three decades of the twentieth century when prostitution in Sweden was legal.

Sweden's Prostitution Solution:  Why Hasn't Anyone Tried  This Before?

"In addition, the number of foreign women now being trafficked into Sweden for sex is nil. The Swedish government estimates that in the last few years only 200 to 400 women and girls have been annually sex trafficked into Sweden, a figure that's negligible compared to the 15,000 to 17,000 females yearly sex trafficked into neighboring Finland. No other country, nor any other social experiment, has come anywhere near Sweden's promising results.

"By what complex formula has Sweden managed this feat? Amazingly, Sweden's strategy isn't complex at all. It's tenets, in fact, seem so simple and so firmly anchored in common sense as to immediately spark the question, "Why hasn't anyone tried this before?"

"Sweden's Groundbreaking 1999 Legislation

"In 1999, after years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation that a) criminalizes the buying of sex, and b) decriminalizes the selling of sex. The novel rationale behind this legislation is clearly stated in the government's literature on the law:

"In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem... gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them."

"In addition to the two pronged legal strategy, a third and essential element of Sweden's prostitution legislation provides for ample and comprehensive social service funds aimed at helping any prostitute who wants to get out, and additional funds to educate the public. As such, Sweden's unique strategy treats prostitution as a form of violence against women in which the men who exploit by buying sex are criminalized, the mostly female prostitutes are treated as victims who need help, and the public is educated in order to counteract the historical male bias that has long stultified thinking on prostitution. To securely anchor their view in firm legal ground, Sweden's prostitution legislation was passed as part and parcel of the country's 1999 omnibus violence against women legislation.

"An Early Obstacle in the Path

Interestingly, despite the country's extensive planning prior to passing the legislation, the first couple years into this novel project nothing much happened at all. Police made very few arrests of johns and prostitution in Sweden, which had previously been legalized, went on pretty much as it had gone on before. Naysayers the world over responded to the much publicized failure with raucous heckling, "See? Prostitution always has been, and it always will be."

"But eminently secure in the thinking behind their plan, the Swedes paid no heed. They quickly identified, then solved the problem. The hang-up, the place where their best efforts had snagged, was that law enforcement wasn't doing it's part. The police themselves, it was determined, needed in-depth training and orientation to what the Swedish public and legislature already understood profoundly. Prostitution is a form of male violence against women. The exploiter/buyers need to be punished, and the victim/prostitutes need to be helped. The Swedish government put up extensive funds and the country's police and prosecutors, from the top ranks down to the officer on the beat, were given intensive training and a clear message that the country meant business. It was then that the country quickly began to see the unequaled results.

"Today, not only do the Swedish people continue to overwhelming support their country's approach to prostitution (80% of people in favor according to national opinion polls), but the country's police and prosecutors have also come around to be among the legislation's staunchest supporters. Sweden's law enforcement has found that the prostitution legislation benefits them in dealing with all sex crimes, particularly in enabling them to virtually wipe out the organized crime element that plagues other countries where prostitution has been legalized or regulated.

The Failure of Legalization and/or Regulation Strategies

This Swedish experiment is the single, solitary example in a significant sized population of a prostitution policy that works. In 2003, the Scottish government in looking to revamp its own approach to prostitution enlisted the University of London to do a comprehensive analysis of outcomes of prostitution policies in other countries. In addition to reviewing Sweden's program, the researchers chose Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands to represent various strategies of legalizing and/or regulating prostitution. The researchers did not review the situation where prostitution is criminalized across the board as it is in the US. The outcome of that approach is already well known. The failures and futility of the revolving door of arresting and rearresting prostitutes is all too familiar the world over.

"But the outcomes, as revealed in the Univ. of London study, in the states under review that had legalized or regulated prostitution were found to be just as discouraging or even more discouraging than the traditional all round criminalization. In each case the results were dramatic in the negative.

"Legalization and/or regulation of prostitution, according to the study, led to:

"A dramatic increase in all facets of the sex industry,
A dramatic increase in the involvement of organized crime in the sex industry,
A dramatic increase in child prostitution,
An explosion in the number of foreign women and girls trafficked into the region, and
Indications of an increase in violence against women.
In the state of Victoria, Australia, where a system of legalized, regulated brothels was established, there was such an explosion in the number of brothels that it immediately overwhelmed the system's ability to regulate them, and just as quickly these brothels became a mire of organized crime, corruption, and related crimes. In addition, surveys of the prostitutes working under systems of legalization and regulation find that the prostitutes themselves continue to feel coerced, forced, and unsafe in the business.

"A survey of legal prostitutes under the showcase Netherlands legalization policy finds that 79% say they want to get out of the sex business. And though each of the legalization/regulation programs promised help for prostitutes who want to leave prostitution, that help never materialized to any meaningful degree. In contrast, in Sweden the government followed through with ample social services funds to help those prostitutes who wanted to get out. 60% of the prostitutes in Sweden took advantage of the well funded programs and succeeded in exiting prostitution.*

"* The full Scottish government report on prostitution policies can be seen at
So Why Hasn't Anyone Tried This Before?

"Why, then, with Sweden's success so clearly lighting the way, aren't others quickly adopting the plan? Well, some are. Both Finland and Norway are on the verge of making the move. And if Scotland takes the advise of its own study, it will go in that direction too. But, the answer to the question of why other countries aren't jumping to adopt Sweden's plan is probably the same as the answer to the question of why governments haven't tried Sweden's solution before.

"In order to see prostitutes as victims of male coercion and violence it requires that a government first switch from seeing prostitution from the male point of view to the female point of view. And most, if not virtually all, countries of the world still see prostitution and every other issue from a predominantly male point of view.

"Sweden, in contrast, has led the way in promoting equality for women for a very long time. In 1965, for example, Sweden criminalized rape in marriage. Even by the 1980's there were states in the United States that still hadn't made that fundamental recognition of women's rights to control her own body. The Swedish government also stands out in having the highest proportion of women at all levels of government. In 1999, when Sweden passed its groundbreaking prostitution legislation, the Swedish Parliament was composed of nearly 50% women.

"Sweden's prostitution policy was first designed and lobbied for by Sweden's organization of women's shelters and was then fostered and fought for by a bipartisan effort of Sweden's uniquely powerful and numerous female parliamentarians. Nor has Sweden stopped there. In 2002, Sweden passed additional legislation bolstering the original prostitution legislation. The 2002 Act Prohibiting Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation closed some of the loopholes in the earlier legislation and further strengthened the government's ability to go after the network of persons that surround and support prostitution, such as the recruiters, the transporters, and the hosts.

"And Why Can't We Copy Sweden's Success Here?

"While it's probably true that we and other countries are still much more steeped in patriarchal darkness than Sweden, there's no reason we can't push now for the policy changes that Sweden has made. The beauty of it is that once the ground has been broken and the proof of success has been established, it should be ever much easier to convince others to go down that path."

The above website post was quoted with permission of:
Women's Justice Center, 

Copyright © Marie De Santis

Refer to

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A place of inspiration for women

Get inspiration on this facebook page:

My mother inspires me

The picture below is a painting that started out as a self-portrait, but turned out to be an unmistakeable protrait of my mother. You might call it "Mother and Child", but I named it "Lilly's Guardian".

Originally, the figure had one bruised eye, just because I never quite finished the painting and then started thinking that it looked right like that. Neither my mother nor I have ever been given a black eye nor have we been abused physically. To me, the bruised eye was just a symbol of the hurts and scars that we acquire in the course of our lives.

Eventually I had to fix the eye, because people used to be very upset by the painting. Strangely enough, some people still react to it like that. Personally, I see more of angel than a victim in the painting. The resemblance with my mother reminds me of her strength and resilience, which has always been a good example for me to try to copy when I lose heart.

She is now 83 years old

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I have been entertained by the information stream from the alternative movement in health and spirituality for many years. I say entertained, because all this information has not necessarily lead to attainment in any sense. The best possible advice and most trustworthy assurance regarding health or personal growth often leads to no change in oneself and I have forgotten most of what I have read.
     But a certain piece of advice stands out for me. I was reading about positive thinking and came across suggestions for affirmations to improve your life (which we mostly try out to see if we can GET what we want!) This one had an interesting twist. It read as follows:
      “Today, I shall give love and receive love in everything that I do.”
     Get that:“…and RECEIVE love” in everything that I do.
     Somehow we always think that others should be put first and us last. The point here is that if you allow yourself to be treated with a lack of love, you are actually allowing another person to perpetrate an act that lacks love.
     Uh-oooh. Would you stand by and allow another to treat your friend, mother or child like that? Not if it is in your power to prevent it.
     Every person is not graced with the same personal, material and spiritual power to affect their world, but a change in perspective already opens a whole new world.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Child's Ten Commandments

This was posted on facebook by Parenting Hub on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 8:39am.

1.My hands are small; please don't expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can catch up with you.

Children of Piketberg with a giant artwork which was made
by them during the previous shool holidays. See article:
 2.My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely. Don't restrict me unnecessarily.

3.Housework will always be there. I'm little for only a short time - please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

4.My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs. Don't nag me all day long. (You wouldn't want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated.

5.I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by and disciplining me in a loving manner.

6.I need your encouragement to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

7.Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I'll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

8.Please don't do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn't quite measure up to your expectations. I know it's hard, but please don't try to compare me with my brothers and sisters.

9.Please don't be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need holidays from parents, just as parents need holidays from kids. Besides, it's a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

10.Please take me to Sunday School and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.

Written by Dr. Kevin Leman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hoe gaan dit met die vroue en kinders in jou streek?

Maak oop jou oë vir geweld teen vroue en kinders, is die boodskap wat ek kry uit die SAPD se jaarlikse veldtog, 16 Dae van Aktivisme teen Geweld teenoor Vroue en Kinders.

Goed. Ek ondersteun juis lankal waar moontlik ‘n vriendin wat betrokke is in ‘n hofsaak om haar kinders te beskerm. Ek onderneem voorts om tydens die velddtog deel te neem aan ‘n kunsuitstalling oor die onderwerp.

Ná ‘n dag van kopkrap is ek moedeloos, teen slaaptyd depressief. Toe ek die volgende oggend my oë oopmaak, vertel ek my naaste dat ek sonder twyfel NIE aan hierdie geleentheid gaan deelneem nie. Teen die aand is ek darem weer fluks besig om ‘n paar ingewings in kuns te verwerk.

Dit is ‘n ongemaklike onderwerp.

Ek ontvang per epos ‘n kennisgewing van ‘n kreatiewe werksessie vir slagoffers van gesinsgeweld wat gedurende die veldtog in Piketberg gehou word. Een van die kunswerke wat reeds vir die genoemde kunsuitstalling ingedien is, word as illustrasie gebruik: Die dogtertjie kyk met ‘n beteuterde gesiggie na my – en ‘n trek van harde bitterheid om die mond wat jy nie kon droom om by ‘n kind te sien nie. Met hierdie uitbeelding het die kunstenaar daarin geslaag om intense emosie weer te gee wat op baie vlakke tot mense kan spreek.

Nou is al die kunstenaars wat deelneem se werke al in die gallery uitgestal, die werksessie vir slagoffers van gesinsgeweld is so pas verby. Die 16 dae-veldtog eindig die einde van die week. Ek wil nou skryf en vertel van hierdie dinge en ek soek op internet die Afrikaanse bewoording van die veldtog. Ek kom af op ‘n gedig wat tydens die veldtogtydperk in 2007 deur ene Zymrly gepubliseer is. Die uittreksel wat hier volg, kon ‘n beskrywing gewees het van die kunswerk wat ek hierbo genoem het:

“Jou oë slaan in twee
Apologie aan die kunstenaar:
Ek het vergeet wie dit geskilder het.
groen kolle deur die mis
soos 'n tier in die kollig
van die jagter.

En ek kom agter die koue
is jou vrees vir wat
in die nou voor jou lê
met woedende verwyt.


Wat maak jy by die aanskoue van sulke verwyt as jy nie eens na die probleem wil kyk nie, wat nog te sê hulp wil verleen. Gesinsgeweld is ‘n netelige kwessie. Jy raak net betrokke as jy nie anders kan nie. Die SAPD het in al sy streke programme aangebied om die publiek bewus te maakvan gesinsgeweld en slagoffers van gesinsgeweld in te lig dat hulp beskikbaar is en hoe en waar hulle dit kan kry. Piketberg Polisie se kommunikasiebeampte, konstabel Ghirswin Muller, werk met gesinsgeweld. Anthea Delmotte, kunstenaar en eienaar van die AntheA Delmotte Kunsgaleryop die dorp, het met hom oor die veldtog gaan gesels en by die Polisie se program ingeskakel deur ‘n die kunsuitstalling oor gesinsgeweld gedurende hierdie tydperk te hou. Tien kunstenaars, van Piketberg, Velddrif, Aurora, Moorreesburg en Kaapstad, het deelgeneem.

"Handle with Care" (Susan Kemp)
Daar is ook besluit om die werksessie op Maandag, 6 Desember 2010, by die kunsgalery te hou vir vroue en kinders wat slagoffers van gesinsgeweld is. ‘n Totaal van dertien vroue en kinders het onder leiding van konstabel Muller en Anthea Delmotte daaraan deelgeneem. Almal het met klei gewerk en het deur die loop van die dag besin oor vrae soos “Wat van vergiffenis?” en “Het jy nog ‘n gesig?”.

Ek het agterna met konstabel Muller gesels. Vroue wat onder gesinsgeweld ly, het ondersteuning en inligting nodig. Hulle het dit in die informele en veilige omgewing van die werksessie gevind. Die Polisie probeer ook deurgaans om slagoffers met die nodige inligting te bereik, maar die waarde van die informele werksessie het vir hom daarin gelê dat die vroue eerstehands by mekaar inligting, raad en begrip kon kry. Op ‘n dorp soos Piketberg, waar nie ‘n ondersteuningsgroep vir slagoffers van gesingsgeweld bestaan nie, het die geleentheid ‘n waardevolle leemte gevul. Hy sê ‘n mens kon in die kleiwerk sien dat slagoffers aspekte van beskerming uitgebeeld het en baie van die werk het na kinders verwys.

"Hands off our Children"
(Susan Kemp)
Vir Anthea Delmotte was die doel van die werksessie nie dat mense mooie kunswerke maak nie, maar eerder om die slagoffers die geleentheid te gee om hulself vryelik uit te druk. Een van die vroue, wat aan erge sielkundige mishandeling blootgestel was en mediese en sielkundige behandeling ontvang, het vertel dat haar gemoed verdraai en verward voel. Hierdie aspekte het duidelik in haar kleiwerk na vore gekom. ‘n Ander vrou was ‘n paar dae vóór die werksessie erg misbruik. Sy het ‘n eenvoudige maar hartroerende gesig uit die klei gemaak. Een van die kinders wat deelgeneem het, het die gedagte “Love our children, don’t abuse them” uitgedruk.

Omdat die geleentheid duidelik so baie vir die betrokkenes beteken het, sou konstabel Muller graag wou sien dat soortgelyke geleenthede gereeld vir slagoffers van verkragting gehou word.

Hy sê vroue bly in siklusse van geweld vasgevang omdat hulle by ‘n man bly ter wille van sy status of omdat hulle nie die vermoë of selfvertroue het om na hulself en hul kinders om te sien nie. Op die lang duur word hul selfbeeld so geskaad dat hulle nie in hulself glo nie en nie en ook nie meer vertroue het in die beeld wat hulle na buite uitstraal nie. Hulle verloor hul identiteit en voel dat hulle nie meer mooi is of waarde het nie.

"Lewenslank" (Susan Kemp)
By hul vyfde jaarlikse Vroue-padblokkade wat tydens die bewusmakingsveldtog gehou word, was die uitgangspunt van Piketberg Polisie dus om vroue in te lig dat hul plek nie net in die kombuis is nie. Vroue wat op Vrydag, 3 Desember 2010, verby Piketberg gery het, is deur die vroulike personeel van die plaaslike Polisie, Korrektiewe Dienste, ambulansdiens, vloot, brandweer en die munispale en provinsiale verkeersdienste gestop en ingelig dat die samelewing hulle nodig het en dat daar baie beroepe en geleenthede vir vroue bestaan. Die blokkade is geborg deur plaaslike ondernemings, naamlik Boland Spar, Shoprite, Sweet Mania, Spur en Winkelshoek Wynkelder.

Die webtuiste, wat onder andere die Weskus en omgewing dek, het ook tydens die veldtog ruimte aan die slagoffers van gesinsgeweld afgestaan. Op die werf kan jy gaan bie op twee skilderye, geskenk deur Anthea Delmotte, wat opgeveil word ten bate van kinders en vroue.

"Free the Ignorant Prisoner" (Anthea Delmotte)
Die verkope van die skildery “Dirigent, Kaapstadse Simfonie-orkes” vorm deel van ‘n projek in samewerking met Piketberg Toerisme se Gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprogram en die fondse sal gebruik word om geskenke te koop vir die minderbevoorregte kinders van Piketberg en die Weskus. Die ander skildery, “Free the Ignorant Prisoner”, is te koop ten bate van Piketberg Polisie se trauma-eenheid.

Terwyl ons gesels, noem ek aan konstabel Muller dat ek toevallig besig is om ‘n boek te lees oor ‘n vrou se pad uit haar persoonlike hel na ‘n nuwe lewe. The Fly Dancer is geskryf deur Catherine Jensen. Dis op ware gebeure geskoei en die karakter het vanweë geestelike aftakeling ook gevoel dat sy nie meer mooi is nie en dat sy nie meer haar ou self onthou nie (geen wonder een van die vrae by die werkswinkel was “het jy nog ‘n gesig” nie).

Haar vastrapplek uit haar omstandighede was ‘n besluit om erens te begin: Sy sou begin oefen en haar liggaam weer mooi maak soos wat dit in die verlede was. Toe sy op hierdie manier begin om iets baie klein aan haar omstandighede te doen (eers het sy net gaan stap), was haar voet op die pad na herstel en het sy al hoe meer veld gewen. Nou vertel ek van haar verhaal van oorwinning, van ‘n pragtige mens wat haar eie boek gepubliseer het.

Ek sukkel om die boek te lees, want ek kan nie daarmee identifiseer nie. Ek voel half ongeduldig met die karakter. Vir wat sukkel sy so, hoekom los sy nie net die vark nie. Nou trek ek waar sy haar voet goed op die pad na herstel het en ek lees sommer makliker. (Ja-nee, dis ‘n ongemaklike onderwerp…).

Ek sê vir konstabel Muller dat ek gelukkig was dat sulke ervarings my gespaar was. Ek was lank gelede ‘n paar jaar getroud… Toe kom dit terug: Hy het so eenkeer ‘n jaar te veel gedrink en sy humeur dan liederlik verloor. Die vierde keer was vir my die laaste keer, toe ek die oggend na die laaste drama blou kolle aan my arm opgemerk het. By die vorige geleenthede het hy my net uitgeskel. Ek het nie gewag om te kyk of dit beter sal gaan nie, want dit het reeds jaar vir jaar slegter gegaan wanneer hy so per geleentheid sy humeur verloor.

Ek het vanoggend hier in die stoel kom sit om een of twee paragrawe oor die werkswinkel en die padblokkade te skryf voordat die 16 Dae van Aktivisme teen Geweld teen Vroue en Kinders verby is; ek het die galery gebel om uit te vra oor die werksessie, met konstabel Muller gesels; weer gebel, nog inligting gevra. En nagedink.

"PoeletjieVerdriet" (Susan Kemp)
Ek besef deur die loop van die dag dat ‘n mens net jou hand kan uitsteek na die foon, na die boek op die koffietafel kan reik of ‘n bietjie in die verlede kan krap om gevallestudies op te rakel wat elkeen ‘n boek kan volmaak. Laat gaan jou vinger en gedagtes oor die name van vriendinne en kennisse in die adresboekie wat in die lessenaarlaai lê en daar is minstens een vir elke letter van die alphabet. Ek kan straat-af ry of ‘n draai op die buurdorp gaan maak en die lys van slagoffers word net langer en langer – dit net onder die mense wat ek ken.

"Caught in the Dream"
(Susan Kemp)
Ek het vanoggend oor ander se leed begin skryf en selfs by my eie ou wonde ‘n draai gemaak. Nou is dit al lank na toemaaktyd en dis net my lig wat nog brand. Dit was ‘n lang dag en ouderdom, siekte en teëspoed het terselfdertyd gewoed in die lewens van sommige van my geliefdes. Op hierdie tydstip is almal veilig, al is dit nie teen roes en mot en die tyd nie. My vriendin en haar kinders wat al soveel jaar dit regkry om misbruik op ‘n afstand te hou, slaap ook veilig en sit more weer hul daaglikse stryd om veiligheid voort. Wanneer ek nou agter my naaste se rug gaan inkruip, is dit met die wete dat hy en sy geliefdes ook al in ‘n stryd teen geweld en misbruik was.

Dit raak almal.

Wise words from a wise woman

Elna Potgieter says on Facebook: While you scream at your woman, there's a man wishing he could whisper in her ear. While you humiliate, offend, and insult her, there's a man flirting with her and reminding her how beautiful she is. While you hurt her, there's a man wishing he could take her pain away. While you make her cry, there's a man stealing smiles from her. Speak out against Domestic Violence & Mental Abuse

Breaking free from mental and emotional abuse

In her book, The Fly Dancer (see previous post "Hoe gaan dit met die vroue en kinders in jou streek?"), author Catherine Jenkins describes the rebirth of a woman who breaks the chains of a relationship of mental and emotional abuse.
     In his foreword to the book, clinical-pastoal psychologist Fanie Kriel says he believes it is a book that will rset people free. He also expresses appreciation for the fact that the book apportions no blame.
     "Cinderallas will remain barefooot at the coal stove while others depart for the Ball unless they take control of their lives," he writes. "...God destined us all to live triumphant an joyful lives, but sometimes we miss the turnoffs or take a detour by embracing wrong thinking along our life's journey. We can get back onto Destiny Road."
     That is exactly what Skye, the main character in The Fly Dancer, does.
     In the second chapter, "The Judge and the Jury", Skye muses about the strange way in which her husband loved her:
     "Calan loved her with a strange kind of love, a love that epitomised everything that is capricious. It was unpredictable, impulsive, unstable, volatile.
     "Perhaps if he'd married someone else, he would have loved differently.
     "Real love loves naturally, like the sun rising every morning. Even after a particularly dark night, real love lives on. It is consistent and uncontrived.
     "Real love is spontaneous, like the flight and song of a bird... It is sociable and takes care of its young.
      "Capricious love is different...
      "...(it) chokes real love until its head lolls to one side and the eyelids close in final surrender. Love lives on, but with its eyes closed. It no longer sees the beauty it once saw, the beauty it was meant to see forever. The heart beats to a perfect rhythm, until, without warning, it beats with an irregular and breathless beat, flashing rage in all directions.
     "Without warning, without reason, without mercy.
     "Somewhere in his adult life or childhood, Calan had a skirmish with capricious love. He was like a beautiful tiger that had been caught in the jaws of a leghold trap. He was a tiger with a mangled paw, walking with a limp. Calan had a love limp.
     "I din't want a perfect love, I only wanted a normal love. Instead, I was constantly put down, made to feel confused and hurt, exposed to frequent small shocks. I was stunned, wondering how I could be hearing what I was hearing, wondering what I could have said or done, feeling isolated, being called names, disparaged and cut to the quick. I was kept off balance, even while I sought to nurture and understand the relationship."
     Eventually, this cinderella frees herself of the bonds of mental and emotional abuse and the book poetically describes the story of a woman who wins her life back:
     "My soul has a clean white page. Now is my chance. Now is the time to paint with new colours."
     Eventually she does what is necessary:  She takes up the brush - she takes the first step to freedom.