Hannah Spivey has been writing professionally for nearly three years and recently released Ebony the Beloved, a novel that tells the story of a one young woman’s struggle to survive in a dysfunctional environment. We chat with her about the book and her take on whether or not women can truly overcome domestic violence.
What inspired your creation of the character Ebony? Do you think there are many “Ebonys” in our society?
Spivey: My experiences, the real world, and loving fiction the way I do, inspired me to write Ebony. I think there are “Ebonys” all over the world. And I’m not only talking about young women who are abused by their spouses or parents. I am talking about young women who have been through far worse than Ebony — human trafficking, prostitution, mutilation, and gang rape, of course.
What lessons does your book teach?
Spivey: The message I convey in my story is no matter how bad we think our problems are, there are people who who are enduring worse. Despite of our struggles, we can still defeat them and reflect on them afterwards.
Is there a difference between domestic “abuse” and domestic “violence”?
Spivey: Yes, abuse is non-physical, where as violence is physical. However, both domestic “abuse” and domestic “violence” can leave a person scarred mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
What is your advice for women who may be enduring domestic violence right now?
Spivey: I would tell them to leave. Because they are no good to their children or relatives when they’re dead. Domestic violence isn’t worth sacrificing your spirit nor your self-worth for. I would give them a slew of resources such as shelters and 24/7 crises hotlines–if they don’t have internet access. Or they can search through the phone book and they’ll find services that assist women who are in a similar predicament. Women who are abused must always be reminded they are not alone and they are worthy beings.
Do you think domestic abuse can ultimately be forgiven? Why or why not?
Spivey: I am personally am not one for forgiveness, but I commend the women who forgive their former abusers, because when you forgive a person, that person no longer has any dominion over you. And the bible does speak about forgiveness. Forgiveness is about letting go of the people who hurt you and moving on with your life. This enables freedom in your spirit, heart, and space.
Ebony and the Beloved is on sale at Amazon and is available on Kindle. Keep in touch with author Hannah Spivey on twitter @Bossladywriter.