Witness to domestic violence as a child, tells her story in a book

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Cassandra Anderson carries the memory of having seen her mother beaten by her stepfather.

INDIANAPOLIS – There are things you don’t forget as a child, and for Cassandra Anderson, seeing her mother beaten in front of her by her stepfather was one of them.

“He picked up a glass beer bottle and hit her on the head with it. Immediately black blood started spurting out of it,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s book, “Rising from the Ashes, A Journey from Trauma to Healing,” tells her story of witnessing domestic violence as a child. She read a chapter at her book signing on Saturday.

“With my young eyes I could see so much. I could feel my mother’s pain every time he raised his hand to hit her. There was nothing I could do but witness her pain,” said Anderson.

It took her years to recover from the mental and emotional scars.

“It left me hopeless at times. It left me depressed just trying to figure out who I was,” Anderson said.

Melissa Peregrin, of the Indiana Center for Prevention of Youth, Abuse and Suicide, says child witnesses or victims of domestic violence often struggle to overcome this trauma as adults.

“They are many times more likely to suffer from addiction, mental health issues, long-term PTSD, because of that abuse,” Peregrin said.

Shirley Carson is one of those survivors. She shared her story at a domestic violence memorial service Saturday night in Indianapolis. She suffered abuse from her mother. The cycle continued in his adult relationships.

“That’s all I knew was abuse,” Carson said. “That’s all I knew, it was abuse. That’s all I knew was being beaten. It triggered me as an adult to accept those same forms. abuse because that’s all I knew at the time. “

With the support and therapy, Carson and Anderson were able to heal and break the cycle. They hope to inspire other victims of domestic violence not to suffer in silence.

“For me, it was a way for me to take back my power from the trauma and say that trauma doesn’t define who I am,” Anderson said.

CONNECT: Learn more about Anderson’s story


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