A revealing look at why domestic violence victims stay with their abusers…and how they can ultimately leave. And survive.
One Saturday morning, Gooden is woken up by her husband shoving her off the bed for no discernible reason.
Despite her quick thinking and even quicker footsteps, her husband catches her, his sudden anger inexplicable. No words are exchanged. He begins to strangle her as he has done many times before.
With unflinching vulnerability, Gooden outlines in painstaking detail what she had to do to walk away and how others can use her experiences to escape their own abuse, from skimming the grocery money, to squirreling away personal belongings, to navigating a domestic violence shelter. She offers strategies for overcoming the barriers survivors often face, such as money, housing, overcritical social circles, or, most powerfully: love. Uniquely compassionate when it comes to the heartbreak of still loving one’s abuser, Gooden shares how she transformed and extended this love outward, using her story to encourage others to choose themselves. The voice and fire behind #WhyIStayed, Bev Gooden is exceptionally positioned to explore the many reasons victims stay in abusive relationships, and how they can muster the resources and motivation to leave.
Surviving is unlike any memoir of survivorship, given its nuance, compassion, and candor. Above all, it is an exquisitely powerful testament to Gooden’s healing, survivorship, and dedication to helping others do the same.