Today is day one of the A to Z Challenge! All month I will be giving you a peek into the research behind my book that is coming out this fall, as well as bits and pieces about the characters. The main character, Lara Blaine, in How To Climb The Eiffel Tower is a victim of child abuse, so I did some research to flesh out her backstory. (I am a bit of a psychology geek, so no one had to twist my arm to spend days reading psychology journals.)
When I first started researching How To Climb The Eiffel Tower, I knew child abuse and neglect are prevalent. I had no idea how prevalent. Growing up, I knew a family of little girls that were being abused, but I naively thought their family was an anomaly. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The more I read, the more I realized the little girls down the street were sadly common. Child abuse is public health issue of epidemic proportions. Beyond the immediate physical bruises, these children carry with them lifelong psychological bruises. Studies show that 80% of children who were abused develop psychological disorders later in life. In the end, very little of what I learned made it into the novel, but a desire to build a world where Lara could heal from the trauma of her childhood, did propel me through the writing process.
If you, or someone you love, would like more information; here are some resources on childhood abuse and neglect: