Author Steve Matthews will launch his new novel in Wagga to raise awareness of abuse against women.
The Skinny Girl, Mr Matthew’s first novel aimed at adults, is about a victim of emotional abuse and looks at attitudes surrounding domestic violence.
Liza Picciolo, from Wagga’s Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services, said the book launch was timed to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international event.
“Steve is a very passionate man. He is normally a children’s author. This is based on a true story of someone close to him,” Ms Picciolo said.
“It’s just a really powerful message.”
Ms Picciolo, who is both a court advocate and a financial counsellor, said while the level of violence against women in Wagga remained at a troubling level, there was also a welcome increase in the number of victims who were reaching out to support services.
“I think the word is getting out. Women are getting to know what services are out there,” she said.
Ms Picciolo said fear did often prevent women leaving abusive relationships, but not knowing what services were available to help them also held many back.
“A lot of women don’t work, or even if they do work, they’re not sure how to do it financially,” she said.
Ms Picciolo welcomes increased community attention on the issue of domestic abuse.
“Talking about it gives more women a chance to speak up,” she said.
“It gets you talking, and some women might realise they are actually in that situation.
“There is a lot of financial abuse and a lot of emotional abuse.
“One of the things that is really good about this book launch is the message that you don’t have to be hit in the face, you don’t have to have marks all over you.
“It’s the emotional stuff, it’s the financial abuse, it’s being isolated.”
There will be two events in Wagga on Thursday, November 22, to launch The Skinny Girl.
One will be held at the Wagga City Library from 12.30pm, and the second will be at the Birdhouse Bar from 5.30pm.
To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by November 16.