Warrior Sister, Cut Yourself Free! Talk about a title that calls attention. Imagine feeling weak and yet being addressed as a warrior. Imagine that someone who may be physically stronger than you are, has taken an aggressive stance over you and yet being reminded that you can be free from that situation. Imagine feeling that there is no hope and yet hearing that not only is there escape, but that you can engineer that route yourself. Warrior Sister, cut yourself free! This tiny book packs a wallop of a punch. In under 150 pages, it is a self-help tool for anyone experiencing violence, but also a call to action to support our sisters who are working to be free of these circumstances.
The author writes from her experience as a witness to and a survivor of physical violence herself and speaks of the need for assisting especially teenage girls, the most targeted demographic with the least recovery resources dedicated to them. The book addresses both aggression perpetuated by an individual and the social mindset that presents women as helpless damsels in distress who must wait for male heroes to rescue them, if they are ever to be free. Author Jenifer DeBellis illustrates her point by interweaving personal stories of her own trauma and recovery with more professionally constructed statements that could only come from a therapeutic training. It all comes together to be intimate but also professional. The fairy tale discussion is a powerful one, illuminating an unhealthy mindset that seems normal until we start to break down what we may consider to be romantic seduction but is actually an erosion of a woman’s right to choose her circumstances.
But more important than simply recognizing negative patterns, Warrior Sister, Cut Yourself Free centers on helping teen girls develop weekly patterns to build on towards achieving positive growth. The book ends with guided writing space for a 30-day self restoration plan for a young woman to intentionally plan and make progress toward her change in outlook and circumstances.
I have never been a victim of the kind of violence DeBellis mentions but I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to read this book so this I can learn to be a real advocate and an ally for any young woman who needs help in this way. Thanks TLC Book Tours for including me on this publicity tour and arranging for me to receive a complimentary copy of the book in order to complete this review. I was not otherwise compensated for this blog post and the views expressed in this review are my own honest opinions.
- Title: Warrior Sister, Cut Yourself Free
- Author: Jenifer DeBellis
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 155
- Publisher: Library Tales Publishing
- Publication Date: November 13, 2021
About The Author
Teaching writer and assault trauma advocate Jenifer DeBellis, M.F.A., is author of Warrior Sister, Cut Yourself Free from Your Assault (Library Tales Publishing, 2021) and Blood Sisters (Main Street Rag, 2018). She edits Pink Panther Magazine and directs aRIFT Warrior Project and Detroit Writers’ Guild. When she’s not editing or writing for others, she sneaks in time for her own craft, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appears in AWP’s Festival Writer, CALYX, the Good Men Project, Literary Orphans, Solstice, and other fine journals. A former Meadow Brook Writing Project fellow, JDB facilitates workshops for Oakland University’s MBWP Writing Camps as well as teaches writing and literature for Saginaw Valley State University.
Find more at JeniferDeBellis.com