Author hopes to break cycle of domestic abuse with first book
An Airdrie author is hoping to give women the tools they need to get out of abusive situations and live a fulfilled live.
On Feb. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m., Lisa St. Julien-Kroeger is launching her first book Unmask the Liar at the Lutheran Church, located at 216 Main Street, Airdrie.
The event will include a question-and-answer period and presentation by the author.
St. Julien-Kroeger, a mother of three boys with 17 years of experience in youth corrections and counselling, lived 11 years – all of her 20s – with an abusive mate.
Forced to live a double life and consumed by crisis, she finally broke free five years ago. St. Julien-Kroeger said she was motivated to tell her story, which has until now been a secret, by the domestic abuse deaths of Airdrie residents Andrea Conroy in February, 2012 and Haley Wourms and her son in May, 2012.
“I never intended to write it,” she said of her book. “I never wanted anyone to know. I thought it would undermine my professionalism and that people would look at me differently. I thought I could bury it and move on.”
At first the professional was scared of the possible consequences of reliving her abuse, but buoyed by the support of her husband Chris Kroeger, St. Julien-Kroeger began to pen the book, which she dedicated to the two Airdrie women.
Unmasking the Liar starts out with St. Julien-Kreoger’s personal story of living through more than a decade of abuse.
“It is detailed, it is graphic and it is what women need to hear,” she said of her story.
The book then details the role the victim may have in the relationship, which St. Julien-Kroeger says may create some controversy amongst readers.
“I am here to show how we are locked into the victim role by everyone else and in fact, how we perpetuate it,” said the three-year Airdrie resident. “We are minimizing, making excuses and enabling, but we don’t understand we are doing it.”
The rest of the book combines St, Julien-Kroeger’s work and personal experience, as well as expert advice, to create a practical “how to” on transitioning out of a relationship.
Unmask the Liar touches on how to create evidence against your abuser, obtain a will, get life insurance, access Alberta government services and ensure the safety of your children when leaving an abusive relationship. It also addresses the aftermath of being part of an abusive relationship.
“It’s like you are sitting in my office and I am counselling you through the whole thing,” said St. Julien-Kroeger. “My point to all of this is to just be a champion of hope. I want to show you an example and show you how you can do it.”
St. Julien-Kroeger, the executive director and owner of Real Kids Consulting who works at Airdrie’s Mountain Health Team, located at 213 Main Street, said Unmask the Liar is the first of a five-part series she is planning to write about domestic abuse.
Ten per cent of the profits from the book launch will go towards Dani’s Fund, for Conroy’s seven-year-old daughter, Dani. Another 10 per cent will be donated to St. Julien-Kroeger’s Women In True Transition Foundation, which supports domestic violence prevention.
Unmask the Liar is available at amazon.ca and www.wittfoundation.org in printed form for $19.95 and eBook form for $9.95.