Photo of Maxine Browne taken by Escudero Photography
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Maxine Browne continued the interview.
In her words, “After working in the program for six years, I got the idea of writing a book to help others understand domestic violence. I set up a writing schedule from 4:00 to 7:00 a.m. Then I would shower and go to work.
The book took shape, little by little. I decided to self-publish. Before I knew it, I had a finished product that I was proud of.
Domestic violence is not about physical assault. It is about control. One person in the relationship tries to control the other person through a series of control tactics.
There are eight main areas of control: isolation, intimidation, emotional abuse, using coercion and threats, using the children, minimizing, denying and blaming, male privilege and economic abuse. I dedicated one chapter in the book to each category of control. Then, I pulled out specific examples from our lives where the tactic was used against us. I described the impact the tactic had on our family. I also revealed the red flags I missed that would help someone else recognize abuse if they saw it.
I then saw that the best way to sell the book was to be a workshop presenter. The book provided the platform for public speaking and the public speaking, in turn, sold the book.
I polished and expanded the workshops I had already been teaching. My intention with the classes was to bring workshop participants into the world of an abuse victim. I compared healthy relationship dynamics with controlling patterns of behavior. I encouraged the participants to enter the conversation, thus creating a very interactive environment.
My passion for the topic of domestic violence increased. It was all I wanted to talk about. I yearned to make a difference for others through prevention work. If there could be a shift in how the general public perceived abuse, we could drastically reduce the suffering of so many people.
I received a small inheritance when my mother died. I decided this was my moment. If I was going to make a bold move, it had to be now. When do we get to live the life of our dreams? When we decide to simply go for it!
After talking to my husband, we both decided that I should use the money to buffer the risk I was taking by quitting my job. So, I resigned from my job and went out on my own.”
Her passion, “Today, I have dedicated myself to public speaking. I struggle with insecurity after the years of verbal abuse. The words of how worthless and stupid I am, still echo in my head. I call the voices my ghosts. I do the best I can to ignore them and press beyond their criticism.
I have never been happier as I extend the reach of my influence with my teaching materials. I have appeared on numerous radio and television shows. And I am continuing to write articles, blogs, workbooks and other stories. I am determined to use my voice to reduce the suffering of others.
I have collaborated on another book with Kate Gardner being released in October entitled Survivor to Thriver: 30 Days to a Thriving Life. Our intention with this book is to become an international best seller.”
If you would like to learn more about Maxine or you would like to contact her, visit her website, www.MaxineBrowne.com. You can also follow Maxine on Twitter, @MaxineBrowne.