After working with children who suffer from learning disabilities and young women who have undergone abuse, Santa Clarita resident Sally Betters created Naomi Parker.
“She is a paradigm,” Betters said of the main character in her first published book. “She represents many people who go silent.”
The recently released “From Crisis to Compassion,” with Author Academy Elite Publishing, follows the life of a young girl in the 1950s, who deals with sexual molestation and a learning disability, making processing information nearly impossible.
The formation of her main character came together through “very real experiences.”
Much of her main character’s learning challenges stem from what she observed as a special needs tutor, a mother of a child with a disability and as someone who struggled with dyslexia.
“I have worked in the Santa Clarita Valley for about 15 years, working with children with attention deficit disorder, dysgraphia and dyslexia,” she said. “I, myself, struggled with dyslexia and it took me a lot longer to graduate from school.”
Betters also worked at the SCV Pregnancy Center, which offers family planning services for women of all ages. There she witnessed many girls and women that sought help after being abused or left by their boyfriends after finding out they were pregnant. Much like Parker, she said, who later becomes pregnant at a young age by her significant other, who pressures her to get an abortion.
“(Parker) makes her decisions based on abandonment issues, and this is a very real-world situation,” said Betters.
Through the pages of the third-person narrative, the reader learns that the main character finds her purpose and can connect with those who struggle with similar challenges.
While it’s not always easy to find one’s purpose under these circumstances, Betters said those who have read or learned about her book had taken the first step in talking to her or someone about experiencing abuse.
This has shown her that statistics highlighting the number of girls abused is inaccurate, as she believes figures are significantly higher due to many people, both women and men, fail to report their abuser.
“This book opens an invisible door for people to share the truth in their life that has been life-changing,” she said. “In the safety of a supportive community, we can begin to drop the barriers we use to hide our hidden trauma. If we hide from our pain, we will never grow.”
Today, the author and UCLA graduate is also an inspirational speaker and transformational coach. She helps educate parents and individuals on learning disabilities, research-based systems and offers them hope.
“From Crisis to Compassion” is now available for purchase on Amazon. A portion of the proceeds will be given to charities fighting to eliminate human trafficking, Betters said.
To learn more about the author and book, visit SallyBetters.com.