A year after the release of “From Crisis to Compassion,” a book about childhood trauma, local author Sally Betters has remained busy, continuing her efforts toward helping victims.
Betters believes her book has helped to bring the issue to light, as there aren’t many books on the subject.
“People want to talk about these issues, but if resources to do so aren’t available, it really isn’t an open topic,” she said. “There really is no appropriate place to discuss the elephant in the room. For many it’s shameful.”
When these issues are finally discussed, it’s liberating, according to Betters. “There are choices made because of childhood trauma that impact us greatly, and if we don’t talk about them, then we never heal.”
In response, she has written a companion workbook, had both books translated into Spanish and recorded an audiobook.
“I wanted to serve my audience in as many ways as I could,” she added. “The workbook allows more people to work through the issues raised in my book, and gives them the freedom to do that on their own.”
Betters has also completed the coursework to become a certified life coach, which allows her to work with people through their issues.
“It’s been quite amazing,” she said. “I’ve gotten tremendous feedback from both women and men, which was surprising because I thought my audience would be mostly women.”
Many of the men she speaks with relate to the main character’s husband, noting that the book showed them their anger and what out-of-control rage looks like, according to Betters.
Many readers, regardless of ethnic background, culture or age, tell her, “‘Sally, you’ve written my story,’” she said.
“It surprises me how many people relate to this story,” she said. “People are identifying with my book, and it’s been liberating because this story is partly my own.”
Betters used many of her own life experiences when creating the main character, including her involvement as a special needs tutor, post-abortion counselor at the SCV Pregnancy Center, counselor at a shelter for battered women, mother of a child with a disability and someone who struggled with dyslexia.
“I saw all these patterns and witnessed the cycle of abuse repeat itself, so when I sat down to write this book, a lot of this came through,” she said, adding, “This book is really so much about this town. There are so many great resources in Santa Clarita that people can go to, and not all communities offer this.”
Betters’ book is also being considered for an Author Academy Award under the genre of memoirs, an international competition.
“It is an honor of literary merit,” she said. “For me, being a first-time author, I didn’t think I’d make the grade, so it’s very exciting.”
She is now a top 10 finalist, and will be traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to present her book synopsis in front of a panel of literary judges on Oct. 25. The winner will be decided by both popular vote, along with the judges’ vote regarding social contribution, book content, original cover quality, format and overall book presentation, according to Betters.
A portion of proceeds from her books, coaching and speaking engagements goes to ZOE International, a local nonprofit combating child trafficking and currently building a home for young girls off Highway 14, according to Betters.
Overall, Betters hopes she has created a platform to bring awareness to childhood trauma and allow those affected to realize that they aren’t alone, recognize the symptoms, seek help and find “positive ways of coping that can lead to healthy lives,” she added.
Betters offers free resources for those dealing with abuse or dyslexia on her website. For more information, visit sallybetters.com.