honest, and empowering
Winner of the 2020 Illumination Book Awards Silver Medal for Christian Thought and other awards
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Patty Wain Smith
Winner of multiple book awards, speaker and survivor Patty Wain Smith created the family violence prevention program at her ELCA church, and has worked as a hotline counselor for Parents Anonymous and Citizens Against Spouse Abuse. Patty is a speaker with the Family Justice Center Speakers Bureau. She's appeared on Carolina and Company Live television and on radio.
Her first book, A Letter to a Friend: The Story of Abuse in America, won the 2020 Illumination Book Awards Enduring Light Silver Medal, the 2020 Writer's Digest Book Awards Honorable Mention, five International Book Awards Finalists, and the 2019 Living Now Book Awards Bronze Medal.
Her studies in psychology and counseling at the University of South Carolina and Webster University led to her membership in the Psi Chi International Honor Society. Her other professional memberships include the South Carolina Writers Association and the Authors Guild. Patty is a domestic abuse survivor, an experienced child development specialist and educational consultant, and a lifetime advocate for children.
2020 Illumination Book Awards Enduring Light Silver Medalist for Christian Thought.
2020 Writer's Digest Book Awards Honorable Mention for Inspirational
2019 International Book Awards Finalist (and two in 2018)
Best New Non-Fiction
Health: Women’s Health
2019 Living Now Book Awards Bronze Medalist for Relationships/Marriage
I’ve Never Read A More Exquisite Description of This Complex Process
Once in a rare while, a book on domestic violence arrives that goes beyond statistics and facts, revealing the deep pain and sadness experienced by the victim, in careful and touching ways, and making this issue significantly understandable even to those who have never experienced it. Patty Wain Smith’s book, A Letter to a Friend: The Story of Abuse in America, is certainly that book.
As a professional social worker, I’ve spent over 30 years working with victims of abuse and their children, and I’ve walked with many survivors as they struggled to extricate themselves from a relationship that was destructive and ruinous, both physically and emotionally. I am also a survivor which makes this book even more meaningful.
I’ve never read a more exquisite description of this complex process. It takes a long time to heal from abuse, and Patty Wain Smith’s incredible book is a gift to every victim–no matter if the victim is just beginning to consider the options or is far along on the journey to recovery. The skillful way in which she’s written this story is similar to the experience of watching the fog clear from the windshield after a storm–hopeful, encouraging, and freeing.
I highly recommend this lovely, well-written book to survivors, advocates, family and friends. I believe that if every adult in the United States read this book, powerful changes would take place in this country, so plagued by abuse. That is a significant claim!
Vicki Bourus, MSW, LISWFamily Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, Executive Director; SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Executive Director; professional social worker, supervisory social worker
Our society seems to be awakening to the plight that many have endured abuse. Those who have suffered silently are emerging from the shadows. “A Letter to a Friend” stands to be a helpful resource and guide to accompany individuals and families searching for light – those going through abuse and struggling with what their next step will be. There is a sweet comfort given when someone who is experiencing pain and suffering can hear from someone who has been there, who can truly say, #metoo.
I will be sharing this book as a resource for those in recovery from abuse and trauma.
Thank you Patty for being a voice crying out in the wilderness, preparing a path for healing and hope!
Pastor Brad BellahShepherd of the Sea Lutheran Church
A Letter to a Friend: The Story of Abuse in America – Patty Wain Smith captures all aspects of the journey from victim to victory and healing. In reading I felt like she was personally talking to me and taking me through my own journey. She does a beautiful job of incorporating the scriptures into every step of the healing process. Most importantly she touches on an often overlooked aspect of domestic violence and the effect it has on the children involved. Having been in the field of social work for over 35 years this is a book I would highly recommend to anyone in the field. Once you pick it up you will not want to put it down.
Mark BryantPost Adoption Support Specialist
Simply amazing! I feel very strongly this book can aid and empower victims, ultimately helping them to transition from victims to survivors.
Leah Leuthauser, MALicensed Professional Counselor
I strongly recommend A Letter to a Friend to everyone. As I perused each passage, I found it to be moving and insightful with a powerful message not only for the victim of abuse—but a message that transcends to anyone who cares about the circumstances of those who are caught up in this terrible web of abuse.
Dr. James Pearson, ACSW, LPCEducator, Professional Counselor, and Mental Health Center Director
This is what Patty Wain Smith has done with her “A Letter to a Friend.” She has masterfully woven a tragic story line into the fabric of a redemptive perspective where the pain is not wasted, but in a spiritual, mysterious, and creative way, is redeemed by the love and grace of God.
She warmly and gently invites the reader into her thoughts as she tells the story in such a way, before long, we all step through the looking glass and enter a world that may not be our own, but if we pause for just a moment, we come to realize it is very familiar to many for whom we deeply care. We might not “know” it, but as the author reminds us, “they are there.”
There is a plethora of books and other fine resources that do an adequate job in giving information about the spiritual epidemic of abuse of all kinds. “A Letter to a Friend” not only highlights the problem of abuse but goes on to give the reader hope of a lasting solution. This contribution to the discussion of abuse needs to be added to the tool box of every clinician, every pastor and denominational leader, every friend who knows someone who is trapped in an abusive relationship, and most of all, this book needs to be in the hands of the one who is gasping for some hope. For them, hope is on the way in the form of “A Letter to a Friend.”
Dr. Denny BatesLife Coach, Motivational Speaker, Trainer, Author, and Member of The John Maxwell Team
A dark story told with deep insight. Gripping. Beautifully written. Told like it is. First rate work!
David ZinmanAuthor of The Day Huey Long Was Shot, prize-winning AP Journalist and Newsday Reporter
A Letter to a Friend: The Story of Abuse in America is a tiny book with a giant message. Written in a moving and insightful manner, the book imparts a powerful message not only for the victim of abuse but also for anyone who wants to better understand domestic abuse. In a non-judgmental way, the author offers her readers both information and hope. The domestic violence statistics in our country are staggering. Nearly every one of us knows someone who could benefit from this book.