2008 was a pretty rough year for Mainers in many ways. Being a rural, wintry state, we really felt the effects of the obscenely high gas and oil prices; we watched helplessly as more mills and other companies shut their doors, or otherwise cut back on their labor force; and – perhaps most unsettling of all – the number of domestic violence murders tripled in number from 2007. (SOURCE: Bangor Daily News.) In fact, “60% of the murders in Maine last year were a result of domestic violence – including five people charged with killing children.” (SOURCE: WCSH6.com) With the economy set to get even worse, and knowing that hard economic times usually means an increase in domestic abuse, I shudder to think about what those statistics will look like by the end of 2009. Consider this:
Conservative estimates suggest that only about half of aggravated and simple assaults are ever reported.
- In Maine, the crime of Domestic Assault, as reported to police, occurs every 96 minutes. (Maine Department of Public Safety, Uniform Crime Report, 2005.)
- Every year over 7,000 Maine women are physically or sexually assaulted by an intimate partner and over half of them (57%) are injured as a result of the violence. (Maine Center for Disease Control, 2008 )
- One in 20 new mothers in Maine report experiencing abuse during pregnancy.
Those of you who’ve read Waiting For Spring know that it includes a subplot involving domestic violence. In fiction, I was able to see to it that the offender got justice. In real life, of course, I have no such power. I do have the power to help real life victims of domestic violence, though, if even in a small way.
In that spirit, I’m announcing that the proceeds from the sale of Waiting For Spring at Amazon.com (both the trade paperback version, as well as the Kindle version) will be donated to Spruce Run, a domestic abuse project that provides information and support to all people affected by domestic abuse. Any donations received for the downloaded version of the book on Smashwords will also be given to Spruce Run. In addition, the proceeds from any copies sold directly from my CreateSpace page will be donated. (Keep in mind that an author’s royalties end up being more than twice the amount on CreateSpace than on Amazon.com, because there’s no money going to Amazon…which means the amount donated to Spruce Run would be twice as much from any books sold from there.) This includes any copies of the book sold thus far on Amazon and any donations received from Smashwords. (This does not, I’m afraid, include any of the proceeds from the Lulu.com version, which is no longer available, because that money went towards getting the Amazon version published.)
For those of you who live in Maine, my next step is going to be getting the book into local bookstores. The proceeds from those sales will go to Spruce Run as well. I’ll keep you posted on those developments.
In the meantime, for those of you who have been contemplating buying a copy, keep the donation thing in mind. For those of you who have already read and/or bought it (or put a tip into the tip jar at Smashwords), consider telling a friend or two, or more, about it.
I know this post has a lotta links and statistics, and it’s pretty late at night as I’m writing this, so if you’re confused – or if you have any questions at all – feel free to shoot ’em into the comments section here in this post. Or, if you’d rather, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org