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Friday, June 22, 2012

Julie Federico Interview

Welcome, Julie. Where are you from? 
I live in Denver, CO.

How did you get started in writing?    
I wrote my first book Some Parts are Not for Sharing in 2007 after working as a middle school counselor for many years.  I heard all types of abuse stories from my students.  After hearing the all too frequent story about how mom's boyfriend harmed yet another student I said "Enough!"  From this point on I began trying to reach out to children at a young age and teach them about appropriate boundaries.  My books are for young readers 0-7 years old.  I am the only author talking to babies about domestic violence and child abuse prevention.

Why did you write Anger is Okay Violence Is Not? 
I wrote this book in April 2011 after presenting at a Headstart Preschool in Hartford, CT.  I was visiting multiple Headstarts and sharing the prevention message in Some Parts are Not for Sharing.  At one of the schools the director looked right at me and said "We love your child abuse prevention book.  We need a book like this on domestic violence prevention."  I said "I am not done with marketing Some Parts are Not for Sharing yet."  She said "You do not have to be done, just please write another book on domestic violence."  I wrote the book on the plane ride home.  I had no idea the scope of this problem until I began to market the book.  Almost 9 million children under the age of 18 witness domestic violence each year.

Do you have a favorite story to tell about the impact of your writing?  
The biggest impact is from young mothers who tell me they were not protected as a child and want to make sure to give this information to their children.  I love speaking to students, but when I can address a room full of receptive parents I get giddy.  Parents are the ones who drive their children into or away from danger.  Parents are the ones who decide if they will share the prevention message with their child or remain silent.  I think if you choose to remain silent on this topic your child will be or may already have been harmed.  Talk about prevention with your child before the perpetrator puts lies into their head; "This is our secret."  "No one will believe you."  Telling your children you will believe them if they ever report any inappropriate boundary issues is like giving your child a gift that no amount of money can buy.  Being a small, innocent, powerless individual every child needs prevention information.
What can parents do to protect their children from child abuse?
1. Read Some Parts are Not for Sharing to your child over and over.  To read or order the book visit www.juliefederico.com
2. Make it safe to tell.  Tell your children repeatedly that if anyone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable you want to know.
3. Believe that anyone could cross inappropriate boundaries with your child.
4. Never say to your child if they report an incident, "They would never do that."
If children know that it is okay to tell parents, then if something happens that makes them uncomfortable you are laying the ground work for them to talk.  This is superior to not saying anything to your child, then praying that no harm comes their way.  Prevention is power, with this knowledge your child has a much better chance of staying safe and not suffering from long term abuse in silence.

Have you written other books? 
Only two. However, Some Parts are Not for Sharing is also available in Spanish.

Do you have more books planned? 
Yes, many more.

Are there other resources you would like to recommend to families on these hard issues?
Another great body safety books is: Jon Holsten's TheSwimsuit Lesson  
Child Help works for the prevention and treatment of child abuse:

How do people get Anger is Okay Violence Is Not?

Enter for a free paperback of Anger is Okay Violence is Not: Leave a comment  by June 30. On July 1 I will draw a name from those who have commented. Be sure you enter your email address(just so I can read it) so I can contact you if you win.

Winner of the free copy is Stephanie!

You can purchase Julie's books at Tate Publishing, amazon, and many other retailers.
Links to Some Parts are Not for Sharing: Tate Publishing , Kindle version on Amazon
Links to Anger is Okay Violence is Not: Tate Publishing , Kindle version on Amazon

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