I Didn't Know
By Yvette Allen Tatum~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Crystal: Today as part of this Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours I have the opportunity to ask Yvette Allen Tatum a few questions. Welcome Yvette, would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Author, Teacher, Advocate, Conference Host, Public Speaker, Encourager, Motivator, Ordained Minister of The Gospel, Radical for Christ, the list goes on... Born some 40 plus years ago, this mighty Woman of God is Blessed with Grace, Intelligence and a Prophetic Teaching Anointing.
Yvette is in the process of earning a Master of Arts in Human Services, Concentration in Executive Leadership, at Liberty University. She earned her Master of Divinity Degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Grace Christian College; she is also a graduate of the University of Richmond, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance and a Minor in Leadership Studies. In addition, she has 30 plus years of experience in income tax preparation and bookkeeping.
Yvette is the Founder of Surrounded By Faith Ministries, Inc. Surrounded by Faith Ministries is a DESTINY-DRIVEN outreach ministry with a mandate from God to transform LIVES with the Word of God. The Word of God is not only ACTIVE and ALIVE but PERPETUAL. Because of this, we expect God to EXPONENTIALLY reach those we may never see simply because of those HE has entrusted us to TRAIN and EQUIP.
To date, Yvette has authored two books "Welcome to my Morning Glory" and "I Didn't Know", She has taught numerous Bible Studies, has been a featured speaker at several conferences and hosted numerous ministry events; most notably The Throw Yo' Hands Up Conferences sponsored by Surrounded By Faith Ministries, Inc. On April 19th, Yvette will host her most compelling conference as of yet, The I Didn’t Know Public Forum to RAISE Public Awareness and Raise Public Consciousness About Child Sexual Abuse (CSA).
What began as a mandate from God to train and equip women in the ways of the Lord so they would become like the Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible, has expanded to a platform of child advocacy. Actually, her spiritual focus has always been on the family unit – to receive and achieve spiritual wholeness. God has taken this mighty vessel by various routes to touch and reach the masses. First, targeting women – to strengthen them as the nurturing forces they were created to be; and now giving a voice to the voiceless – our children.
All of this is how she started; it has yet to be revealed who she shall be or how she will finish. You'll just have to wait and see.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for I Didn’t Know?
Yvette: The inspiration for writing I Didn’t Know – Identifying, Confronting, and Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse came from watching Tyler Perry on The Oprah Winfree Show one day. On this particular show, Tyler Perry came forward to tell his story about being sexual abused. Then, Oprah Winfree and Tyler Perry, took his story to the next level by having an audience filled with nothing but men who had been sexually abused. I really cannot remember the actual format of the show or shows; I just remember the impact it had upon me. I thought what he had done, his coming forward, was very brave and took a great deal of courage.
I remember sitting on the sofa crying, thinking to myself those must have really been some horrible experiences. It was at that moment, I heard the Lord speak to me saying, “You have been sexually abused, as well.” I sat for a moment thinking to myself, “When and how could this have happened to me?” That is when the Lord reminded me of the things that happened to me. As He began to share my experiences with me, I became compelled to tell someone; anyone who would listen. After this walk down memory lane, I pondered this thought, “If I did not realize I had been sexually abused, then how many other children, including those who are now adults do not realize they have been sexually abused?”
As a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), I strongly believe that victims of child sexual abuse can no longer afford to be silent. As a community, better yet as a nation, we cannot continue to allow these heinous acts to be swept under the carpet. Someone has to be bold enough to come forward!
From there, I started writing. As God took me down memory lane, I just began to write down everything He said to me. It was like taking dictation. So, why did I decide to share my story? I decided to share my story because people need to know what happened to me and to countless others. More importantly, people need to know that Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) can happen to anyone! The number of people (victims) who remain silent and never tell their stories far outweighs the number of people who come forward. Therefore, my quest in writing this book was/is:
To expose the enemy (I believe this lessens his power);
To overcome the guilt & shame by being able to confront it head on;
To encourage and educate others on how to identify, confront & overcome sexual abuse; and
To set the captives FREE
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Yvette: Nothing at the moment in terms of writing because I am busy planning my upcoming event (The I Didn’t Know Public Forum to RAISE Public Awareness and RAISE Public Consciousness About Child Sexual Abuse on 4/19, in Richmond, VA); but I do have future plans to write a children’s book. I have plans to write a children's book speaking to children on their level about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). With this book I hope to help children to be able to identify Child Sexual Abuse and to encourage them to tell a responsible adult that they have been touched inappropriately. I understand that children may not know what I mean by responsible adult, therefore, I plan to identify for them who those responsible parties are: parents, guardians, aunts, uncles, older siblings/cousins, teachers, school nurse, policeman, firemen, etc., in the book. Yet, I am not ignorant of the fact that some of these people could have been the very one(s) who touched them. Statistics show that 90% of child victims know their offenders. Moreover, I aim to equip parents with tools and techniques to get the conversation started with their children. Ultimately, I aim to start a movement to eradicate Child Sexual Abuse one community at a time.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Yvette: No, I do not have a special routine that I follow when I am writing. Actually, all of my writings thus far, have been God-inspired; I can usually write the essence of the book in a weekend or even a day. It is the detail or the actual story-telling that takes longer for me. Typically, I only write when I have a passion to do so.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research this book or any other?
Yvette: Yes, there was a great deal of research that went into writing this book. Again, I wrote this book in a weekend, but it took me 3 to 4 months to do the research. The research was necessary to validate and/or substantiate my claims about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA).
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Yvette: Some of my favorite authors, including myself, are Bebe Moore Campbell, Maya Angelou, Juanita Bynum, and Joyce Meyer.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Yvette: No, I believe I write for the masses, though I am well aware that there may be a particular audience who may be more interested in my writing than others. Realistically, because there is always a spiritual connection in all of my writings my primary genre is probably Christian literature; though I think I would like to try Christian fiction.
"I Didn't Know" is for more than just an audience of one. If you look to your left, look to your right, or directly in the mirror, you will see or know someone who has been sexually abused... even if you look in the mirror, and the person is YOU!
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