Married to an abusive, alcoholic husband in the 1980s, Angela U. Carter found the courage to escape with her small children in tow. In her new book, she wants women trapped in violent relationships to know they are not alone, and help is available.
UTICA, NEW YORK – About 1 in 5 women have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, according for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For Angela U. Carter of upstate New York, that statistic hits too close to home.
With Oct. 1 marking the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Carter debuts her new book, “Letters to Mama: All the Things I Never Said,” to promote education, advocacy and support for victims who feel hopeless in their abusive relationships.
“I want victims to know they are not alone. I want them to know that leaving will be one of the hardest things they do, but it has to be done to save their lives,” she said. “I also want to encourage women to use their voice.”
In her new book, Carter, who originally hails from Barbados, shares her own experience with domestic violence. From verbal to physical abuse, every day was a struggle to survive, she says of her former marriage. Her book details her daring escape to safety with her three little girls by her side.
“I prayed countless times during my worst days and times, and I always found comfort knowing that God was with me. I learned and understood the most about God during my low points and tragedies. My faith grew the most in my darkest hours,” she said.
“Letters to Mama: All the Things I Never Said” is framed through deeply personal conversations to Carter’s late mother, a woman she called her best friend. The book reveals her vulnerability as she chronicles her trying circumstances, wishing she had revealed her struggles to her mother much sooner. But like many victims of trauma, she was too ashamed to do so at the time.
“It took me years to realize that she would have wanted to know and would have shared the burden with me,” Carter said. She wanted the very best for me. I wished I would have told her the problems I faced coming to the U.S. in greater detail. I wished I had just listened to her when she gave advice. She was a great mom. Some lessons I just had to learn on my own.”
Carter’s book also reveals the years prior to meeting her late husband. She details her early life in Barbados, traumatic key events from her childhood and the circumstances that brought her back and forth to the United States. Vividly describing her earliest memories allows readers to carefully see how each misstep and setback created the circumstances ripe for winding up in an abusive relationship.
While Carter’s book serves as a form of therapy for herself, she also hopes it teaches other women to recognize the signs of abuse.
“Don’t dismiss the red flags. Violence, degrading language, and intimidation are not the tactics of a person who truly loves you. Get away as early as you can,” she warns.
“Letters to Mama: All the Things I Never Said” is available for purchase on Amazon at this link.
ABOUT ANGELA U. CARTER: Born and raised in Barbados, Angela has called Utica, New York home for more than 30 years. The mother of three serves as an associate pastor at her local church. She is also a member of the Utica Oneida NAACP, serves on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Mid New York and is an ex-factor member of the Young Scholarship Liberty Partnership Program Board. She is also involved with Women Walking in the Light Ministries. To learn more about Angela, visit https://angelaucarter.com.