Goodbye, Sweet Girl
A Story of Domestic Abuse and Survival
If you’ve read the news or been on the internet at all this year, you’ve probably come across the hashtag #MeToo, the rallying cry of a movement aimed at calling out the harassment and abuse men in positions of power have perpetuated against mostly silent women for years without consequence. But what began as a takedown of some of the most powerful abusers in our country—the Bill Cosbys and Harvey Weinsteins—has lately been moving into domestic territory, as women are holding more and more of the abusive men in their lives publicly accountable for the hurt they’ve caused.
Social attitudes are changing, with champions of the #MeToo movement raising awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence in American households. According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. Statistically, an estimated 70% of this violence will go unreported. The numbers are, frankly, staggering, and part of the reason why writer Kelly Sundberg has chosen to tell her story in a new book, Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Abuse and Survival (Harper, 2018).
Adapted from her 2014 viral essay “It Will Look Like a Sunset,” Goodbye, Sweet Girl follows Sundberg as she recounts the most difficult years of marriage to her abuser, and the courage it took for her to make the final leap to safety.
Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral student at Ohio University, where she studies creative nonfiction and teaches writing classes. For more NBN interviews, follow her on Twitter @zoebossiere or head to zoebossiere.com.