Byline: RACHAEL MISSTEAR
A WELSH social worker has used her traumatic experiences of dealing with victims of domestic abuse as the inspiration for her first novel.
Sam Jones, a domestic abuse co-ordinator in Carmarthenshire, spent two years writing The Fairytale Syndrome, drawing on her 15 years of working with abuse victims to ensure the novel offered a true-to-life depiction of the horrors that can take place behind closed doors.
The novel tells the story of a domestic abuse victim.
The poignant story has been released at a time when Wales has invested heavily in a strategy to tackle domestic violence over the course of the past five years.
But figures from Welsh Women's Aid show domestic violence still accounts for almost 25% of all recorded violent crime.
The statistics echoed by organisations throughout the country outline the terrible turmoil being experienced by both women and men in their own homes, with thousands of incidents going unreported. "The book is fictional but it has been based on many of the real-life stories that victims have told me over the years," said Ms Jones,whohas written the book under the name Sammi.
Last year police received more than 700 reports of domestic abuse in Carmarthenshire alone and across Britain at least two women are killed as a result of domestic abuse each week.
The Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline received more than 17,000 calls in 2008-09 - 94% were from women, with 162 calls from men suffering domestic abuse.
But Ms Jones said it was not always just about violence.
"Domestic abuse can take many forms, whether it be emotional, physical, financial, psychological or sexual, it is still abuse," added the 39-year-old.
"Although the figures reported to the police have not changed significantly, the nature of the abuse has changed.
"Five years ago women would suffer from common assaults or ABH, but now they are suffering GBH and attempted murder."
According to Violence Against Women in Wales, one woman is killed …