Many individuals are to be acknowledged for aiding me in initiating and completing this book. To start, I am greatly indebted to the 40 phenomenal women who candidly and unselfishly shared their life stories with me. Their input provided me with an immense amount of noteworthy information that developed into a personally meaningful journey.
Of course, the study imparted in this book would not have been possible without my mentor, committee chair, guru, and, most important, friend, Dr. Joanne Belknap. It was by pure coincidence that I first met Dr. Belknap in her graduate course on violence against women, which I took prior to applying for the Ph.D. program in sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It was during this course that I chose to author a paper on intimate partner violence against Black women, a decision that was optimistically supported by Dr. Belknap. Little did I know that that paper and my serendipitous encounter with Dr. Belknap would grow into a treasured research project and a cherished relationship. I am also grateful to Dr. Michael Radelet, who provided valuable feedback and encouragement for this investigative undertaking. The mentoring and support by Drs. Belknap and Radelet led me back to Boulder soon after I completed my doctoral studies and moved on to the next post in my career. It was their tenacity and belief in me as a dedicated scholar that aided me in securing a faculty position in my doctorate-granting program and institution. My years on faculty thus far have been rewarding and rewarded because of the faithful backing of Drs. Belknap and Radelet.
The transition to writing a first book would not have come to be without Ilene Kalish, my editor at NYU Press, and the anonymous reviewers of earlier manuscripts of this work. The suggestions by Ms. Kalish and the reviewers unmistakably strengthened the presentation of my study. Specifically, Ms. Kalish helped me transform my earlier drafts into a piece of work that remains loyal both to academic standards and to the voices and experiences of the women interviewed. Indeed, it was Ms. Kalish