PETALING JAYA: A group of domestic violence survivors has channelled their pain into a book which has been published by the Women's Aid Organisation (WAO).
Its executive editor V. Sumitra said the book, entitled Tina's Journey, is a collection of poetry and prose works penned by the survivors.
"The book is the result of author Bernice Chauly's two-year creative writing workshop with domestic violence survivors at WAO's shelter.
"Tina is a character representing all survivors. (The name ‘Tina’) is an acronym for 'Think I Need Aid'. It is actually our SMS and WhatsApp hotline for women in distress or in need of support," she said.
Bernice said that she believes writing can be a tool of healing for survivors.
"We give voice to our pain, we name it. Writing can help us transform that pain into art," she said.
The celebrated author said that the creative writing classes she led helped empower the survivors to express their feelings.
"It helped (them) come to terms with what had happened and to face (their) demons," she added.
Bernice and WAO community engagement officer Kelvin Ang curated survivors’ writings to create Tina’s character.
Meanwhile, artist Chan Wen Li brought Tina to life with her illustrations.
"We conceptualised the character Tina as an empowered survivor with a message of hope. (She is a) relatable person whose resilience shines through in the face of adversity," said Chan.
Sumitra said WAO will be organising a public book launch at Ruang by Think City at Jalan Hang Kasturi in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 9.
"Members of the public who want a copy of the book can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information," she added.