A woman with ties to Lewiston who spent years in two abusive relationships has self-published a book in hopes of helping others who are struggling with domestic abuse.
Writing under the pen name Jean Houghton, she offers explanations of why a woman becomes involved — and stays — with an abuser in "Beware of the Dog — Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships."
As a high school family-life education teacher, Houghton said she never imagined how her own family life would become such a battle. Unfortunately, she related, her first husband, her high-school sweetheart, broke into sudden fits of rage that eventually led to constant disrespect and battering. After 20 years of abuse, she escaped with her young children.
Houghton said her second husband seemed to be a very good partner. However, she soon found herself trapped in another abusive relationship, confused by his impulsive rage, unwillingness to seek therapy and reckless financial disasters.
Again, realizing the depth of the deceit and destruction, Houghton sought escape. She believes her renewed faith in God helped sustain her through both abusive relationships and gave her hope for a better future.
Houghton grew up in midcoast Maine. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maine with a double major in family-life education and child development. "Beware of the Dog," her first book, was published via WestBow Press. For more information, visit www.bewareofthedogbook.com.