The first book released by local author DeeDee Chomyk (who writes under the pseudonym D.D.K.) is “Unpunished,” a true story that shares the experiences of a woman named Donna.
Chomyk read from the book on January 12 at the Estevan Public Library, and signed copies for those who were in attendance. It's not a pretty story, Chomyk said, and it is geared towards an adult audience, but it is the true story of a Saskatchewan woman.
“It wasn't intended to be a book,” said Chomyk. “After years of documenting incidences, and speaking with the RCMP, it became quite a compiled file.”
People told her for many years that she should write a book, and that she should tell Donna's story, even though Chomyk isn't a writer by trade.
It's a story of love, abuse, sex, betrayal and mental illness, and all the experiences that Donna (also an assumed name) has endured, Chomyk said. She hopes that readers with similar experiences will understand that they aren't the only ones in those difficult situations. If necessary, they can call for help.
“We all have our own story,” said Chomyk. “This is Donna's.”
The excerpts that Chomyk read provided the audience with a grasp of the abuse that Donna suffered. There was a sexual abuse incident at the hands of her step-father when she was an early teenager. Alcohol and substance were problems for Donna into adulthood.
And there were abusive relationships with two men: Allan and Merv. Allan re-entered her life on countless occasions, forcing her to eventually go to court.
The relationship with Merv started well, but she could sense he was hiding something. They broke up and eventually reconciled, and that was when the abuse began. When she tried to escape, she realized that Merv took her credit cards, passport, identification and money.
As it turned out, Merv had been in court during Donna's case against Allan, and had heard the details about the abuse Donna had suffered in her previous relationship.
Eventually, Merv left the country, leaving Donna to finally feel free.
Feedback to “Unpunished” has been excellent, she said. Her publisher told her from the outset to include everything that was said, so there is some course language and some content that she said is difficult to share with adults, let alone children. Men and women have been e-mailing her to offer their praise.
“The book is now in every province, except for New Brunswick, so far,” said Chomyk. “It's been sent to Brazil and China.”
One reader told Chomyk that as he read the book, he thought Chomyk was writing his story.
Many people have said they want to read more from her, even though Chomyk intended for “Unpunished” to be a stand-alone work. But the book's success has encouraged her to possibly write about other topics even if she doesn't pen a sequel to “Unpunished.”