The Darien Domestic Abuse Council will host author and domestic violence speaker Janine Latus on Thursday, Jan. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Darien Library.

Latus is the author of the international bestseller If Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder and Liberation, which tells the story of two sisters who grow up to choose angry and controlling men. One breaks free and thrives; the other is murdered by her live-in boyfriend. Janine is the sister who survived, and she had to travel to help identify her sister's body.

Since then she has spoken widely on the spectrum of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, telling her story to hundreds of audiences, from the United States military to universities, high schools and colleges, corporations and on the TEDx stage. She has helped shelters and social service agencies raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, helped corporations create a safer environment by teaching them how to recognize the symptoms of abuse, and helped the military create a healthier climate within its commands.

She uses her family's heart-breaking experience to illustrate the red flags of abuse, to help audience members recognize them in their own lives and in those of the people around them, to intervene or ask for help, to break free or help others to do so, and then to build a life of respect and freedom from fear. Her talks are part story, part strategy, and full of practical action items. But because they are built on a story, they resonate long after everyone has left the session room.

The event is free and open to all.

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