Diamond In The Dark
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Phyllis Hain was born in Alabama, the pretty blonde daughter of a Marine sent home from World War II with acute brain trauma. Growing up poor on the Gulf Coast of Florida, she suffered abuse from a father who today would be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Pregnant at sixteen, Phyllis escaped her childhood home, only to marry a man at whose hands she experienced years of devastating domestic violence and spousal abuse.

After a tumultuous divorce, Phyllis found herself rescued by a businessman she believed to be generous and loving. But the marriage fell apart in a series of courtroom dramas and front-page headlines as her husband was charged with, tried for, and convicted of conspiring to murder his previous wife.

But Phyllis regrouped, putting all her lifetime experiences to work as a U.S. Navy Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)—a Family Advocacy Educator. During twenty-one years of service, she responded to hundreds, if not thousands, of victims in crisis. She taught well over 20,000 students. She helped educate first responders on how properly to document incidents and how to provide sensitive, effective treatment and support to victims of sexual assault. She studied domestic violence, child abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, victim intervention, and the correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. She became a national advocate for the abused.

Inspired by interviewing, and responding to, many courageous victims and survivors of abuse, she decided to undergo what turned out to be a multi-year ordeal: writing an autobiography about her own tumultuous life as the victim of child abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and spousal abuse.

Phyllis’s captivating autobiography serves as a superb guide to dealing with abuse, because readers can see themselves in her story. The book ends with a professional analysis by Dr. Bryan Glazier, providing considerable insights ripe for discussion in support groups for abuse, spousal or otherwise. Praised by generals, family advocates, military service providers, doctors, lawyers, child abuse authorities, psychologists, and everyday people, this fascinating journey of an abuse survivor turned national advocate will give some the strength to heal, and others the courage to speak up. Diamond in the Dark will not only steal readers’ hearts, but also leave an indelible, searing mark on their minds.

Study Guide/Reading Group Questions

1. Who is the man who touched Phyllis as a child?

2. What was the purpose of Phyllis’ mother’s hair salon? What did it provide for her?

3. What was wrong with Phyllis as a child? What impact did this have?

4. Why did people tend to target Phyllis?

5. Why did she fall for JJ?

6. Could Phyllis have handled running away any differently?

7. Why didn’t Phyllis’s mom do anything to stop the abuse?

8. Why did JJ never kill Phyllis?

9. To what extent were Phyllis’s children also victims of abuse?

10. How is JJ an example of perpetuating the cycle of abuse?

11. For Phyllis, what did Paul represent?

12. At first, JJ accused Phyllis of cheating on her, and then she did. Why?

13. Was Paul guilty?

14. Why did Paul’s children hate Phyllis?

15. Why was the trial able to proceed if it was legally impossible to convict Paul of murder?

16. How and why did Paul die?

17. Why did Phyllis not see the signs of abuse from her third husband?

18. Why, oh why, did Phyllis bring him to the party after they got divorced?

19. Why is it mentioned that Bob made the comment about Phyllis being a prostitute?

20. What can people do to help abuse victims?

21. What signs can they look out for?


ISBN (13 digit): 978-1-61088-100-5 (hardcover)

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-61088-102-9

TITLE: Diamond in the Dark: Leaving the Shadow of Abuse

AUTHOR: Phyllis Hain

PUBLISHER: Bancroft Press


PUBLISHER WEBSITE: www.bancroftpress.com

PUBLISHER E-MAIL ADDRESS: bruceb@bancroftpress.com

APP. PUBLICATION DATE: November 15, 2013



SUBJECTS/TOPICS OF BOOK: Memoir, Abuse, Women’s Issues, Self-Help

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