by: Christine Weimer
Danielle Leukam is a face of bravery. Not just because she’s a survivor, but because she made a choice to share the story she wasn’t sure she’d live to tell. Many of us encounter traumatic experiences that leave us feeling ashamed and reluctant to speak out. We fear how society will perceive us and we assume blame for circumstances beyond our control because we believe we have to.
But not Danielle.
In her debut memoir, Four Pound of Pressure, Danielle expresses a raw and compelling narrative of her home invasion that led to her sexual assault and the events that followed. While some of her words are tough to read, Danielle lets us see through her eyes and enter her mind as she recounts the dreadful morning that changed her life forever. The truth of her words takes you outside yourself and into her world–a tough place to be on that dreaded morning. But I believe reliving that moment with her is important. Feeling as if we are there with her, we see just how full of pressure those four pounds must have been.
Plus, Leukam includes us in what it was like as her perpetrator remained unapprehended and the things she had to do to survive with her small son who was in the house when the incident occurred. It is authentic, vividly gut-wrenching, and heavily impactful writing. She openly sheds light on the aftermath of abuse that most repress, and she does so in a way that ignites readers to advocate for systematic change for victims of sexual assault.
Not only was I moved by Danielle’s poignant words, I felt myself riding with her through the ups and downs of the wave of emotions she experienced. I admire her for amplifying her voice and the voices of others like her in this way. She is more than just a survivor. She is an advocate, an activist, a warrior.
Furthermore, I got the message: We can take our power back when she share our truths. I could not put this book down.
If you want to check out Danielle’s memoir, you can find it here.
Be sure to follow her journey on Instagram here because she’s already working on another book in a different genre. I can’t wait to see all that she will do. Danielle is an author to watch, that’s for sure.
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