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Book: Silent Trauma by Judith Barrow

Book: Silent Trauma by Judith Barrow

categories: Book, General Fiction, DES Action, Stilboestrol, DES Daughters, Diethylstilboestrol, Women's Interest


Judith Barrow

Author Judith Barrowabout this book: Silent Trauma is the story of four women, living in different parts of the UK but drawn together in friendship because of the consequences of a prescribed drug, Legal and laboratory tested, Stilboestrol (Diethylstilboestrol) was given to pregnant women between nineteen forty-seven to nineteen seventy -one, and was believed to prevent miscarriages. It didn't. But what it did do was cause internal abnormalities in the unborn child.

The women's stories are my creation - the drug real; so it's fiction built on fact.

The book is the result of my connection with DES Action UK & USA; a charity set up a long time ago to help women (and some men) affected by the drug Stilboestrol To cut a long story short I wrote an article for the UK based DES Action, which resulted in a short story and then turned into this novel. I suppose I'm aiming the novel towards women, primarily but I hope it's of interest to all adults.

I've been writing Silent Trauma for about six years in one form or another. My research into the drug has been going on much longer; it was essential to have all the facts and that they were correct. I had a lot of help from various DES Action groups.

But I wanted to reach as many people as possible so I knew I needed to make the story as enthralling and as interesting as I could without it being completely didactic. I chose the title, Silent Trauma, because I think it says it all – the trauma the drug caused is there; silently waiting until the DES daughters are older and the damage is discovered. The cover, to me, is contemplative and reflects silence but there is a quiet determination in the woman's face.

The hardest part of writing Silent Trauma was to ensure that the emotions of the characters reflect the emotions of the women I have been in contact with who have been affected by this drug; I hope that within the fictional lives of the four women story I have demonstrated the strength, the determination and the courage I have come across in real life. When I started this journey I had no real concept of the way Stilboestrol damaged, altered, ruined the lives of so many – nor of the total injustice surrounding the drug. By combining the Foreword and the quotes at the beginning of the chapters with the fictional story I hope I have achieved what I set out to do; to bring the information about the drug to the reader and to give them a gripping story. If I've achieved that I'm satisfied.

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