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Here's what happened.

More than a dozen years ago, my husband died unexpectedly, and the blog I had been writing briefly went viral. I wrote a million words, I had thousands of conversations, and I authored a few books. At the same time, I spent an hour or more with my therapist each week, where we unpacked a hidden level of trauma that I wasn’t talking about anywhere else.

For years, I had been targeted and groomed by a serial sexual predator. In the weeks after my husband died, my abuser manipulated my vulnerability, trapped me in a toxic web, and sexually exploited me. Those are a dozen layers of horrifying, but it’s further complicated by the facts that the predator was a caregiver, a leader in a position of trust, and a woman.

Jana Richardson, my expert therapist who is trained in trauma, grief, addiction, and EMDR, counseled me to write my story in the pages of my journal. I wrote for hours, days, weeks, and years, until finally I could say out loud what had happened. And that’s when Jana and I realized that the pages of my notebooks held a guidebook for healing from manipulation, spiritual abuse, and sexual exploitation.

Through the next three years, Jana and I co-authored a groundbreaking book. I wrote through the trauma, and Jana wrote through the treatment of abuse, recovery, and freedom. Peer-reviewed by mental-health professionals, this book provides honesty, clarity, hope, and healing. This book is a vaccine in the face of an epidemic, as it promotes our best defense against abuse: knowledge and awareness of how it begins, how we can end it, and how we can heal from it.

If you are in a toxic relationship, if you are a professional seeking to treat someone in recovery, or if you love someone who is on a path to healing and you seek to understand their road, this is the book you need.

You Are Safe Now: A Survivor’s Guide to Listening to Your Gut, Healing from Abuse, and Living in Freedom.

You Are Safe Now

A Survivor’s Guide to Listening to Your Gut, Healing from Abuse, and Living in Freedom

“I didn’t know I was being manipulated. I didn’t know the signs. I didn’t know the cycle of abuse, or that it’s normal to feel guilt for something that’s not your fault, to have complex emotions about your abuser as you heal. I learned that I could set boundaries, choose not to reconcile, and still pursue the internal freedom of forgiveness.” –Tricia Lott Williford

A seasoned author and masterful storyteller, Tricia Lott Williford encountered the public trauma of the death of her husband, but she held quietly the private trauma that happened at the same time: grooming, manipulation, sexual abuse, and spiritual abuse by a person of trust. Tricia and her therapist, Jana Richardson, LPC, have written a resource to help others recognize the veiled dynamics of abuse: where it starts, how it escalates, and how survivors can break free and find freedom.

Peer-reviewed by mental health therapists, You Are Safe Now offers a survivor’s firsthand story of abuse in the church, including

  • an explanation of the nature of abusers and their common tactics;
  • a compassionate, nuanced discussion of trauma responses;
  • research, examples, and statistics to identify abusive dynamics, predation, grooming, and psychological manipulation; and
  • practical tools and resources to facilitate recovery.

For survivors of abuse, counselors, therapists, pastors who treat survivors, and those who support survivors in their healing, You Are Safe Now is an indispensable resource.

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You Are Safe Now

Available April 9, 2024

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