Slipping Into – and Out of – the Uncomfortable Shoes of Fear and Prejudice

Op-ed by writer Katherine Kotaw - KOTAW Content Marketing

How do we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes if we’ve never tried them on? I’ve been pondering that question in the aftermath of the recent shootings of black citizens by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota and the killing of cops by black gunmen in Dallas and Baton Rouge. I’m neither black nor a police officer and I’ve never visited the sites of the recent killings. But I believe that racially-motivated violence and harmful, if not … [Read more...]

Branding Evil and Rebranding Domestic Violence

From Victim to Victor: Finding Hope and Happiness After Domestic Violence

The man who tried to kill me called the other day. At least I think it was him. It was his name on the caller ID, and the voice sounded vaguely familiar. But the sing-song, taunting timbre (think Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny” from The Shining) was absent. The mocking voice that tormented my waking hours while I lived with him?...That made me hyperventilate at the sound of a ringing telephone during the years when he stalked me? …That … [Read more...]

Maisy Daisy and the Not-So Lazy Storyteller

"When I made peace with failure, happiness and success courted me. And I kissed both back." -- Katherine Kotaw, Chief Storyteller at KOTAW Content Marketing

Once upon a time I wrote a children’s book. And thrice (or more) upon a time, I ended dates early if the boy dared to plan an activity I didn’t like. I was good at writing, bad at dating. But both taught me a lot about success as a storyteller. I wrote my first children’s book when I was 16 in collaboration with an artist friend. I did some market research (asked two teachers to read the book to their children) and bought enough stamps to … [Read more...]

You Can’t Brand Silence… Or Shut Up a Storyteller!

You Can't Brand Silence or Shut Up a Storyteller | KOTAW Content Marketing

Sometimes, one person has to be the voice of many. This line, directed to prominent journalist and domestic violence survivor Meredith, by her friend and confident Neal, in the Lifetime film, Run For Your Life, is probably my favorite. In a quaint coffee shop, Neal urges Meredith — still beaming in the afterglow of finally ridding herself of her abusive ex — to go public with her story, to write about her experience in the hope of inspiring … [Read more...]

Saving Tinkerbell, Finding Paradise and Applauding Survivors of Domestic Violence

Saving Tinkerbell, Finding Paradise and Applauding Survivors of Domestic Violence | Katherine Kotaw, her daughters and their sweet red nose Pit Bull, Ivy, enjoy a magical day at the beach, proving that domestic violence survivors can find bliss and THRIVE!

I left my marriage because I feared for my sanity and soul. It was the psychological torture, the systematic pummeling of my spirit that I most needed to escape. I never anticipated the mortal physical danger I would face, but knowing would not have deterred me. I had become Tinkerbell, fading fast and desperate for someone to clap his hands and say he believed in me. A few people applauded at just the right time. They helped revive my … [Read more...]