As a memoirist she is an inspiration. Through her book and her talks she has told her terrifying story openly and honestly - revealing her personal journey through hurt and healing. She has educated thousands of people as to the futility of incarcerating criminals with no chance of treatment for their many issues. And she works to help families of criminals who are also affected by their loved ones' crimes.
Sometimes as a memoirist I wonder if my story will help others but when I meet and hear people like Shannon, I realize that we all need to share our stories. Stories affect others, leading them to feel what it might be like to be a situation like Shannon was, or I was. Hopefully by sharing these stories light will be shone on topics that many people don't want to face or deal with. Also, understanding the situations may help people to be less judgmental.
Facing judgment is one of the realities I will have to continually deal with as I move forward to talk about domestic abuse. People like Shannon are there to remind me that others have traveled the same path.