Presentation Reviews

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20161228_090617“I have been talking to my class as well as to folks who attended your evening presentation.  Everyone has shared thoughts that contained words like ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’ and ‘powerful’.  It is clear to me that your visit made an important contribution to their learning.” – Dr. James Sutton, Professor of Sociology, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

“I really appreciated how you were able to talk about such difficult material in an honest and down-to-earth manner. The Skype session with you was clearly the stand-out class period of the semester. It’s certainly not every day that college students can speak directly to the author of one of their reading assignments! You both reinforced and enhanced our collective understanding of the dynamics involved with intimate partner violence. We admire and respect you greatly.” – Dr. Angie Moe, Professor of Sociology, Western Michigan University

“I assigned ‘Leaving Dorian’ to my graduate level Domestic Violence course. From the very start, my students were enthralled and invested in her story. This was not only apparent in our class discussions, but also when Linda visited my class as a guest speaker; the three-hour time frame for the one-day per week course seemed to pass within minutes rather than hours, as we sat in a circle informally discussing her book. Linda’s visit was invaluable, not only to my students, but also to me. So much of what Linda shared in her visit with students aligned with my course material. Linda’s name frequently arose in classes after her visit, as many of the students (as well as myself) referenced Linda in subsequent classes. The ability to use examples from Linda’s book and her class visit was incredibly beneficial when teaching challenging concepts and driving home important points. Also, I find it important to note that at the end of the semester, when I asked for informal feedback on the course, every one of my students mentioned that Linda’s book and her visit were “absolute musts” for my future classes. Without a doubt, I firmly believe Linda positively impacted my students’ understanding of domestic violence, and cannot wait to have her visit Niagara University in future semesters!” – Dr. Dana Radatz, Professor of Criminology, Niagara University

From Student Evaluations Administered After Presentations:

The one thing I found most helpful about this presentation was:  “The openness of the conversation. We were allowed to ask whatever questions we were wondering.” – “How honest and understanding she was.” – “The statistics she gave were eye-opening and I really loved that she gave out packets of data, as well. She made her story so open and honest to us; it made it so real and incredibly motivating.” – “It was more of a discussion and not a strict lecture. She was very personable, funny and friendly.” – “The open discussion format. I liked the different directions that the presentation went in due to our ability to ask questions continuously.”  – “Her candor and honesty about a very difficult topic.” – “How open and honest she encouraged us to be.”

Other comments: “I love your style of presentation. Amazing experience!”  – “I really enjoyed your presentation and conversation we had!” – “I think your current role in the world is very important. Everyone needs to hear your story and other stories like it so we may be one step closer to implementing change.” – “I am so very thankful for Linda Dynel and strong individuals like herself who so bravely share their stories to educate and help complete strangers. It is because of people like her that brings bursts of light to those who feel they are alone in the dark.” – “Emotional and wonderful experience. Painful but cathartic.” – “So awesome! This book should be required by all colleges for their students to read!” – “This was an amazing presentation and I felt like it improved me as a person and as a social worker.” 

“Surviving…Thriving: A Journey of Healing Through Art” Castellani Art Museum, October 27, 2016

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Music played softly in the gallery and advocates from local help agencies answered questions and offered information and guidance at tables set up in the lobby as students, faculty and members of the surrounding community viewed about 80 pieces of art created by survivors of domestic violence in a special exhibit at Niagara University’s Castellani Art Museum.

“This is the first year Niagara University has been part of the event. NU students have created a red flag – part of the national Red Flag Campaign, which addresses the red flags of dating violence, said Karrie Gebhardt, director of domestic violence and parenting services at Family and Children’s Services of Niagara. The initiative is a campaign to remind people to ‘say something’ if they see the signs of dating violence in a friend’s relationship. Some of the red flags include, coercion, jealousy, stalking, emotional abuse, sexual assault, isolation and victim blaming.

Eileen Wrobel, a Niagara Falls Police domestic violence victim advocate, facilitated the art exhibit with survivors through the Windows Between the Worlds art program.” – Nancy Fisher, Buffalo News, October 20, 2016

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“No matter what anyone says or how they try and justify the behavior, it is not O.K. to be treated poorly by anyone. Especially when they call it love.”

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This is the piece that brought me to tears; even now, it’s hard for me to look at.

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“If I can say anything to convince you to leave before it’s too late, (I’d say) ‘It’s not worth it and there is better love.’ I am a survivor by the grace of God.”

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I had a student ask me at a recent event if her friend (who is being battered, but who is also struggling with immigration issues) would be arrested and/or deported if she reached out to authorities for help. The above piece perfectly illustrates this often times overlooked issue.

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Oil on canvas

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The Silent Witness Project is a traveling project created in 2016 by high school senior Andrew Villella as his Eagle Scout Project. It is a reconstruction of the original life-sized project built in 2006 when there were only nine victims. Each figure represents an individual who once lived in Niagara County whose life was ended violently at the hands of a spouse, former spouse or intimate partner.

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More than 200 students attended this eye-opening event

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Dr. Dana Radatz, Criminology professor at Niagara University, was instrumental in bringing this event to fruition.

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The YWCA, The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara and Niagara University’s Counseling Center were among the community and campus based help centers who donated their time in order to offer information and guidance to those in attendance.

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A big “Thank You” to Karrie Gebhardt for graciously sharing the Family & Children’s Services table so that Leaving Dorian might be displayed.

Biography: Linda Dynel

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After trying her hand at writing everything from newspaper articles to novels for more than a decade, in 2013 Linda Dynel decided that it was time to pen a story that was closer to her heart; the story of the day that she left her abusive husband. After hearing time and again from publishing houses and agents that it was “…a great read, but I don’t know who I’d sell it to…” Ms. Dynel took the leap and published it herself as an ebook in February of 2014. Within months the feedback pouring in convinced her that a paperback copy of Leaving Dorian had to be made available if it was going to reach its intended audience, that being victims and survivors of domestic violence as well as students and educators.

From Connie Little, Executive Director of Turning Point DV Services of Prestonburg, KY:  “Leaving Dorian takes you through a personal journey of intimate partner violence and the enormous psychological tension preceding physical abuse. The book illustrates the re-victimization many women endure, and the strength of the human spirit to overcome. This is a must-read and should be on the required reading list for all DV advocates. I’m recommending it to the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their required book list for certification.”

A little more than four years after its initial publication, Leaving Dorian has been widely read by DV help center coordinators and directors and is used as training tool for staff as well as a support text with clients. Leaving Dorian has also found a home in post-secondary education; it’s being used as both supplemental and required texts by professors at St. John Fisher College, Niagara University, The University at Buffalo, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Hilbert College, Western Michigan University, Siena College, Sam Houston University and Loyola University at New Orleans in both graduate and undergraduate Psychology, Criminal Justice, Family Counseling and Sociology courses, as well as with the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy. It was also recently listed as a ‘Recommended Read’ on domesticshelters dot org.

In addition to working with college students, Linda spends much of her time presenting workshops and lectures on her experience with domestic violence to agencies and groups in the community. She is also member of The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau and has worked with the Niagara County Sheriff Victim’s Assistance Unit, providing a DV Peer Mentoring Program in the women’s jail facility.

The Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, NY, chose Leaving Dorian as the cornerstone of their 2015 DV Initiative, “Zonta Says NO – 16 Days of Activism” and distributed copies of Leaving Dorian to local women’s shelters, DV help centers, high schools, churches and libraries. Ms. Dynel was also honored to be asked to participate in “The Clothesline Project” at St John Fisher College and “Take Back the Night” at Niagara University and is the recipient of the YWCA of Niagara’s 2016 Entrepreneur Award and the Zonta Club of Niagara Falls 2016 Woman of Distinction Award.

Her first novel, “Sunrise and the Seven One Six”, was released in February of 2015. Ms. Dynel lives in Lockport, New York, with her husband and children.

For seminar information and available booking dates, please contact: ellabardpressinc@gmail.com

Photo by http://www.rjdunnphoto.com

2016 Woman of Distinction Award

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Program Chair Bonnie Crogan-Mazur read from the award: “The Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, NY, member of Zonta International, Empowering Women Through Advocacy, Woman of Distinction Award in recognition of the 105th International Women’s Day is presented to Linda Dynel on March 9, 2016.”

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Niagara Falls Administrator Donna Owens after presenting me with the Proclamation from Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. After chatting over dinner and listening to her presentation, I can tell you that the people of the City of Niagara Falls are blessed to have her working on their behalf.

 

 

 

Purchase My Books

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Amazon at  http://www.amazon.com/author/lindadynel

**Please Note: If you choose to purchase a USED copy of Leaving Dorian, please make sure that it’s a Second Edition, as this includes a Foreword and an Epilogue and reads better than First Edition copies.

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