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Way of Escape

by Ann Fillmore
Price: $7.50
ISBN: 0-917990-41-2

In many countries, women have little value and the value they have is owned by men. Those women are—by rule of law and custom—virtually uneducated and subject to brutality and torture.

S.E.W, the secret Society for Emigrant Women, runs a rescue operation for women in danger that is much like the underground railway was for slaves in nineteenth century America. The money for S.E.W. comes mainly from a Swedish nobleman. S.E.W.'s avowed enemy, the Chief Constable of Iran, has put a fatwa death decree on the baron. To keep the baron safe, the head of S.E.W. declares him dead.

With women waiting in the rescue pipeline in Saudi, Uganda, and Miami, there is news that the Swedish government has decreed the baron’s estate goes, not to his son as planned, but to a woman whom the Swedish bureaucracy says is the baron's real wife! The accounts are frozen. There is no money for operations. Yet, the baron must remain "deceased."

Assassination plots are devised from California to the Middle East to stop S.E.W. from operating. S.E.W. agents are compromised, and women, who might be saved, instead may die. This is a story of intrigue, suspense, and mortal danger. It is a disturbing look at women trapped in cruel and repressive social structures.

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Ann now writes mystery stories. For many years she was a teacher and counselor before doing her PhD and becoming an international consultant dealing with victims of violence. During the 70's she got her MA in Behavioral Science and for internship hours in 1976, she helped establish one of the first battered women's shelters in the US. It was an accident. The YWCA group had received funds for a rape reporting hotline but printed up flyers that announced they would help "WOMEN IN CRISIS". Because there were spare rooms in the building next to their offices, the police began dropping off terrified and bruised women and children. By Christmas of that year, a shelter was born. Talk about learning by doing!

Ann went on to work as a child abuse investigator in London and as fate would have it, next door to the precinct where Erin Pizzey (SCREAM QUIETLY SO THE NEIGHBOR'S DON'T HEAR) had founded the very first shelter ever. Ann began to write articles about her foremost interest - the behavioral interactions of victim and abuser, hostage and captor. She moved to Sweden and again, became instrumental in establishing shelters working mainly as a go-between for women setting up the shelters and the police who wanted places to bring women.

Ann returned to the states, to Oregon, in 1982, did her PhD dissertation on: HOSTAGE TAKING BEHAVIORS AND THEIR EFFECT ON HOSTAGES. She attempted to organize two victims' rescue groups - one in Scotland, one in Portland, OR but neither the funding nor the community's interest were there. Plus, a mighty shift in treatment procedures was taking place.

In response to the surge in the use of pharmaceuticals, Ann further researched the use of hypnosis and the NATURAL process of emotional recovery called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), she invented a powerful self-help technique called WREMS (Waking REM State). She saw this as an imperative because of the damage being wrought by unprincipled use of EMDR, hypnosis and anti-depressants, anti-psychotic drugs --- separately by therapists, or often in combination. She was one of the primary informants in cases being brought concerning False Memory Syndrome.

For seven years, Ann ran an online support group and taught the use of WREMS on AOL WOMENS' area. The entire project was abruptly shut down in summer of '01 mainly through pressure from pharmaceutical interests. Why? Because WREMS eliminates the need for mind-altering drugs.

Being retired, Ann is writing. Her first book: WAY OF ESCAPE, is all about rescuing women in danger of losing their lives to violence. Perhaps it's a sort of wish-fulfillment story. What she would have done if the funding would have been there -- and now can be there. The second book is underway, a sequel to WAY, and concerns - no surprise - rescuing women in danger, some of whom want only to return to the person who will kill them.

Exciting adventure, taut mystery and characters who come alive in the story!


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