SAN DIEGO — A North County woman has written a book to help victims of domestic abuse. In this Zevely Zone, I want you to meet a little ball of fire from the big state of Texas. Her story is proof that courage lives all around us. I met this someone special at the grocery store. Her name is Julia Chadwell. 

"I recognized you because I love the Zevely Zone," said Julia.  A cynical person would think this 78-year old author is just being nice to me so I will promote her book. But let me tell you, after a brief conversation with Julia, you will fall in love with her passion for a serious cause. 

 Her book is called "Little Texas Sweetheart". According to her website: 

"This is an uplifting true story of how a woman and her eight children survived hunger, abuse, and homelessness to become productive, accomplished citizens, eager to reach out to those who are ensnared in domestic violence. The book includes the travels and travails of a family subjected to the whims of an abusive man. The evolution of the awareness of the problem in American society from the 1960's to the present is told in hair-raising story form. The true story of the authors journey through domestic violence. It is an inspiring story of determination and hope through her hard times." 

Okay, back to the Zevely Zone report.  Julia's energy is contagious and doesn't match in any way her horrible survival story as a domestic abuse victim. "I was a battered woman. I was an abused wife. I was homeless, I gave birth to eight babies while I was married to that man," said Julia. I took a camera to Julia's home to hear her story. Julia says for 18 years her husband made their family live in on the streets. "It was so bad I didn't want to live anymore. When I had asked for police help in Texas, I was told 'we don't answer domestic violence calls we could get hurt.' Can you believe that?" said Julia. 

Sleeping on sidewalks, Julia taught her eight children how to read at public libraries and by getting creative. "We used sticks and dirt and rocks and wrote words like cat, hat, bat, cake, make, rake, and taught the little ones to read."  

Julia left that man in 1979.  "It's a miracle that we all got out alive," said Julia.

She's proud to say after breaking the cycle of abuse, every one of her children graduated from college and believe it or not, she says she met the love of her life. She and Harry have been happily married for 28 years travelling all over the world. "We've been to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Japan," said Julia.

Julia reinvented herself by becoming a teacher and getting counseling. "I finally realized I was worthy and I deserved a good life. What my abuser told me about how useless I was wasn't true," said Julia. This little Texas sweetheart dared to dream big. I say to her, "Julia, have you ever hear the saying, 'Don't mess with Texas'?". She responds, "Ha, ha, ha yes and don't mess with me, ha, ha, ha."

Her message to other battered women? Stand up for yourself and your life can come out smelling like a rose. "No matter how low your life gets you can rise above," said Julia. She is available to speak at events, speaking about Little Texas Sweetheart.  If you'd like to buy and read Julia's book go to her website.

Your generous gifts will help Julia fund her mission to help those in need. 

Julia says we can make a difference. ALL SALES ARE USED TO HELP VICTIMS!