In April 1994 in a remote NSW town, Donna Carson was bashed, doused in petrol and set alight by her de facto partner. She suffered horrific burns to 65% of her body and spent the next six months in hospital lapsing in and out of consciousness. Throughout, what kept her alive was the thought of her two young sons, Coe and Bodean. While she recuperated, social services stepped in and took them away. Against all expectations, Donna recovered, but after her release from hospital, she suffered secondary abuse, this time at the hands of government bureaucracy. She had to fight to regain custody of her children and then for the right to take the stand at her attacker's sentencing. At every step her questions were met with silence. In her search for answers, Donna uncovered a web of lies, conflicting evidence, missing records, negligent investigations and 'a whole lot of people who were suddenly struck deaf and dumb'. Learning from these experiences, Donna has gone on to expose the dangerous betrayals at the heart of our public organisations and private lives.
She is a crusader, educator and guardian angel for countless burns survivors and victims of domestic violence and her inspirational and innovative support of victims of crime saw her honoured as the nation's 'Local Hero' in the 2004 Australia Day awards. 'Judas Kisses' traces Donna's astonishing journey through the darkest days and into the light. It looks at the woman she once was, and the woman she became. It is the true story of what happens when a victim turns survivor and demands to be seen and heard. She wanted the truth. They wouldn't give it to her. When you've been on fire, you don't take no for an answer.
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books