INTERVIEW | Yvette Allen-Tatum, author of I Didn’t Know

INTERVIEW | Yvette Allen-Tatum, author of I Didn’t Know

Yvette, tell us about yourself.

Yvette Allen-TatumI am:

  • An Author, Teacher, Conference Host, Public Speaker, Encourager, Motivator, Ordained Minister of The Gospel, Radical for Christ, the list goes on…
  • Married (10 years); this is a second marriage for both of us. We have five children between us – All Girls; women actually since the youngest is 18.
  • I’m in the process of earning a Master of Arts in Human Services – Executive Leadership from Liberty University. I am also a graduate of Grace Christian College where I earned my Master’s of Divinity and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology; and a graduate of the University of Richmond, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance and a Minor in Leadership Studies.
  • I am the Founder of Surrounded By Faith Ministries, Inc. Surrounded By Faith Ministries is a women’s ministry ordained by God to transform the lives of women with the Word of God. You can find out more about Surrounded By Faith Ministries by visiting us on the web at http://wwww.surroundedbyfaith.org.
  • To date, I have authored two books Welcome to my Morning Glory and I Didn’t Know, taught numerous Bible Studies, have been a featured speaker at several conferences and hosted numerous ministry events; most notably The Throw Yo’ Hands Up Conferences sponsored by Surrounded By Faith Ministries.
  • What began as a mandate from God to train and equip women in the ways of the Lord so they would become like the Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible, has expanded to a platform of child advocacy. Actually, my spiritual focus has always been on the family unit – to receive and achieve spiritual wholeness. First, targeting women – to strengthen them as the nurturing forces they were created to be; and now giving a voice to the voiceless – our children.

How do you find time to connect with God?

I take advantage of taking the time to connect with God all day. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.” As such, I find myself constantly praying and communing with God throughout my day.

I have my most intimate times with God when I am in the bathroom, specifically in the shower. I am not sure what makes the shower so special, but I think it’s because it’s the place where I can truly be myself; unhindered and unashamed. Just talking about it now reminds me of that song, “Just As I am”. When I’m in the shower all masks are removed; I am completely naked before God (both literally and spiritually speaking).

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

I am fond of many authors and enjoying reading books from a variety of genres. Some books of great interests are:

  • Paula White – Deal With It!: You Cannot Conquer What You Will Not Confront
  • Joyce Meyer – How To Enjoy Where You Are On The Way To Where You Are Going
  • Juanita Bynum – The Threshing Floor
  • Gary Chapman – The Five Love Languages
  • Rick Joyner – The Final Quest and The Call
  • Maya Angelou – I know Why The Caged Bird Sings
  • Terry McMillian – How Stella Got Her Groove Back
  • Bebe More Campbell – You Blues Ain’t Like Mine

Tell us about your journey to publication.

My journey to publication was revealing, cathartic and grueling. I started out merely just wanted to tell my story; to set myself free from my past and hopefully others from their past as well. Yet, my publisher wanted me to take my book to the next level. She challenged me to go beyond just simply telling my story but to turn my book into a weapon; a weapon to expose the enemy.

She wanted me to speak from a position of authority rather than just passionately sharing my story. To do so, I had to do a considerable amount of research to support my claims about child sexual abuse.

yvette_tatum_overcomingTell us about your current book,  I Didn’t Know?

In my current book, I Didn’t Know, I share my personal experience(s) of child sexual abuse. Perhaps more important than the abuse, I explain how I didn’t know that I had been abused. While I understood that I had been inappropriately touched, I did not have the language or the knowledge to communicate that I had been abused – sexually abused. Moreover, I thought sexual abuse involved penetration; I later learned that it encompasses so much more than penetration.

In addition, I share with the reader(s) how to Identify, Confront and Overcome Child Sexual Abuse (my subtitle).

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

The idea for this book literally came from my personal experience(s). I set out on a quest to expose the enemy so that others would really know what child sexual abuse is, how to identify it and those that commit it and how to confront it so that they can overcome it. Beyond exposing the enemy, I want to do my part to set the captives free. The Bibles says, “We overcome by the BLOOD of the lamb and the WORD of our testimony.”

What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?

I believe there are many lessons to be learned from my book, but the most important lesson is to be able to identify child sexual abuse. Identification is where it all starts. We cannot confront what we don’t know and we definitely cannot overcome those things we do not confront. In the words of Paula White, “We cannot conquer what we will not confront.”

The Bible states, “My people suffer for lack of knowledge.” I hope to equip people with that knowledge and together we can make a mark that cannot be erased by annihilating child sexual abuse.

What’s next for you?

I have plans to write a children’s book speaking to children on their level about child sexual abuse. With this book I hope to help children to be able to identify child sexual and to encourage them to tell a responsible adult that they have been touched inappropriately. I understand that children may not know what I mean by responsible adult, therefore, I plan to identify who those responsible parties are: parents, guardians, aunts, uncles, older siblings/cousins, teachers, school nurse, policeman, firemen, etc. Yet, I not ignorant of the fact that some of these people could have been the very one that touched them. Statistics show that 90% of child victims know their offenders. Moreover, I aim to equip parents with tools and techniques to get the conversation started with their children. Ultimately, I aim to start a movement to eradicate child sexual abuse in our communities.

Please tell us where we can connect with you online.

People can connect with me by the following:

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Yvette Allen-Tatum at 3:11 am

    Thank you for hosting me during my Virtual Book Tour for I Didn’t Know!!

    • Written Voices Blog at 1:56 pm

      Yvette, thank you for allowing us to participate in your tour. Many blessings on your literary journey.