Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, relationship expert Katha D. Blackwell knew at a young age that abuse was wrong. After years of seeing women in her family go through abusive relationships, Katha decided to make it her goal to help women.
After graduating from high school, Katha went to Michigan State University(MSU) and became one of the many field researchers for the Violence Against Women Initiative. As a field researcher, Katha visited the homes of abused women and collected data for a longitudinal study. In 2003, Katha graduated from MSU with a Bachelors degree in Political Science Pre-law. That following year Katha married her college sweetheart, Eric B. Blackwell, on January 3, 2004. They moved to Illinois and later became the associate pastors of Christian Faith Assembly in Homewood, IL.
After getting settled in Illinois, Katha began to seek more knowledge about domestic violence so she obtained 40 hours of domestic violence training and began to volunteer at a local women’s shelter as a Hotline Shift Leader. Katha eventually found employment as a Program Assistant for the Majorie Kovler Torture Treatment Center in Chicago. At the Kovler Center, Katha met many men and women who had been tortured by political leaders from various countries. In Summer of 2004, Katha founded a non-profit organization called Gateway to Freedom, providing emergency referral services to victims of abuse.
In Fall 2004, Katha started graduate school at The University of Chicago (UofC) where she majored in Social Service Administration. Throughout her time at UofC, Katha maintained full-time employment at a local domestic violence shelter, as a Residential Counselor and fulfilled her field practicum requirements as a Family Therapist and an Adult Domestic Violence Counselor. Upon graduating with a Masters degree from UofC, Katha continued to work with victims of domestic violence providing full-time individual and group counseling services.
The key reason Katha is writing this book is because she wants to help better the lives of women. Katha has been the counselor, the therapist, the volunteer, the case manager and with all those roles Katha constantly had to sugarcoat the fact that bad relationships can be avoided. As a writer, Katha can give the honest and direct instruction that is needed and will empower many women. There were so many women who wanted to learn more from Katha, however due to the short shelter stay she did not have enough time to provide them with everything they needed to continue moving forward. Lastly, Katha believes that books can constantly be revisited over and over again even when the counselor or therapist is no longer around.
Katha currently resides in Georgia with her husband Eric, their son, Elias, and their daughter, Eliana.