Book speaks to battered women

June 08, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

After suffering through two abusive marriages, clairvoyant Florence Steiner says she wants to teach "other women what to look for in their men."

"I felt an overpowering need to have a book out there by a woman who is not a psychiatrist and who is not a doctor," the Glen Burnie resident said, explaining why she wrote "Voices and Visions, A True Story."

"Many times I wish I had a book that I could read and have a kinship with the author. I think that could have helped me."

"Voices and Visions" is a self-published account of Ms. Steiner's life as a clairvoyant, a battered wife and a single mother representing herself in an alimony case.

She writes that when she was a teen-ager she predicted her aunt's death, and that she saw a vision of her former husband's death three days before he was killed in 1988. Throughout the book, Ms. Steiner points out behavior patterns in herself and in her former husbands that promoted the abusive relationships.

"I felt like it was a quest, a mission that I had," she said. "I felt such a need to share with other women what I went through because I felt women who were being battered could identify."

She says she began writing her book in 1988 after her second former husband, Robert S. Steiner, was shot and killed by his third wife, Joyce Steiner. During her trial, Joyce Steiner argued that she was the victim of abuse by her husband.

Florence Steiner says she had a vision of Joyce Steiner with a gun standing behind Mr. Steiner, calling, "Hey, Rob." When he turned, she fired, Florence Steiner said.

A state medical examiner testified during Joyce Steiner's trial that Mr. Steiner was sitting down when he was shot.

Joyce Steiner was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to five years in prison, but was released after serving 10 months when Gov. William Donald Schaefer commuted the sentences of several women who claimed to be victims of battered woman's syndrome.

"Voices and Visions" is written in three parts, the first describing Ms. Steiner's childhood, including how she felt she was conditioned to accept abuse and some of her early clairvoyant experiences.

The second part includes transcripts of a two-day trial in which Ms. Steiner, who has a condition that causes her panic attacks when away from home, acted as her own lawyer to sue Mr. Steiner successfully for alimony.

In the third section of the book, Ms. Steiner writes about her vision of Mr. Steiner's death.

She received help from longtime friends such as Marge Carter, who have supported her in writing this book.

"It was about time she put it down on paper. I thought it was a good act on her part," said Mrs. Carter, a friend of 15 years who says Ms. Steiner revealed her vision of Mr. Steiner's death before evidence was given in court that supported her claims.

"I believe in it. I think it's a story that needs to be told. I think it might help someone who may be in a similar situation," Mrs. Carter added.

One aspect of domestic abuse that Ms. Steiner includes in her book and that, she says, is not addressed in others is the bond that the abused and the abuser share.

"We all know women are attached to their abuser for economic reasons, but there is another attachment that is not usually realized; a karmic bond," she said.

Ms. Steiner said that once the abused person realizes that he or she may have a bond with the abuser that is carried over from another life, it becomes easier to break the bond.

Ms. Steiner is selling "Voices and Visions" for $15, plus $3.75 for shipping and handling. The book can be purchased by writing Ms. Steiner, 115-D Warwickshire Lane, Glen Burnie 21061, or by calling her at (410) 636-1196.

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