A Private Family Matter: A Memoir

A Private Family Matter: A Memoir

by Victor Rivas Rivers
4.9 14

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Overview

A Private Family Matter: A Memoir by Victor Rivas Rivers

"This is a story about how I was saved by love at a time when most people considered me beyond rescue," begins Victor Rivas Rivers in this powerful chronicle of how he escaped the war zone of domestic violence -- too often regarded as a "private family matter" -- and went on to become a good man, a film star, and a prominent activist.
The Cuban-born author begins by recalling when he was kidnapped, along with three of his siblings, by his own father, who abandoned Victor's pregnant mother and took the children on a cross-country hell-ride that nearly ended in a fatal collision. This journey of survival portrays with riveting detail how, instead of becoming a madman like his father, Victor was saved by a band of mortal angels. Miraculously, seven families stepped forward, along with teachers and coaches, to empower him on his road from gang member to class president, through harrowing and hilarious football adventures at Florida State and with the Miami Dolphins, to overcoming the Hollywood odds and becoming a champion for all those impacted by domestic violence.
Though at times Victor's odyssey is heartbreaking and disturbing, A Private Family Matter is ultimately a triumphant testament to humanity, courage, and love. Profound and poignant, it is a compelling memoir with a cause. Victor Rivers's way of thanking all the angels and advocates who made a difference in his life is by trying to make a difference in all of ours.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416534686
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 04/29/2006
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 917 KB

About the Author

Victor Rivas Rivers, a veteran actor who has starred in more than two dozen films (including The Mask of Zorro, The Distinguished Gentleman, and Blood In, Blood Out), is the spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

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Private Family Matter: A Memoir 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Lynn_C_Tolson More than 1 year ago
A Private Family Matter by Victor Rivas Rivers How does a child survive his boyhood with a father who delivers endless emotional, verbal, and physical torture? This is what the reader learns from Victor Rivas. Born in Cuba, his family immigrated to America before Castro's rule. Yet Victor did not escape the sadistic dictatorship of his own father. The torture that the father inflicted upon his family is difficult for a reader to process, yet it brings awareness to the tough topic of domestic violence. The reader learns of a frustrating social system that denied resources to the most vulnerable victims: women and children. When Victor's mother visits a police station to tell of the abuse she was experiencing, she was told that there was nothing they could do. They told her to call the next time he was beating her! When Victor ran to the police station to show his bruised pubescent body to the officers, they told him there was nothing they could do because it was "a private family matter." Victor's father ruined everything, and stole his son's right to self-determination. After witnessing abuse upon his mother, his brothers, and his pets, as well as enduring the vicious assaults from his father, Victor runs away from his house-of-horrors. He was safer sleeping in a cemetery. Naturally, he becomes a hostile, hopeless adolescent. Yet Victor was rescued by seven families, teachers, and coaches. He spent the last years of high school learning to give and receive love. He became an athlete, actor, and advocate. A review of 300-400 words cannot possibly convey the poignancy of this story. It is well-written, with a sprinkling of enjoyable observations, such as an anecdote about acclimating to Miami in August, and the bug life "spawned by the moisture." Victor Rivas Rivers also shares his survival lessons as he pushes through his tough assignment. As an author of a memoir with the same topics, I can identify with the ironic twists and turns of the home-site battlefield, as well as the universal themes of triump over tragedy. As an advocate, I would recommend this book as "a must read" for breaking the silence and cycles of violence and challenging society to promote peace in our homes. Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
MamaOf3 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It really opens up your eyes to the world of domestic abuse. It is also so inspirational, Victor has accomplished so much in his life when he started from nothing. It shows that even children who had an abusive childhood can grow up and make something of themselves. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read memoirs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Victor Rivas Rivers is the author of, ¿A Private Family Matter.¿ Mr. Rivers was abused for most of his childhood, by his father. The book excruciatingly throws the covers off of the dark secrets of child abuse. Mr. Rivers and his siblings were all forced to endure the most tortuous of abuse, at the hands of their father. In his book, ¿A Private Family Matter,¿ Mr. Rivers is very straightforward and direct, in regards to his story. His readers are taken on a journey consumed with pain, agony, fear, beatings, onslaughts of verbal abuse etc. His audience of readers are left feeling every emotion possible. The book tells a story of a family that embarked on a journey to freedom. Although they were free, their home was a definite war zone. The children grew up shrouded in fear and secrecy. Domestic violence plagued Mr. Rivers` family thus the title, ¿A Private Family Matter.¿ When Mr. Rivers did attempt to seek help, he was always told the same thing, ¿It`s a private family matter.¿ The children of this household lived in fear around the clock. There were times when they were starved and given no food as a method of punishment, as well as being pummeled with verbal and physical attacks. Mr. Rivers painstakingly describes the abuse that occurred within his home, as a child. As I read this book, I felt every emotion possible. His family moved too many times to keep track of. I commend Mr. Rivers on sharing such an obviously difficult and painful part of his life. He tells of repeatedly being beaten by his father, his mother¿s sudden disappearance, and their younger brother that they left behind when they moved. Sadly, there was a younger brother that was injured while in the womb, due to the fact that his father beat his mother often. Mr. Rivers eventually decides that he has had enough abuse and seeks out help. He describes those that rescued him, as his personal angels. This book sheds light on one family in particular however, in reality, it sheds light on thousands of families across our country. There are victims of abuse that long to have their voice heard. Mr. Rivers boldly opens the doors for the readers to get a good understanding of domestic violence and the fact that during that time frame, most people genuinely thought that they couldn¿t get involved, even when they suspected that their home was troubled with abuse. ¿A Private Family Matter¿ is a must read for any individual that has endured any form of abuse. It shows the beast that many know of as domestic violence, in its cruelest form. Yet, it also shows extreme courage, when Mr. Rivers decides to get help. Lastly, his book silently offers one encouragement after another in that there are people in our communities that care and are willing to help victims of domestic violence. Mr. Rivers has written a very heartfelt account of his childhood, as well as shedding light on the fact that hope and safety are indeed possible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Victor Rivers is a handsome man. Movie star, college educated, Football player. A big, strong, tough man who was reduced to weeping when taken back to his horrific childhood in countless nightmares. So terrifying, so brutal for his wife to endure, she could only cry as he fought the demons of domestic violence. Countless women have told their stories. Hoping to save, `just one person.¿ Reliving their own personnel hell with each word. You will relive Mr. Rivers personnel hell. He takes the reader from a little boy to a full grown man, still fighting the little guys fight. He tells his story to help others. I believe it will. If you know nothing of domestic violence, you will have a better understanding after you read this book. You may find it hard to comprehend. You will ask yourself, `How do people let this happen?¿ `Why not just leave?¿ Read on. If you¿re a victim or a survivor, it is graphic. Mr. Rivers does not soften his story. He shouldn¿t. You will ask yourself how every domestic violence story can be so similar. You will cry many times. You will laugh a few times. You will love him when his son is born. No one looks at Victor Rivers, with all of his successes, and thinks of domestic violence. He was a victim, he is a survivor. For all of these reasons I thank him for telling his story. I respect him for wanting to help, `just one person.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
wonderful,wonderful this book took me back to the place where all this suffering happened,great I can even say that I cry when I finish reading it...
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is the only book i have owned that i havent lost or stoped reading . im only 16 years old and this is my fav book it really touched my heart. i havent had an all that life my self but reading this book has made me think im living best any one could ever live. i hope he writes more books and i think it is really good that he is putting his life out there for every one to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow!!! this book is just hit home with me. I felt,saw and smelled like the writer about child of abuse in my past. Children world wide go through this evey day w/o any help. They need help asap!!! The wonderful author of this story has the straigth to print it thank you. I have now started to write my own story to heal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having lived a childhood very similar to Victor's, I SO appreciate his telling his story to educate others.