Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors by Anne K. Ream

Review: From its insistently resolute opening essay to its final, deeply moving story, Lived Through This is a book that defies conventional wisdom about life in the wake of sexual violence, while putting names and faces on an issue that too often leaves its victims silent and invisible. Part personal history of Anne Ream’s own experience rebuilding her life after violence, part memoir of a multi-country, multi-year journey spent listening to survivors, Lived Through This is at once deeply personal and resolutely political. In these pages we are introduced to, among others, the women of Atenco, Mexico, victims of rape and political torture who are speaking out about gender-based violence in Latin America; Beth Adubato, a woman who was raped by a popular athlete and then denied justice when her college failed to fully investigate the attack; and Jenny and Steve Bush, a rape survivor and her father who are working together to share Jenny’s testimony of surviving rape at the hands of a veteran in order to alter the US military’s response to sexual violence committed by those in its ranks. Writing with compassion, candor, and, at times, even much-needed humor, Ream brings us a series of stories and essays that are as insistent as they are incisive. Considered individually, her profiles are profoundly moving, and even inspiring. Considered collectively, they are a window into a world where sexual violence is more commonplace than most of us imagine. The accomplished and courageous women and men profiled in Lived Through This are, in the words of the author, “living reminders of all that remains possible in the wake of the terrible.” (from the online description)

Synopsis: This book isn't about rape; It's about what happens afterwards. It's about how people survive rape. It's filled with personal stories from the survivors - stories from their interviews with the author. It's powerful. Mostly because it not about how rape happens or the gory details, but about overcoming it. It's about how these men (yes, men can be raped) and women reclaimed their lives, channeled the anger and hurt and brokenness, about how they went on living after something like rape. Ream included statistics and a list of resources at the end of the book. I highly recommend this book as good introduction to rape in our society and in particular, for anyone who has been raped. This book is about hope. It tells the reader they are not alone and that survival is possible.

Note: I received this free from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program, in exchange for my fair and honest opinion

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-8070-3930-4
Date Finished: 5-25-2015
Pages: 202

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