• Author: Sahar Abdulaziz, MS

THINGS WE HAVEN’T SAID–Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out, Edited by Erin Mouton

Every child survivor of sexual violence has had to find their own means of coping with the aftermath of overpowering terror, suffocating fear, and excruciating trauma. The repercussions of sexual abuse–sexual assault–never go away. While some of the emotions connected with the attack[s] may temper over time, perhaps becoming compartmentalized or buried, it is also equally as true that those feelings never entirely disappear. Things We Haven’t Said, Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out is a formidable and powerful compendium of voices–brave voices–who each shared through essays, letters, interviews, vignettes, and poems their childhood sexual abuse.

One of the crimes–amongst many–committed against sexual abuse survivors is in how perpetrators not only violate the bodies of their victims but then steal their voices, their power, and their right to be heard and believed. They deprive survivors of their truth, their history, their validation, and the right to seek justice. Many children and adolescents are too frightened and traumatized to tell about the abuse, and for many good reasons. As a result, they are further victimized, forced to carry the nightmares and stigma with them. The children and adolescents who do disclose are often not believed, and if they are believed–they must still struggle to find the words–often not in their procession–to describe the inhumane atrocities committed against their bodies, minds, and souls. This anthology opened up a much-needed conversation in all its candidness. Each author shared their story with brutal honesty, integrity, and bravery while still offering hope and healing.

I encourage everyone to read, share, learn and discuss this engaging book. THINGS WE HAVEN’T SAID–Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out was not an easy read by any measure, but it was candid, truthful, needed, and impossible to put down.


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