Wednesday, 5 August 2015

To the Survivors

One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence  
Robert Uttaro  

“Rape counselor Uttaro draws upon his years of experience to warn that sexual abuse is far more prevalent than most people suspect, and provides a moving series of survivor stories. Uttaro persuasively argues that each survivor's story is unique—and this militates one-size-fits-all advice. The surprising revelations of the survivors Uttaro interviews corroborate his claim that justice is an individual concept that depends on what redress survivors seek. Uttaro's assurances that survivors are not defined by sexual abuse offer the possibility of a positive resolution. This book is both informative for the general public and supportive for those who have suffered sexual abuse. It is hard to imagine that members of either group will not gain from reading it.”  
- Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review 

“An engaging examination of a painful subject, with a focus on healing and forgiveness.” 
- Kirkus Reviews  
“Compassionate advice...Quite Moving.”  
- Kirkus Reviews   
“To the Survivors weaves together many candid accounts to form a brave and alarming exposé of assault. It is a worthwhile, eye-opening project”  
- Foreword Clarion Reviews   “To the Survivors is quite a read. It’s informative. It is very compassionate. It is insightful. I think you have presented more than one perspective. And you haven’t done it from a positioning of one-sidedness. You really have covered quite a few different perspectives, both of those that have been the victims of this horrific act and those that want to help. So I really think it’s quite a powerfully packed book. To the Survivors is a very powerful one.” 
– Donna Seebo, The Donna Seebo Show 

To the Survivors is a deeply-moving, empowering, and brutally honest book about one man’s journey as a rape crisis counselor with true stories of sexual violence shared by survivors in their own words. Gently and beautifully constructed, To the Survivors is moving, tender, sharp, and piercingly true all at once. Readers will encounter uncensored written stories, poems, and interviews from women and men who have been sexually abused, plus the advocate-author voice that weaves their experiences together. The survivors are diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity, yet each gives a similarity raw and heartfelt account of his or her victimization and recovery. The authenticity and vulnerability with which survivors speak resonates profoundly. But this book is not just for survivors of sexual violence. Robert Uttaro believes anyone can benefit from the words in these pages, rape survivor or not. 
To the Survivors is a timeless resource for a world that struggles with the repercussions of sexual violence.  

Below are small excerpts from some of the contributors in To the Survivors:  

Corey: To other survivors: Know that things do get better.  

Alexis: There is someone. I might not know you or know what you look like, but know I’m with you in spirit. Or whatever you believe, know that I’m right there with you. I believe you. 

Jim: You can have the shame taken away. You can go from bein awkward in social situations, from beatin yourself up with negative talk and everythin right across the board, to comin out the other side and standin on your own two feet. You can feel comfortable in your own skin, have your confidence come back, have your self-esteem come back, and see everything that’s good about the world. That does exist out there, even through something as very, very dark as this. There is hope on the other side. There really is.  

Rebecca: Anger and hatred weigh you down and stress you out. Believe me, I know! I’m not saying that suddenly you’ll be stress free and forget the whole thing – I’m saying forgiveness makes you stronger. It’s one of the hardest things to do – but it’s worth it. Life never gives you more than you can handle; at times it may seem false, but it will all work out in the end. You’ll always have the chance to take something negative and turn it into something positive – starting with forgiveness. Always smile, because life gives you so many things to smile about. 

Jenee: Make peace with all people if you can, and especially, make peace with yourself. Always know there are friends somewhere rooting for you. There are people you don’t know, always praying for you and lifting you before God. 


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