Foreword Reviews

Things We Haven't Said

Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out

Things We Haven’t Said is a thoughtful and courageous collection, intended to encourage conversations about issues related to sexual violence.

As the #MeToo movement continues to open up the conversation around sexual violence and sexism, it’s critical to share stories from diverse voices. Things We Haven’t Said is a powerful new anthology that centers the experiences of survivors of sexual violence. Focusing on courage and healing, this timely collection breaks the silence.

The twenty-five poems, letters, essays, vignettes, and interviews in the collection are gritty, honest, and hopeful. Each one is written by a survivor of sexual trauma. Unlike many other anthologies, Things We Haven’t Said’s contributors are a diverse group of people, representing “a wide variety of races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, career paths, and survival experiences.” None of the writers are anonymous, a brave choice that humanizes their stories.

This makes the book valuable both for readers who have similar experiences with trauma and to “outsiders” who haven’t suffered abuse. At the end of each piece, a short, conversational interview with the author helps distill the message and hope of each experience. One writer said, “As a suggestion for a starting point, I point at the grass. Watch what it does when it gets crushed beneath our footsteps: It bounces back.” Others talk about counseling, medication, advocacy, and other paths to healing. The book also provides statistics on sexual violence, resources, where to find help, and more.

Things We Haven’t Said is a thoughtful and courageous collection, intended to encourage conversations about issues related to sexual violence. Mental health, addiction, criminal justice, and other issues are discussed frankly throughout the anthology. For such intense material, there is no sensational language or drama. Editor Erin Moulton has polished this book to focus on connection and help.

The language of recovery can be difficult to capture, but Things We Haven’t Said expresses both the highs and the lows of healing from sexual violence. This incredible anthology carries the message that rape is not the end of the story: for these brave writers, it was the beginning of something powerful, beautiful, and wise.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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