After a few setbacks, Please Tell Someone is now published and available on Amazon in ebook format for $5. It also available as a pdf for $5.
This book is dedicated to all survivors of sexual and indecent assault. It is a resource and a tribute to you all.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Five months ago my mum told me how she had been indecently assaulted. I found out my sister had also been assaulted when she was younger and that she took action and reported it. My sister’s courage inspired my mum to report her assault, and my mum’s courage to speak up protected herself and others from the perpetrator.
After talking to friends about her experience, she realised so many have had similar experiences but they’ve never told anyone. My mum’s courage to share her story prompted them to share their own stories. One lady went on to report her assault to the police. This showed my mum that the bravery is infectious. She was inspired to collect stories of sexual and indecent assault for a book to encourage people to speak up about this topic.
In my mum’s words, ‘Not enough people are talking about this and not enough people know how powerful and affirming it is to report assault.’ She knows not everyone will have such a positive outcome as hers and my sister’s, but she believes people’s stories need to be heard. Her hope is that this book will create a snowball effect where the courage of people sharing their stories and reporting assault will inspire others to do the same.
When my mum asked for my help putting this book together, I was immediately on board. While I’m not too familiar with the subject matter, as a writer I always love to encourage people to share their stories. I’m a big believer that everyone’s voice matters and that our stories will speak to people. Stories can inspire, encourage, teach, challenge, comfort, uplift, and most of all, stories can let people know they’re not alone.
I don’t want a single person to feel like they can’t share their story. I don’t want people to feel too ashamed or too afraid to speak. I don’t want sexual and indecent assault to be taboo. This book is all about sharing our voices to help others. Survivors of assault may feel like they don’t have a voice, but I want them to know they do and it is powerful. It is inspirational and it can give something good to others.
Not only do survivors tend to feel like they can’t speak up, but people who have never experienced assault can also feel like they can’t talk about this topic. We fear the awkwardness. We fear saying the wrong thing. We fear the unpleasant thoughts and feelings it may bring up. And all this contributes to survivors feeling like they can never talk about it.
Let’s change this. Let’s push through the fear and awkwardness, and speak anyway because it might just help someone.
In this book you will find courageous people sharing their accounts of sexual and indecent assault, encouraging messages for survivors, and some information about what options survivors have. These come in the form of stories, interviews, poems, blog posts, letters, and artwork.
After almost 5 months of seeking contributors, there are 39 people from 14 countries, ranging in age from 18 to 62, included in this book.
What I’ve learnt from collecting stories of sexual and indecent assault is this:
- Everyone’s story is different. Some stories involved strangers, some involved family members. Some were one-off occasions, some went on for years. Some were subtle, some were violent. I was surprised by the range of stories and it showed me that sexual and indecent assault can’t be put in a box. People might hear someone’s story and think, ‘oh, that doesn’t count,’ or, ‘that’s not as bad as…’ But I’ve learnt not to dismiss any person’s story. No matter what the circumstances, sexual and indecent assault is real, confusing, frightening, and a big deal.
- Everyone’s journey is different. Some people have healed from their experience and moved on with their lives. Some are taking steps to walk forward and are on the road to recovery. Some are struggling daily and don’t feel they can ever recover or move on. It can be easy from the outside to think people should just ‘get over it,’ to wonder ‘why can’t they just know their worth,’ and to judge them, thinking ‘they’re not even making an effort to move on.’ But I’ve learnt not to judge any person’s journey. Every survivor is doing the best they can and they could do with support, not criticism.
- Though everyone’s story and journey is different, each person shared their voice because they have a heart to help survivors. They know the importance of survivors telling their stories and they have found the courage to share theirs. I admire their hearts and their courage, and I’m thankful for the insights they have given into what it is like for them to be a survivor of sexual and indecent assault. They have given me greater understanding and empathy for survivors.
I hope their voices encourage many people.
Feel free to share this book on your blogs/social media to help us spread the word and help as many survivors as possible.
Thank you to all the amazing contributors for sharing their stories. They all received a complimentary copy of the book.
If you would like to buy a copy, just go to the Amazon website for your country for the ebook. For the pdf book, pay $5 to firstname.lastname@example.org via paypal. Send me the receipt with the reference Please Tell. Direct deposit is also accepted for Aussies, contact me for details.