I believe everyone’s voice matters. In this next book I’m working on, the importance of people speaking up and sharing their stories is even greater.
This book will be in the same sort of style as my last two books (Fall in Love with Writing and To and From: Mother) where I included over 100 contributors as they shared their experiences with writing and motherhood.
In this next book the topic is sexual and indecent assault. The aim is to:
- Encourage girls and women to speak up about their experiences so they’ll know they’re not alone
- Provide information about what options you have if you are assaulted.
My mum was inspired to create this book after she had an experience of sexual assault. She found the courage to take action to protect herself and others by speaking up about it and taking it to the authorities. After sharing her experience with other women, she was surprised by how many of them said things like, ‘I’ve never told anyone this, but something like that happened to me too.’
She realised so many others have gone through similar experiences but that no-one is talking about it. We would like to change that.
Sexual and indecent assault can be a taboo topic but when it is kept in silence, people who have experienced it can suffer. They might feel hurt, confused, ashamed, scared, and, most of all, alone. We want to create a book where girls and women who have been sexually assaulted can safely share their stories and let others know they’re not alone.
Mum hopes that this will create a snowball effect and that not one person will feel like they have to keep what happened to them a secret. The hope is that by you sharing your stories, it will inspire other to share theirs.
Mum also wants girls and women to know what options they have so they can do something about it if they would like. I imagine this book being a great resource for anyone who has experienced sexual assault.
Share Your Story
So, I know this is scary territory for some, but for any who connected with this post and want to share their stories to help others, I hope you will have the courage to send us your story. By sharing your story, I hope it will also be freeing for you, too, as you realise you’re not alone and that you don’t need to feel any shame.
We are looking for stories from girls and women of any age (under 18’s will need parental permission). You can express your story in any format: story, poem, essay, song, artwork. You don’t need to go into detail about what happened if you don’t want to, as we are more interested in how it made you feel, what you did afterwards, who you told, what advice you have for others, etc.
You can be anonymous and you can change all identifying details, including names. The most important thing is for you to feel safe and comfortable to share your story. It doesn’t matter how long ago the event occurred, we just want your voice to be heard.
How to submit your story
- If you would like to enter your story, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can blog it and share the link to the post with me.
- Our working title is Please Tell, so in the subject line, please write ‘Please Tell.’
- In the body of the email please include your name, age, country, and title of your entry.
- Attach your story as a Word document or your artwork as a jpg file.
If your entry is accepted, you will be notified by email and an entry form will be sent to you for you to sign giving us permission to publish your words.
You will receive a complimentary copy of the book as a pdf if your entry is accepted. An ebook will be available for purchase and possibly a print book.
If you have any questions/suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Feel free to share this post and pass the word around. We’d love to have as many contributions as possible. Your voices matter.
In the next post my mum shares some of her story and more about the inspiration for this book: The inspiration for a book addressing sexual and indecent assaults