The inspiration for a book addressing sexual and indecent assaults (contributors welcome)

Hi there – I’m JD’s (very proud) mum.

Recently a man who is a leader in my local community manipulated circumstances so that I was alone in the bush with him in his car. Over the course of a couple of hours he indecently assaulted me & refused to take me home when I asked him to. It was pretty unpleasant, but I guess it could have been much worse.

The few weeks immediately after the event were probably more challenging than the assault itself. I felt violated and unable to talk to my friends about it because I was concerned about being sued for defamation. Eventually I reported the assault to the police. With my consent they questioned the man about my report & he agreed that the assault occurred as I had described. He stepped down from his leadership position.

This is a simplified version of the story – it was far more stressful and drawn out than I can describe in a couple of paragraphs.

What has struck me since then has been that whenever I’ve told any of my girlfriends or family about my experience almost everyone has said ‘I’ve never told anyone about this, but…’ and they’ve gone on to tell me about their experience of sexual or indecent assault.

I can’t believe how many girls and women have had similar experiences but we don’t seem to talk about it!

Until this event occurred I was unaware about the current, very helpful reporting laws we have in Australia. These days it’s much harder for blokes to get away with this sort of behaviour, but none of the girls or women I’ve talked to have been aware of the new laws or the advantages of reporting the assault to police.

Girls and women need to be more comfortable talking about these matters and more familiar with how to manage them.

So, I asked Juni to help me put together a book of accounts of sexual and indecent assaults. We’d love to have your contributions.

Please tell. We’d like to hear about your experience. What we’re looking for is not so much a great deal of detail about the event necessarily but rather what happened afterwards.

How did it make you feel about yourself? Did you tell anyone? Why? Why not? Did you seek redress? Why?  Why not?  Do you wish you’d done anything differently?  What would you like other girls to learn from the experience.? What would you now advise your younger self?

Anything along those lines…

Thanks for thinking about contributing. It won’t be easy for everyone, but maybe telling our stories will make it easier for other girls.

How to submit your story

Girls and women of any age may share their story in any format: story, poem, lyrics, blog post, artwork.

You can be anonymous and you can change names or any other identifying details in your story. It doesn’t matter how long ago your experience with sexual assault happened; all stories welcome.

  • Email your story to wordslikesilk@gmail.com or blog it and share the link to the post with me.
  • The 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. Under 18s will need parental permission.

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.

For more info about this book, check out this post: Working on a new book: Request for submissions

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