Tag Archives: healing

Dear Sister Excerpt in UTNE: Childbearing 101 for Sexual Abuse Survivors

IMG_4301It’s difficult to express how great it is to see excerpts of the anthology featured in different publications. But when this particular piece by Brooke Benoit made its way onto UTNE, a special gratitude coursed through.  Brooke’s piece is about the birthing process for survivors of sexual violence.  It’s a terrific piece and a topic that is so rarely addressed. If it gets enough traffic, this essay will be included in their print version and reach even more readers, so PLEASE go give some time to this article and push the traffic!

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Respond to the Dear Sister Anthology with Your Own Work!

The book trailer is finished! Take a look here for the video with an invitation to submit your own response to the Dear Sister Anthology in either word or clip!

Here are your options:

1. Write a piece for this website!  Submit a letter (no more than 1000 words) to dearsisteranthology@gmail.com.  You can use links, photos, poetry, or any creative nonfiction style to express hope and strength about survival.  The central focus is on hope, no re-telling of trauma, so be sure to center your work on what you would another survivor to know.

2. Submit a video response, or a creative work using film.  Use the tag on Vimeo or YouTube (Dear Sister) or if you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #DearSister.  Videos should be no longer than 1 minute and we encourage you to be as creative as possible!  Tell a story, share a poem, sing a song, express your hope, create a slideshow, explore animation or other film artistry to tell your uplifting message.

Other ways to support the anthology:

-Buy the book!  Gift it to yourself, a friend, a stranger.  Leave it in coffee shops, waiting areas of gas stations, dentist offices, or on a park bench.  Donate it to local coalitions, non profits, your local library.  Circulatethe work and make sure it gets to the places where it needs to go.  It’s available at AK Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

-Give it a review! (We’re sure it’ll be a great one, of course 🙂 ) Go on Amazon, GoodReads, or Barnes and Noble and rate it with comments.  Tell others how it was helpful and why they should read it.

-Use it in book clubs!  April is sexual assault awareness month, but you don’t need a specific time to talk about issues of power, relationships, healing, and justice.  The editor of the anthology, Lisa Factora-Borchers, can also SKYPE into one of your meetings to talk about the genesis of the project and contribute to your group discussion.

-Circulate the news on social media!  Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Four Square to spread the news about this collection.  Got a blog?  Write a review of the book, or tell people what you think about it.  Write an Op-Ed for your local paper about what you think the community needs to do to better address issues of healing and safety for survivors in your community.

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Dear Sister Anthology News! It’s Going to be Published!

It’s something of a miracle to write this piece of news: I’ve accepted an offer to publish the Dear Sister anthology.

I’d like to say that the road was high and long, but that’d be a lie.  There was no road.  There was only an organic hope and prayer that this project would lead by its own light.  There was no path, just a community of supporters with bottomless wells of patience.  There was no foundation, just a lot of hands to help shape it into the manuscript it is today.

For the past twelve years, I have thought about rape everyday.  Every day it has crossed my mind in some fashion.  Whether it was working with a client, yelling at the television when a politician made an asinine remark, or closing my eyes as more stories invaded my conscience, reminding me that  violence, ignorance, oppressive forces, and misogyny are, sadly, everywhere.  There’s no escaping it.

I wish I could anthologize a book that ended sexual violence.  I wish I could have pieced together a preventative book that outlined 1-2-3 steps to protect communities or a blueprint on how to teach that sexual activity can be good, wonderful, and amazing when consent is clearly given.  But, I can’t write that book.  I don’t think anyone can.  Instead, I created a book for the aftermath.  A book that doesn’t pretend. A book about survival.  It is a collection of stories and letters for the survivors who have not yet found their way from survivors who somehow did.  Dear Sister is the letter no one wants to write, but so many need to recieve.

Listening, believing, uplifting survivors is the only way forward.  Our political and societal ethos have created an illusory world where rape is inevitable, almost permissible, making us believe that we have to accept the violence, exist in fear, and criminalize the survivor to make order of the chaos.  Rape culture tells us that this is the real world and we must exist in it. Abide by it.

I, for one, want out.  This is one step toward the exit sign.

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