In 2004, writer Anne K. Ream and photographer Patricia Evans embarked on a unique multicountry, multiyear journey. Their goal was to document the stories of a global community of gender-based violence survivors who have been shaped – but refuse to be defined – by what they have lived through.
Anne and Patricias’ journey resulted in the creation of The Voices and Faces Project, an award-winning non-profit storytelling initiative, and Anne’s book Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors (Beacon, 2014). Part personal history of Anne’s own experience rebuilding her life after violence, part memoir of a journey spent listening to the moving stories of over 100 survivors, Lived Through This is at once deeply personal and resolutely political. Written with compassion, candor and at times even much needed humor, her book introduces the reader to some of these survivors, among others: the women of Atenco, Mexico, victims of rape and political torture at the hands of the police; Beth Adubato, a woman who was raped by a popular athlete and then denied justice when her college failed to fully investigate the attack; and Jenny and Steve Bush, a rape survivor and her father who are working together to share Jenny’s testimony of surviving rape at the hands of a veteran in order to alter the U.S. military’s response to sexual violence committed by those in its ranks.
Lived Through This is about listening to—and learning from—sexual violence survivors. The accomplished, courageous, and deeply human women and men she writes about are, in the words of the author, “living reminders of all that remains possible in the wake of the terrible.”
Anne K. Ream is a Chicago-based writer and founder of The Voices and Faces Project (www.voicesandfaces.org), an award-winning documentary storytelling initiative created to bring the stories of survivors of gender based violence to the attention of the public. Ream’s essays and opinion pieces have been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The New Republic and other publications. She is the co-creator and workshop facilitator for “The Stories We Tell,” North America’s first testimonial writing program for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence and trafficking.
“Heart-stopping, beautifully rendered stories of survivors powerfully illustrating the notion that when we tell our stories, we change the story."
Author of In the Body of the World
“Ream’s greatest accomplishment is the book's considerable humanism, giving each survivor a three-dimensional life and personality that transcends the stigma too often attached to rape. Each individual story commands attention; assembled as a collection, they positively demand it."
“Anne Ream has turned a deeply personal trauma into a rallying call for survivors of gender-related abuse. The range of individuals profiled in Lived Through This shatter every stereotype imaginable about those who are targets of abuse, and how they came to be so. This is one author who understands that the struggle to end abuse is not about gender, but about common humanity."
Author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War and co-founder of Man Up Campaign
“The atrocity of sexual abuse as told by a captivating, diverse collective of survivors… A sad reality graced with hope, humanity and compassion."
“Anne Ream is a warrior. This book is her sword and shield. The battle for sexual-assault survivors' dignity, and the reclamation of their God-given right to live without fear, is won with these brave and bold stories. It's a must read for anyone who has ever known a survivor of sexual assault or is a survivor themselves."
Editor of Note To Self: 30 Women On Hardship, Heartbreak, Humiliation And Overcoming It All
“Anne K. Ream poignantly shows that sexual violence isn’t about statistics, it’s about survival. The courage of the survivors in Lived Through This will inspire you and leave you wanting to do more to end the violence that touches nearly every family in America."
President & founder of RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
“In Lived Through This Anne Ream has created a series of profiles that vividly bring to life the ways that survivors are creating change in their communities. This is a book that requires that we stop, listen and truly bear witness. This is crucial because when we miss the opportunity to listen we unknowingly create the silence that pushes these life stories into the darkness. It is time that the darkness is no longer tolerated. And Lived Through This is an important step toward bringing back the light."
CEO, Joyful Heart Foundation
“Lived Through This should be required reading for all of us who work within the fields of counseling, advocacy, justice and law enforcement. It is one thing to read a book, take a class or in some fashion learn academically about sexual assault. It is another to be profoundly moved and educated about the complex depth of the impact of sexual assault through the courageous life stories of these women. I am in awe and so grateful they have shared of their lives to create this book as a resource."
VP of Clinical Programs, Joyful Heart Foundation
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