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Dear Sister

Dear Sister: Letters From Survivors of Sexual Violence

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Dear Sister shares the lessons, memories, and vision of over fifty artists, activists, mothers, writers, and students who share their stories of survival or what it means to be an advocate and ally to survivors. Written in an epistolary format, this multi-generational, multi-ethnic collection of letters and essays is a moving journey into the hearts and minds of the survivors of rape, incest, and other forms of sexual violence, written directly to and for other survivors.

Dear Sister goes far beyond traditional books about healing that use “experts” to explain the experience of survivors to the rest of the world. Here, we learn what the world looks like through the eyes of a survivor. From a professor in the Midwest to a poet in Belgium, an escapee from a child prostitution ring, an advocate in the Congo, and a sex worker in San Francisco, Dear Sister touches on issues of feminism, love, disability, gender, justice, identity, and spirituality.

Praise for Dear Sister:

“This chilling, heartbreaking, and necessary collection consists of letters from 40 artists, activists, writers, and students, who are survivors of sexual assault and here offer counsel to ‘sister’ survivors. Every story is shadowed by the teller’s sense of shame, brokenness, depression, and pain, but at the same time, in anticipation of the addressees’ experience of sexual assault, the letters also offer comfort, solidarity, reassurance, the possibility of healing, and testimony of survival.”—Publishers Weekly

“There is nothing on earth more changeful than telling our stories honestly, and listening to the stories of others with an open heart. That’s especially true for survivors of sexualized violence who’ve been silenced by shame. These 50 brave Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence will open floodgates of memory, expose body-invasion as the most traumatic of crimes, and show victimizers the roots and damage of their acts. I’m very grateful to Lisa Factora-Borchers for editing this book, to Aishah Shahida Simmons whose foreword sets a high bar of honesty, and to all the voices in it. I think you will be, too.”—Gloria Steinem

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