Customer Reviews for

After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Intelligent and Insightful

    After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine is a memoir that is well-written and emotionally charged. In the introduction, the author says that the police told her that she "was lucky not to have been murdered." That is how horrible it is to be raped: it is a crime so heinous as to be associated with murder. However, the author did not feel lucky. She felt alone, especially since rape is shrouded in silence, shame, and stigma.

    It's the victim that carries those negative feelings, and Raine explains the emotional capacity of a rape victim in heart wrenching detail. Fear is the most obvious, superseding other feelings no matter the occasion. Fear and the fear of fear rises, taking up a permanent place in the psyche that did not exist before the rape. Raine develops a "before" identity and an "after" identity, and can never get back to the woman who had not been raped.

    Raine digs deep into her psyche and the culture to explore both the individual and the society in the context of sexual violence. Throughout this thought-provoking book, Raine weaves commentary by using a variety of references, such as fiction and its treatment of rape scenes as well as literature from psychology. She writes about PTSD, quoting Judith Herman's Trauma and Recovery extensively. Raine explains, "For traumatic experience, 'forgetting' is impossible, yet 'remembering' s the last thing you want to do." Her exploration into her self is painful, yet anyone who reads this will benefit from her insight and intelligence.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2000

    After Silence

    Nancy Raine¿s After Silence, her firsthand account of her rape and her life after the rape, is compelling, illuminating, and essential reading. Brutally honest, Nancy shares her private story of surviving and recovering from rape. Raine helps her readers understand the severe and often lifelong psychological consequences of being victimized, the ambivalent reactions of other people to rape survivors, and the personal anguish in recovering from being raped. Raine elucidates her feelings of helplessness and terror during the rape, her treatment by the legal and medical system, other people¿s reactions to her rape, and her social and emotional isolation after the rape. She leads us through her coming to terms with the rape, with the 'new person' she feels she becomes, with other people¿s reactions, and with her post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Through Raine¿s words, we watch a severely traumatized woman learn to regain control of her life and learn to trust and love again. Raine¿s book raises many important questions: Why the shame of being a victim of rape? Why is the victim blamed? Why do some people still think that rape is ¿assault with a friendly weapon?¿ Why people¿s ambivalent reactions to rape? Why the silence? Raine decided to end the silence about rape by bravely sharing her story with the world. Why should she be ashamed? She is the victim; she did nothing wrong. She purposely and insistently breaks the taboos about rape to try to pave the path for rape victims to speak out about this abominable and prevalent crime. Books like After Silence are necessary to combat the public¿s denial and apathy about the pervasiveness and seriousness of sexual crimes on women. After Silence can also help rape survivors understand that they are not alone and that their reactions to being raped are ¿normal.¿ The general public should read the book so they can better understand the experience of being raped and life after rape. Hopefully the public and the legal system will learn to more supportive to rape survivors and more committed to ending (sexual) violence against women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2000

    I couldn't give it as many stars as it deserves....

    This book, a tragic commentary on the reality of rape, was wonderful in words, in spirit. I read this book hoping for healing for my own sexual assualt, and through her words, her own journey, I found that I too had the strength to go on. I recommend this book to anyone who is the victum of sexual assualt, or anyone who loves a victum.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    Validation

    For anyone who has fought there way back from the attack of demons, or who are still in the mist of battle. This book is not only for victims of rape.I am a survivor of life threatening abuse and it validated my feelings of gripping insanity. It helped me understand. It will also be invaluable to the ones who love those living with the nightmare.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Important, Well-Written Personal Account

    Ms. Rain’s personal account of her assault, recovery, and healing impresses me. I like this work even better than similar accounts because she writes in such a personal but never bitter or mean way about a life threatening attack. This is much more than a self-help book for recovering victims but a major point of imact for all of us who treasure fairness, justice, and healing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2003

    Liz Kent Low Fiber Book Reviews

    Absolutly brilliant! Nancy objectively discusses rape from historical and psychological angles while relating the story of her own nigthmarish attack and her long journey back to mental health. Points of interest include her observation that what was once called 'hysteria' would now be properly classified as PTSD. She also discusses Freud's betrayal of women. But her single most important theme is that silence is corrosive. Or as the AIDS awareness literature of the 80's stated so astutely: Silence = Death.

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    Posted February 3, 2013

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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