This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Marissa F. Cohen has chosen an unusual way to share her own story, and that of twenty other victims/survivors of sexual abuse, or as she prefers to see them, “warriors,” in Breaking Through the Silence:The Journey to Surviving Sexual Assault. The author weaves the stories of these 20 contributing warriors in and out of her own memoir, simply titled “Author’s Story” to alert readers each time one or more warrior stories ends, and her own resumes. It’s an interesting approach. Furthermore, as each shorter warrior story ends, she includes first person accounts by professionals who work with abuse victims to give readers further insights into aspects and issues raised by the writer of that preceding story. These professionals include police, nurses, social workers, support people, advocates and more, and by the time one finishes reading, it is glaringly apparent how much work must yet go into raising awareness of how and why sexual abuse occurs, and the need to educate children as they grow into puberty. Our young people need to learn how to stand up for, and protect themselves in a society where “boys will be boys” and where parents too often dismiss or refuse to believe what an abused teen tells them.
But it is each warrior’s own approach to coping with their past that will be of greatest support to those who choose to read Breaking Through the Silence. These readers are most likely other victims of abuse, those whose fear, shame, the belief that they are to blame, or who have that hopeless sense that even if a case does go to court, they’ll never win. This is where each warrior’s words have the greatest impact: “Victim mentality…I think that’s the most crippling part of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and rape. Once you take control of it, you are no longer weak and powerless. Take control of your own life, and then every success is a bigger success because you took it into your own hands.”
Or consider the words of this warrior, who chooses to look at blame in a positive way: “The day that I realized that this was my fault was when I realized that I allowed myself to disrespect myself; the men were doing what I was allowing them to do. Once you realize that you have a weakness, you have the power to gain the strength.”
And in light of the current #MeToo campaign, here’s a very powerful statement that force readers to look at the abuse from a completely different angle: “Women can’t do this on our own, because women want to be loved and desired and wanted. In addition to wanting to be respected, they want to be desired.”
How true! And how important that not just women, but men help to turn things around: “You have to have men join you as part of the effort to stop abuse. All it takes is for good people to do something.”
There are good people of all genders out there, just as there are victims of all genders. The twenty warriors who have had the courage to share their stories, along with the author, are part of a rising movement as more and more victims come forward in books, blogs, within private groups and in the media. There cannot be too much of this kind of activity…just too little. Somehow, those who know the truth must break through the silence and tell their stories. Bravo, Marissa F. Cohen, and your warriors for doing so.