Read After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine Online


"Silence has the rusty taste of shame. The words shut up are the most terrible words I know. . . . The man who raped me spat these words out over and over during the hours of my attack--when I screamed, when I tried to talk him out of what he was doing, when I protested. It seemed to me that for seven years--until at last I spoke--these words had sunk into my soul and beco"Silence has the rusty taste of shame. The words shut up are the most terrible words I know. . . . The man who raped me spat these words out over and over during the hours of my attack--when I screamed, when I tried to talk him out of what he was doing, when I protested. It seemed to me that for seven years--until at last I spoke--these words had sunk into my soul and become prophecy. And it seems to me now that these words, the brutish message of tyrants, preserve the darkness that still covers this pervasive crime. The real shame, as I have learned, is to consent to them."After Silence is Nancy Venable Raine's eloquent,  profoundly moving response to her rapist's command to "shut up," a command that is so often echoed by society and internalized by rape victims. Beginning with her assault by a stranger in her home in 1985, Raine's riveting narrative of the ten-year aftermath of her rape brings to light the truth that survivors of traumatic experiences know--a trauma does not end when you find yourself alive.        Just as devastating as the rape itself was the silence that shrouded it, a silence born of her own feelings of shame as well as the incomprehension of others. Raine gives shape, form, and voice to the "unspeakable" and exposes the misconceptions and cruelties that surround this prevalent though hidden crime. With formidable power and in intimate detail, she probes the long-term psychological and physiological aftereffects of rape, its tangled sexual confusions, the treatment of rape by the media and the legal and medical professions, and contemporary cultural views of victimhood.        For anyone, female or male, who has suffered from or witnessed the shattering effects of rape, After Silence inspires and points the way to healing. This landmark book is a stunning literary achievement that is a testimony to the power of language to transform the worst sort of violation and suffering into meaning and into art....

Title : After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780609804193
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 278 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back Reviews

  • Taylor Anna
    2019-03-24 10:11

    I'm writing this review a year after reading it, and two months after a group of strange men broke into my apartment in the middle of the night and raped me in front of my two year old daughter. In essence, this book quite possibly saved my life, and my daughter's. I began reading it while attempting to process previous experiences with sexual harassment and acquaintance rape. What occurs in the early part of this book, almost immediately, is this woman's very raw account of a man breaking into her apartment and brutally violating her. What follows is her reaction, the impact, the toll it took on her life. I remember internalizing her response to the rape, and it's after affects, and I remember drawing on that as a reference point for what was happening to me, while it was happening. In the midst of being brutally assaulted, I was lucid, imprisoned in my head, plotting how I was going to make sure I caught these motherfuckers, and how I would respond. This book empowered me to take ownership and control in ways I didn't even know was possible after rape. And more importantly, it empowered me to not be silent - to be loud, and fight like hell. And that has made all the difference.

  • Amy
    2019-04-03 09:59

    The single most important book written about rape. This book is profoundly insightful into not only the immediate and long term effects of rape, but also, the societal myths regarding this so called "unspeakable" crime which happens all too often. This book should be read by anyone who is a survivor, who has a loved one who is a survivor, who works with survivors, or who simply wants further insight into the psychological and emotional ramifications of rape and the pervading myths which surround this unacceptable, inexcusable act of violence. This book will either resonate deeply within you, or open your eyes to some very raw, but very real and prevalent occurences. (Sorry for the run-ons, but I simply cannot say enough about this amazing book.)

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-01 09:02

    Even in this day and age, there's still an underlying attitude in society that when a woman or man is raped, it's their fault for being "provocative". After Silence is the story of someone who wants people to look past the disturbing act forcefully inflicted on her, and who wants them to see her as a strong and courageous human being. Honest and emotional, this book is one that will stay with you long after you read it.

  • courtney
    2019-04-11 08:01

    Nancy Venable Raines' After Silence is a great consideration of the difficulties of reconciling the raped self with the un-raped self. She dedicates a great deal of attention to the inconsistency of language surrounding rape and the (incomplete) evolution of attitudes toward rape -- its victims and perpetrators. She uses her position as a survivor of rape to trace the "journey back" and to record the work of others, particularly Judith Herman, in this field. She fights -- and I use the word "fight" rather than "struggle" or "try" -- she fights to defend herself from a culture that victimizes victims again and again. She fights to share her story and to establish the distinction between sex and rape. She fights to free herself of the guilt victims of rape are made to bear. She handles this subject carefully and honestly. Her language is graceful and direct. I recommend this book to survivors of rape or sexual trauma and for anyone who knows or cares about these people.

  • Kay Katie
    2019-04-22 11:28

    "Rape does not end when you find yourself alive." This book was as moving as it was healing. Like "Lucky," by Alice Seabold, "After Silence" is one of the most compelling memoirs I've ever read about the aftermath of living with the horrors of rape, and how to return to the real world. Both of these books have become my daily devotionals.

  • Lynn Tolson
    2019-04-01 11:14

    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.

  • Shannon
    2019-03-26 09:15

    This brings up a few very good points about the way rape is treated socially. How people don't want to discuss it, really, because it is so horrifying to them... but this kind of "silences" the victims, so to speak, in that it just makes them feel MORE shamed. Stuff like that. So.. it's a good and sad/true point to make... and one that I thought was examined very interestingly. Though the book is a memoir and is just meant to be one person's personal experience with sexual assault, the author mentions a lot of research done regarding all kinds of issues related to rape, and it's really interesting. It's also well written.. and has a good closing chapter.

  • Heather
    2019-04-23 12:21

    I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. It was a little different from other memoirs on rape I have read in that the author did research for this book and inserted her comments on various studies and court cases that came out while she was going through her "journey." This is a great book and the author has some excellent insights.

  • Debora
    2019-04-04 14:58

    Incredibly brave book - author puts her heart and soul into a recovery journey. Intelligent, articulate, powerful and important. Should be shared with anyone who has been a victim of a violent crime.

  • Kristen
    2019-04-21 09:23

    It is really interesting and truely insightful as to a woman's journey back from the depths of self-destruction after her rape. Truly good for all those working in the advocacy arena.

  • Kayla Argeropoulos
    2019-03-31 08:15

    After Silence is an eloquently-written memoir of one woman's experience of rape and the emotional, physical, and mental effects of the abuse. Venable Raine illustrates the long-term consequences of rape, including the need to "build a new life", almost as if a survivor needs to reincarnate in order to survive. The post-traumatic stress survivors endure, how the memories of the rape shape their entire lives. This book is an important read because although in our society we acknowledge how important rape prevention really is, we seldom look at the long-term consequences and its effects on survivors and society. After Silence also looks at why rapists do what they do, and how we could prevent it.

  • Amber
    2019-04-05 15:00

    If I could get everyone to read one non-fiction book, this would be it. Sadly, I know that the only people who will actually read it are the victims, survivors, and the people who treat us. People don't want to read or think about these terrible things. They avoid them and post trigger warnings and I completely understand why. But I also know what it feels like to be silent and to be silenced and that is what this book is about.Never has a survivor's story so closely matched my own thoughts, feelings, and strangely enough, my own experiences. Reading this book opened a flood gate of painful memories but it also made me feel less alone and less "crazy". As a survivor, I have always felt like I'm walking on the edge of sanity. I didn't realize that was such a common feeling.The first criticism I often heard regarding this book is that some people believe Nancy uses too many big words. I would argue that Nancy is a fine writer and poet. Her writing style is intimate and vivid. I could not put the book down and I often read it aloud. I think it's meant to be read aloud.The other criticism I see thrown at this book is that it needs a trigger warning. The title of this book, the word "rape" is right there, should be enough to let someone know they made read something unpleasant, something triggering. I find neither criticism compelling nor valid.If I could make you read this, I would.

  • Jane Rowan
    2019-04-17 12:10

    After Silence impressed me in two ways: Raine’s vivid descriptions of the many effects of rape on her life, and the way she details the process of silencing. Society does not want rape (or child abuse) victims to tell their stories. Friends ask them to “get over it,” or “not carry it around” — as if someone who suffers an experience like that can just shed it like a wool coat and walk around being “normal.”After Raine published an account of her rape in The New York Times Magazine, she attended an up-scale dinner. A woman complimented her on her writing but then said, “But let’s face it, no one wants to hear such terrible things.” Raine bravely describes how this remark stopped her for weeks — her writing ground to a halt, her confidence lost. Instance after instance from her own life and from the press all show how strongly, even violently, people shy away from knowing about “such terrible things.”For those of us who have survived terrible things, it’s all the more important to get our stories out there to let society know that we are here and we are not going to fade out quietly.

  • Lum Sao Ying
    2019-04-13 08:01

    Lovely prose.. Raine weaves physiological, sociological and biographical discourse together in a way that is really enlightening. There is a lot I will take away from this book in my understanding of how we relate to life in general (experiencing trauma as a kind of death, how we relate to others, etc.), the many nuances of how people interact with victims of sexual assault, and how the brain chemistry is often permanently altered after the flood of chemicals sent out during extreme trauma (why people can't "get over it" and "go back to normal" because there the past self is gone permanently). However, it was a bit hard to get through because for the purpose of biography she sometimes left in things that were redundant and in my opinion detracted from the overall power of her book. It was also personally hard to get through because I work around this everyday, so coming home and reading this made me even more stressed out. It's definitely worth a read.

  • Robert Uttaro
    2019-03-29 09:25

    This book is vulnerable, honest, heart-breaking, empowering and inspirational. Nancy Venable Raine takes you on a journey through ups and downs, victim blaming, compassion and healing. She explains how she was raped and how she was treated afterwards. This book shows how the way we treat others can help or hurt in the healing process of survivors. After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back is a valuable tool in a world that suffers from sexual violence. -Robert Uttaro, author of To the Survivors

  • Melodie
    2019-03-24 12:08

    It has been a while since I read this, so my recollection isn't as fresh as it could be. What I do remember is the emotion it evoked. I recall having my awareness heightened--possibly not in a good way. Unfortunately, as a woman, I have always been "aware," especially of dark streets, energies of strangers, and certain situations, but this book brought an expansion to that. Initially, I struggled with the fear aspect (even taking out the trash became an ordeal) but, overall, I was left feeling impressed with her courage, and inspired by her healing.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-11 15:08

    I hope that someday, those who have been through this, will be allowed to openly talk about it without criticism from others, especially other women. She went through so much, not only that day in 1985 but also in the years after that with how others treated her for wanting to talk about what happened to her. I am going to go back through the book to take down notes on articles and stuff that I want to read.

  • Madeleine Black
    2019-04-07 09:05

    I read this book many years ago before I had found my own voice and was able to speak out about being gang raped. It was such a powerful read to me and at that stage in my life I was amazed by her honesty and her fight to get back to her un raped self to be fully alive. I understand so well about the shame and stigma and how it can silence victims of rape. The more of us that find our voice and speak out the better to help the shame, stigma and silence that surrounds sexual violence.

  • Angie Schwartz
    2019-03-31 11:16

    I believe that everyone should read this book. Raine did a perfect job of walking the reader through the trauma and aftermath of rape. So important for even those who aren't survivors. She gave the gift of understanding. Not big on the writing style but more of the message she gave throughout the book. Thumbs up.

  • Liz
    2019-04-21 11:06

    This harrowing book describes both how difficult and how important it is for survivors of rape to try to integrate that horrific experience into their lives and reach a point where it is a part of their life instead of the primary event of it. This book is very raw and affecting. It is likely to be triggery for other survivors of rape.

  • Kathy F.
    2019-04-01 15:20

    I started reading this book shortly after I was raped. While it was hard to read, I think the author did a great job. I told my mom to read it and she was better able to understand more of what I was experiencing than she otherwise would have. I think all people, especially those who have friends or family members who were raped, should read this book.

  • Danielle
    2019-04-02 15:17

    It was hard to read this while down the shore with friends- but i am so glad i did. This book did not remInd me of the author scribbling in her diary about her flashbacks and memories. It included occasional (though outdated) statistics. I quite like this author- she was neither self-pitying nor bitter. She helped me feel less alone in a way. I was emotionally moved by her memoir.

  • Lilia Martinez
    2019-04-19 13:01

    This book is very inspirational after being brutally raped she still had the aspiration to continue living. She fought this battle and didn't let this destroy her which is very ironic for this to occur. As I read this book it made me realize many things also helped view life in a different perspective. You get a lot from this book even though it's very devastating.

  • Lauralee Moss
    2019-04-13 15:00

    Many reviewers have said how helpful this book is for friends and family of rape survivors. I will add that this book was helpful to me as a teacher, when I have students discuss their pasts. It gave me a clearer understanding.

  • Robin
    2019-03-25 07:25

    Very impressive book. The discussion of the place rape plays in culture and the silencing of victims really is a very important topic that should be discussed more often.

  • Angela
    2019-04-08 13:15

    This book helped me to come to terms with the experiences in my own life that I had to deal with and am still dealing with since October 14, 2006.

  • Joe
    2019-03-31 11:00

    Alarming and eye opening. Love is felt and empathized towards Nancy and her victimization.

  • Kim
    2019-03-30 07:11

    A beautifully and honest about the trauma and recovery from rape.

  • Skye
    2019-04-07 09:20

    Excellent, important book. What a brave woman.

  • Marie
    2019-04-07 08:10

    Sad, but inspiring, story about a woman's recovery from a rape.