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After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  331 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
"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 ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published August 3rd 1999 by Broadway Books (first published 1998)
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Mar 28, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Apr 16, 2008 courtney rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Rebecca McNutt
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.
Kay Katie
Mar 05, 2013 Kay Katie rated it it was amazing
"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
Jun 25, 2011 Lynn Tolson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, sexual-abuse
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 feeling
Taylor Anna
Apr 13, 2016 Taylor Anna rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jun 02, 2008 Shannon rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women, men, others
Recommended to Shannon by: my mom
Shelves: memoirs
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 ...more
May 17, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 29, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elizabeth
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.
Lilia Martinez
Oct 14, 2016 Lilia Martinez rated it it was amazing
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.
May 02, 2013 Amber rated it it was amazing
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, fee
Jane Rowan
Jan 18, 2011 Jane Rowan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
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
Jul 16, 2010 Kira rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
Robert Uttaro
May 09, 2014 Robert Uttaro rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 20, 2013 Melodie rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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.
Angie Schwartz
Jun 05, 2013 Angie Schwartz rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 02, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: survivorship
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.
Aug 11, 2011 Kathy F. rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 20, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
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.
Lauralee Moss
Apr 14, 2013 Lauralee Moss rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 10, 2012 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: therapy, 2012
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.
May 24, 2008 Angela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every woman who has ever been raped
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.
Oct 30, 2009 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
An amazing and resourceful book. I think all men and women need to read this book to understand the shadows of our culture.
Ashlee Foster (Tidwell)
It was hard to get through just because of her writing style. It was a good book and I'm glad I read it, but it didn't go as quickly as I would have liked
Dec 16, 2009 Marion rated it it was amazing
Part sociological, part memoir, this is an excellent book about how rape is silenced in our society and about how one woman copes with her survival.
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Nov 25, 2011 Melissa Lee-Tammeus rated it it was amazing
A woman's account of her rape and the psychological aftermath of such an event. Everyone should read this book in my opinion - it's honest and heart-wrenching and is a story that needs to be heard.
Acacia Ives
Acacia Ives rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2016
Lisa Malone
Lisa Malone rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2013
Ashley Gay
Ashley Gay rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2014
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