This book tells the story of fifteen women who survived a sexual assault, all of them attacked by the same serial rapist. It tells the story of their survival, and is based on extensive interviews with the fifteen women.
The interviews illustrate how each stage of the process following the attack became an exercise in survival – surviving the assault, managing police interviewing, surviving and coping with going to court, surviving all the many impacts on their lives, and also managing how those close to them were affected.
The picture that emerges demonstrates that surviving rape is not a one-off event but a continual process. The different procedures and aspects each pose their own challenges as the victims/survivors manage the various and on-going intrusions and encounters that follow in the aftermath of rape.
This book presents their stories – the losses and the triumphs, the battles and the victories. Their accounts make both their fear and courage palpable. They demonstrate the many diverse ways in which a sexual attack can impact, not only on the woman herself but on her partner, parents, children, friends, neighbours – all of us. For when one woman is raped, a whole community hurts. That is why we need to understand so much more deeply the impacts of rape, and why we must do all we can to minimise its occurrence.