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After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back Paperback – August 3, 1999

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Frequently Bought Together

After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back + Resurrection After Rape: A guide to transforming from victim to survivor + I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (August 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609804197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609804193
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

"The words shut up are the most terrible words I know," writes Nancy Venable Raine. "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 took Raine seven years before she could start to remove the chains those words had wrapped around her spirit by writing about how the anonymous assailant had transformed her forever. "I have noted what has come into my view as I go about my life," she says, "seeing the world through the eyes of a woman who remembers rape." Raine brings a poet's attention to language and imagery to her account, infusing After Silence with powerful immediacy. The reader is made to understand why an event as seemingly innocuous as a landlord asking for a spare set of keys to one's apartment can strike dread into one's heart. As Raine takes us through her personal journey of recovery, she also explores the shifting cultural consciousness toward rape, from the acknowledgement of posttraumatic stress suffered by rape victims to the portrayal of rape in movies. It's this willingness to interrogate the world around her, combined with an emotional honesty that portrays intimate drama without resorting to sensationalism, that makes After Silence one of the most important memoirs of the 1990s. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

On October 11, 1992Athe seventh anniversary of her rapeARaine determined that she would write about her assault and recovery. Six years of reflection and wide-ranging research served this talented writer well, for her account, studded with references to everything from Greek myths to government statistics, is fascinating and surprisingly readable. Raine describes the rape itself with remarkable objectivity. Then she describes the many small steps that she, like so many other rape victims, took to cope with the shame and ruptured faith that were the cruel legacy of her attack. After a period of relative isolation, followed by a stretch of believing she had "gotten over it," Raine was hit with intense depression. But the psychotherapy she underwent at the timeAcombined presumably with the writing of this bookAhelped bring her at last to a place where she can voice the pain of her experience, even if she can't erase it. Skillfully interwoven into this narrative are insightful digressions into, for example, the neurological underpinnings of post-traumatic stress disorder and the psychology behind that powerful emotion, shame. Neither self-pitying nor shrill, Raine has achieved an impressive balance between a starkly candid memoir of personal trauma and an ingenious literary discussion of an all-too-often unspeakable crime.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

An exceptional book on a very difficult subject.
Linda Fischer
I could not put the book down and I often read it aloud.
Raine shows us her story, how it echoes in her life.
Janet M Hanson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa Jackson on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
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.
There were an estimated 9 million women raped in the United States alone between 1972 and 1991.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was fantastic. Not only did he help me understand what I am going through, but it also helped my fiance. I just can't explain some of my thoughts and feelings to him and by him reading them in the book and asking me if I felt or did not feel the same it helped us to talk about it and this helps me a lot beacuse it is hard for me to talk about --- not just with him but in general. Raine helps the reader to realize they are not so alone. I had read several books and seen many movies about rape before my rape, but I still feel so alone sometimes. Raine made me realize that this is normal and will probably be my normal for a long time. I HIGHLY recommend this book to all survivors --- and possibly their loved ones if they feel comfortable sharing the feelings this book will reveal.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Burgeson on June 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book shortly after my own personal attack and rape and I have to say, it got me through some of the worst times.
This books tells you a story of a woman whose right to her body is taken away, and the horrible aftermath it leaves. But it also leaves you feeling connected through similiar experiences, and educates you about common misconceptions and falsities in rape statistics and information. Reading this book helped me feel less alone, and also gave me information to empower me to try to go out and help fight the terror that is violence and rape against women, or anyone for that matter.
Rape survivors and non-rape survivors alike should read this book. It's gripping, heartwrenching, and will certainly open your eyes, as well as your heart. You're definitely not the same after having read this book. Incredible.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Linda Fischer on July 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An exceptional book on a very difficult subject. Ms. Raine captures many of the issues and concerns that rape victims must face. Most importantly, as a victim of rape she captures the emotional turmoil that surrounds all aspects of this life changing experience. As a rape victim I felt and went through many of those same experiences. I serve as a major in the US Army and I recently published "Ultimate Power Enemy Within the Ranks". I was raped 6 years ago by my Battalion Commander. The process that I went through was brutal. Recovery ... years ... continues.
During speaking engagements I encourage others to read "After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back". It serves as a useful tool for others and for victims to learn about and understand the process that women go through as they recover from rape. The most horrible aspect of being a rape victim is that you do not understand the what or why of what is happening as you struggle to recover. I believe that the education of others on that process will help victims, families, friends, and those in the work place deal with this very difficult issue and make the recovery process for the victim less painful. "After Silence ... does that and more.
I admire Ms. Raine for her courage and determination to make a difference. To say "Thank You" is not enough for her contribution to our communities in writning this book. It should be required reading in every high school.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By WichacpiHoskila VINE VOICE on May 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of the other reviews are true: this is a classic, well-written book on the topic of rape. But there needs to be a much clearer advisement for potential readers that this book is VERY graphic and disturbing. I observed that some victim/survivors who read it began to have nightmares and panic attacks again, after long periods of remission, which they attributed to the content of "After Silence." Out of consideration for readers, such concerns should be noted. If you are not subject to traumatic responses to extreme rape content, then you'll have an easier time with this book.
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