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Crash Into Me: A Survivor's Search for Justice Hardcover – January 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The rape by William Beebe of University of Virginia freshman Seccuro at a 1984 fraternity party was only the beginning of a terrible ordeal. First, the local hospital didn't process rape kits and told her to drive to D.C. for help. Then, university officials insisted campus, rather than Richmond, police handle the crime and dismissed her with condescension. Twenty-one years later, Seccuro receives a letter from her rapist asking for forgiveness. Even though it brings on panic attacks, she writes back and presses charges. The legal battle and media attention only give Seccuro more resolve that her actions, however belated, are right, for herself and the victims of countless rapes that are never prosecuted, thus never giving them a chance for justice. The book includes a transcript of the preliminary hearing, with its shocking revelation of what Seccuro endured that night. This brave account reveals an alarming array of mishandling, poor judgment, and obfuscation or outright lies from university officials and from students at the party, and shines light on a systemic lack of concern and care given to rape victims. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Embarking on a family vacation, Seccuro received a letter that shattered her life for the second time. It was a letter of atonement from the man who raped her when she was a college freshman at the University of Virginia. She’d been drugged and remembered only fragments of what happened to her, but the letter brought back panic attacks and depression as she struggled to recall the violent assault and with how she should react to her attacker’s request. Seccuro intersperses her actions after receiving the letter with flashbacks to her freshman year in 1984, when she got little assistance from the university and mixed reactions from friends and family. Should she dredge it all up to bring her attacker to justice? What would be the cost to her personally and to her husband and young daughter? She’d been working as a counselor for rape victims. What did she owe them? Seccuro recalls a harrowing journey through memory and the realities of the legal process as she decided to stand up for herself and all rape victims even as others criticized her for not simply accepting the plea for forgiveness. --Vanessa Bush

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596915854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596915855
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Biography - for more and to contact Liz.

Liz Seccuro was born in New York, New York, grew up in Westchester County, and graduated from the University of Virginia. She lives with her husband and two young children in Southampton, New York. She loves to cook, surf, stand up paddle (SUP) garden, read, discover great music and great wine, and get off her lazy ass and get to the gym as frequently as possible. Liz has her own foundation to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault: STARS

Liz travels the country teaching high schools, universities, law enforcement and law firms about the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and dating violence. She is represented by APB Speakers and ICM Partners. She spends time lobbying on Capitol Hill and is on the National Advisory Coucil of RAINN. Liz has been honored by Mt. Sinai SAVI and the Victims' Rights Law Center of Bostons with awards. She is a contributor to Glamour magazine, Medium, The Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and various blogs. Liz also teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Journalism on topics such as "Storytelling For Change."

"Crash Into Me" is her first book. She is currently at work on her second book, a psychological revenge thriller featuring a charismatic female serial killer, like Patrick Bateman in Jimmy Choos. Follow her on Twitter @LizSeccuro

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By John D. Foubert on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing you should know about Liz Seccuro is that she is a gifted writer. This is an extremely well written book. There are several books on the market today that have been written by sexual assault survivors. "Crash Into Me" stands out among them because of its precise attention to every detail, the quality of the writing that makes you feel like you are sitting down talking with your best friend, and the intensely compelling indictment of the most notorious revictimizing college administration in the nation of rape survivors - the University of Virginia. I worked in the Dean of Student's office at the University of Virginia for several years with every living member of the administration talked about in this book. Everything Liz Seccuro says about them is consistent with my experience there. It is about time someone as brave as she has come forward to tell the truth.

"Crash Into Me" is not only a substantial contribution to the scholarship on rape trauma, it is a must read for everyone who cares about other people. Sexual assault survivors will find themselves in the words of Liz Seccuro's experience. College students will learn more about the reality of campus rape and the systems that aren't always there to help them. Present and future college administrators will learn everything not to do from the way he University of Virginia mishandled most every aspect of the situation. Police officers will learn how to treat a survivor with respect from the heroic actions of the police chief who went back decades later to help right a wrong done so many year ago. Criminologists will get a look into the motivations of a deeply disturbing offender who came back to haunt a woman years after a brutally raping her. Everyone who reads this compelling book will be a better person, a more informed potential juror, and a more empathetic individual for the next rape survivor who decides to open up to them. Everyone should read this book!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kay Farish on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Wow!"Crash Into Me" is ultimately a story about forgiveness and justice. I have been thinking about this all day after having read the book last night in one sitting. Liz was the victim of a violent CRIME. There is a difference in forgiving the harm done to one and bringing justice to the perpetrator of a violent CRIME.
Liz takes the reader on an unforgettable journey with a jaw-dropping honesty that is rare. I was hooked from the first chapter when I felt as if I were riding in the car with her as she opens the envelope that lay atop the pile of mail in her mailbox. The contents change her life. Her rapist begins a conversation with her 20 years after the fact,asking forgiveness while dredging up the hurt and horror of a rape never atoned for.
Rape is the hidden crime in America today. Many young women have been the victims of men with drugs dropped into martinis. Girls who wake up in a motel room confused and bloodied are often accused of drinking too much or wearing the wrong clothing. Liz was a victim of a violent campus rape at the young age of 17 and it took years to bring her victimization to light and finally to some degree of justice.
This story is a page turner filled with riveting detail. Everyone should read it! Are you a parent with a daughter? Read it. Are you a parent with a son? Read it. Are you a victim of rape? Read it. Are you a lover of justice? Read it. Do you lack compassion for those whose lives have been crashed into by rape of some other injustice? Definitely, read it!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lynn C. Tolson on March 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Review of Crash Into Me: A Survivor's Search for Justice, by Liz Seccuro

Liz Seccuro spent years building her world anew after it had been destroyed by rape when she was seventeen. The strong foundation of her carefully structured life was weakened when the rapist, William Beebe, dared to contact her twenty-two years after the assault. Ms. Seccuro wrote Crash Into Me as a concise narrative that documents the complex true story of surviving after rape, and seeking the justice victims deserve.

Ms. Seccuro conveys how she feels as she engages the rapist in email correspondence. The exchanges prompt her to take on the seemingly insurmountable task of pressing charges against the man who had assaulted her when they were at the University of Virginia in 1984.

The reader sees the wide net of protection that is cast upon institutions that value the status-quo. It is disturbing to hear how society defends the perpetrator while blaming the victim. It is maddening to read that: "in a rape case, it is never, ever the alleged rapist on trial, whether in the courtroom or in the media. The victim is on trial. Always." (p. 114) No wonder victims do not dare report!

Ms. Seccuro candidly reveals the details of her experience, and the story yields even more brutality and betrayal. She balances her emotional content with the inclusion of court documents (which left me shaking my head in disbelief at the absurdity of the questions posed by the defendant's attorney to the witness, the victim herself). She deepens the readers empathy with every impossible decision she must make. How hard do rape victims have to work to empower themselves as individuals and in society?
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