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Letters to Survivors: Words of Comfort for Women Recovering from Rape Paperback – December 17, 2010


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Letters to Survivors: Words of Comfort for Women Recovering from Rape + Resurrection After Rape: A guide to transforming from victim to survivor + The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-by-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: RAR Books (December 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450728839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450728836
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Atkinson is a Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Professional with a background in work with trauma survivors. He has worked in crisis services in prevention of domestic and sexual violence, where he developed and implemented programs with women's prisons, university sports teams, churches, and Indian tribes.

In 2004, he became the first male given the National Award for Outstanding Advocacy and Community Work in Ending Sexual Violence by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. In 2005 he was awarded "Most Therapeutic" by his professional peers, and he received top marks from client evaluations every year of his practice. In 2006 he began to teach college courses on domestic violence and crisis intervention as an adjunct professor.

In 2009, Atkinson provided a series of all-day training workshops for therapists, funded through grants and organized by the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The methods presented in "Resurrection After Rape" have become the "gold standard" treatment approach taught to many crisis workers/therapists.

In 2010, Atkinson wrote "You Can Take Your Power Back: A Guide to Your Rights After Rape", a booklet distributed to thousands of victims of sexual assault
in English, Spanish, and Braille.

Atkinson has organized an annual wilderness retreat/recovery weekend for rape and trauma survivors, drawing in participants from across North America and the EU, and featuring a Grammy-award winning musician as guest of honor. Attendance increases each year, and many participants identify it as the single most healing experience of their lives.

Atkinson is currently directing a model program to establish multiple Sexual Assault Response Team services in rural communities so that rape victims will have improved access to crisis care. He still manages to accept frequent requests to speak to university classes, conferences and workshops, such as keynote speaking one of 2009's Domestic Violence Awareness Month events.

Matt has degrees in Art/Human Physiology, Behavioral Science, and a Master's in clinical Social Work. He is married and has two sons, and is an Ojibway Oshkaabewis (pipe-keeper) and regularly participates in ceremonies.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By butterfly3 on February 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is both beautiful and inspirational. It is hard to imagine that a book dealing with sexual assault can be so artful, beautiful and inspirational on a topic that is so ugly and is one of the most horrific crimes to the mind, body and soul. Matt Atkinson had a vision that survivors writing letters to other survivors would be hopeful, inspirational, and honest about the healing journey. These women show immense courage in writing about the arduous healing journey while showing incredible hope, inspiration and love to the survivors who will be reading their letters. There are many clinical books about the healing process written by therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. These books have their place. However, there is NO book like this available to survivors. These very acts produce shame and isolation. The words in this book are words that I could have written myself. This book no longer makes me feel crazy or alone. The bravery of the women in this book are inspirational. This book is a MUST read for any survivor of sexual assault. You will see your own words contained in the many, many letters. You will no longer feel like the only one out there. You can feel the love and respect that your fellow survivors have for you. Matt Atkinson has accomplished his vision and so much more. This book will help and save thousands of survivors.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leitha Brogan on February 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having written one of the letters for the book, naturally I couldn't wait to see the finished product. But, once it was in my hands, and the hands of co-workers who have quietly shared their experiences with rape, I watched as they read, and saw chill bumps rise on thier skin, as tears filled their eyes. These letters, each one speaks to you, to us, personally. I read the first letter, and took a deep breath, and went back to the most positive sentence I had read. Then, I moved on to the next, and the next. There is a ring of similarity to the letters, because, amazingly, survivors of rape share so many reactions to it's effects. Each was unique however, because each of us are at differing statges of healing, as I am sure the readers are as well. No matter if your rape happened last week, or four decades ago, in this book, there is a tenderness completely evident, and absolutely genuine. The energy it took to write the letters cannot really be described. For me, it was a bit like running a race, reaching the finish line, and hoping the crowd noticed, although a bit the worse for wear, I had accomplished my goal - to live through it. When your very life is in the hands of a group of people whom your child's mind realizes, outnumber, and out-power you, that they have the ultimate power to end your days on this earth...when that realization brings you to a point where you earnestly whisper, "If you are going to kill me, could you do it somewhere else?...I don't want my mommy to find me like this...", when those words bring about a cold, dead look, completely devoid of connection to you, or compassion for you, you realize the true meaning of "alone".Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aimster0204 on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of open, honest and a pragmatic messages of survivorship. The words of wisdom, advice and courage are marvelous - and healing. If you struggle with rape, work with clients that are, or want to understand what a survivor of rape goes through, get this book. In addition, it is beautifully illustrated.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jicrober on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of essays on hope and encouragement for survivors of sexual violence. In contrast to most books on this topic, it is not the story of abuse that is the central focus but rather the messages of hope, healing, and confort. The words come from a place of strength and empowerment and highlight the journeys of the amazing women represented. It is this focus on healing and recovery that create a must-have title for survivors, friends and families of survivors, and educators.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By js on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is full of letters written by strong survivors. it is honest, heartfelt, emotional and inspiring. as a survivor myself, i am thankful to read the experiences and advice that these women have bravely shared. as if that weren't enough, the book is gorgeous. the artwork is beautifully matched with each letter. i have ordered several copies to give to my local rape trama center and my family so they can better understand what i have been through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenny M. Ellis on May 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As survivors or friends/family of survivors search for that "Perfect Book" --the book that helps them heal from or understand the trauma of rape/sexual assault/incest--the book that speaks to them, understands them as if they wrote the words themselves, fills them with hope they aren't alone, reinforces the fact that they are not to blame---well this is THAT book.

This is the book I have searched for, for many years. I wish it had been written sooner. This book is truly inspirational, poignantly and beautifully written by Survivors who have lived the hell of living through rape trauma.

Letter's to Survivors is THE book that should be at EVERY Rape Crisis Center, and if it were possible, to be handed to EVERY person personally affected by rape. This book is not just for the survivor but for the family, friend, therapist, husband, partner--as it speaks so loudly and affectively on the subject by people who have SURVIVED through it.

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who has survived OR knows someone who has survived sexual assault, incest, &/or rape. There is no other book out there that speaks to the soul as Letter's To Survivors does. I believe, to the core of my being, that this book can save lives, lead to a path of healing, inspire, and instill hope in those who had theirs stolen.

It's beautiful with handwritten letters on decorative pages with each letter transcribed into easy to read 'type.' Award Winning Matt Adkinson compiled the letters of many survivors he knows and has helped in his work and touches on many different points between letters. I must say I have purchased 3 and plan to purchase more.
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