Shattering Silences

Strategies to Prevent Sexual Assault, Heal Survivors, and Bring Assailants to Justice

About The Book

An in-depth look at revolutionary new ways to handle sexual assaults.

Every two minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted, and each year there are nearly 300,000 victims of sexual assault. But victims are no longer silent, and new practices by police, prosecutors, nurses, and rape crisis professionals are resulting in more humane and compassionate treatment of victims and more aggressive pursuit and prosecution of perpetrators.

Shattering Silencesa is the first book to cover these new approaches and partnerships. Christopher Johnston shows how the people and organizations implementing these new approaches are having far-reaching impacts on helping victims heal and making it more likely that predators will be arrested and sentenced. His in-depth portrayals of the altruistic and hard-working people behind these radical approaches—based on seven years of interviews—provide a template of best practices for other organizations and communities to follow. With sexual assault taking center stage these days, Shattering Silences is more important than ever.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Skyhorse (May 2018)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781510727588

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Raves and Reviews

"Christopher Johnston sheds light on a social problem too often overlooked in the United States—sexual abuse. And he does so without wallowing in how bad the problem is. Writing with sensitivity and compassion, he looks at solutions to the rape crisis in America—from the point of view of the police, prosecutors, medical professionals, and, most important, the victims themselves."
—Scott Armstrong, senior editor responsible for narrative cover stories, The Christian Science Monitor

"Christopher Johnston’s reporting brought national attention to our community’s comprehensive efforts to fight sexual violence and has opened readers’ eyes to this evidence-based, collaborative approach to serving victims of rape and sexual abuse." —Sondra Miller, president and CEO, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

"Shattering Silences should be a required reading for anyone who has or will have the potential of interviewing survivors of sexual violence or making decisions on their behalf . . . Johnston eloquently weaves in stories with academic language that makes the information easy to digest and understand for the average reader. Shattering Silences is the playbook for communities to finally work toward ending the sexual violence epidemic plaguing our country." —Erin Rose, cofounder of Every Two Minutes

"Shattering Silences captures the beginning of a cultural sea change that is altering our nation’s perspective on sexual violence . . . It is our hope that readers are inspired to address this important issue by holding elected leaders accountable, treating victims with compassion and respect, and pressing the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously." —Ilse Knecht, Joyful Heart Foundation, national organization devoted to transforming society’s response to sexual assault

"Finally, a book that addresses how best to help survivors of sexual assault! In Shattering Silences, Johnston compiles the best practices from experts and shares them with communities seeking effective ways to support victims and help them to heal. It's a book that's long overdue." —Janine Latus, advocate and author of the international bestseller If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder and Liberation

"A timely update on efforts to combat sexual assault in America. In a narrative bolstered by extensive research involving clinical professionals and law enforcement experts, Ohio-based journalist Johnston investigates how rape cases are processed today after decades of mishandling. . . . Though the challenges facing tireless task force detectives, medical staff, and community psychologists may seem insurmountable, the author’s hard-hitting, victim-centered report reveals the great strides being made toward achieving justice through collaborative and tech-innovative investigation. A hopeful report that is more triumph than trauma in the prosecution of sexual assault cases past and present."—Kirkus Review

“Published auspiciously in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood celebrities and the #MeToo phenomenon, Shattering Silences offers solid evidence that meaningful rape reform is occurring throughout the U.S. Further progress, notes Johnston, will be fueled by a multidisciplinary, concerted effort by the public and private sectors, and the work of dedicated nonprofit organizations.” —Robert Sberna, New York Journal of Books

"Christopher Johnston sheds light on a social problem too often overlooked in the United States—sexual abuse. And he does so without wallowing in how bad the problem is. Writing with sensitivity and compassion, he looks at solutions to the rape crisis in America—from the point of view of the police, prosecutors, medical professionals, and, most important, the victims themselves."
—Scott Armstrong, senior editor responsible for narrative cover stories, The Christian Science Monitor

"Christopher Johnston’s reporting brought national attention to our community’s comprehensive efforts to fight sexual violence and has opened readers’ eyes to this evidence-based, collaborative approach to serving victims of rape and sexual abuse." —Sondra Miller, president and CEO, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

"Shattering Silences should be a required reading for anyone who has or will have the potential of interviewing survivors of sexual violence or making decisions on their behalf . . . Johnston eloquently weaves in stories with academic language that makes the information easy to digest and understand for the average reader. Shattering Silences is the playbook for communities to finally work toward ending the sexual violence epidemic plaguing our country." —Erin Rose, cofounder of Every Two Minutes

"Shattering Silences captures the beginning of a cultural sea change that is altering our nation’s perspective on sexual violence . . . It is our hope that readers are inspired to address this important issue by holding elected leaders accountable, treating victims with compassion and respect, and pressing the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously." —Ilse Knecht, Joyful Heart Foundation, national organization devoted to transforming society’s response to sexual assault

"Finally, a book that addresses how best to help survivors of sexual assault! In Shattering Silences, Johnston compiles the best practices from experts and shares them with communities seeking effective ways to support victims and help them to heal. It's a book that's long overdue." —Janine Latus, advocate and author of the international bestseller If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder and Liberation

"A timely update on efforts to combat sexual assault in America. In a narrative bolstered by extensive research involving clinical professionals and law enforcement experts, Ohio-based journalist Johnston investigates how rape cases are processed today after decades of mishandling. . . . Though the challenges facing tireless task force detectives, medical staff, and community psychologists may seem insurmountable, the author’s hard-hitting, victim-centered report reveals the great strides being made toward achieving justice through collaborative and tech-innovative investigation. A hopeful report that is more triumph than trauma in the prosecution of sexual assault cases past and present."—Kirkus Review

“Published auspiciously in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood celebrities and the #MeToo phenomenon, Shattering Silences offers solid evidence that meaningful rape reform is occurring throughout the U.S. Further progress, notes Johnston, will be fueled by a multidisciplinary, concerted effort by the public and private sectors, and the work of dedicated nonprofit organizations.” —Robert Sberna, New York Journal of Books

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