As a victim of sexual assault, I should have known this already, but I only recently discovered that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a national campaign that raises public awareness about sexual violence and also educates individuals and communities in how to prevent it. So in honor of SAAM, and to help forward the cause, I’m giving away five copies of my award-winning and critically acclaimed book, A Work of Art. (See below.) I’m also making a nice donation to SAAM and buying this t-shirt via their website. I’ll wear it proudly.
Admitting I’m a survivor of sexual assault didn’t come easily for me. I, like many other victims, have been reluctant to talk about something that society tends to see as a taboo topic, or an uncomfortable topic, or a topic you don’t bring up because you’re ashamed and you don’t want others to see you as weak. I told myself for years that I didn’t have it that bad. That others I know had it much worse. So why talk about it? Why make an issue out of it? Slowly, my views on that are changing. And certainly a part of me—something deep in my consciousness—wanted to talk about it…which is why (and I see this now) I wrote A Work of Art.
Research has shown that readers of literary fiction tend to be more empathetic people, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that books can play a key role in creating awareness of sexual assault violence. A Work of Art delves into the shame and insecurity that many sexual assault victims suffer from. It also deals with love—how victims of sexual assault sometimes have a skewed perception of what love is, and how sometimes we can love those who victimize us.
Even if you don’t enter my Goodreads giveaway to win a copy of my book, I hope you’ll click here to check out all the good things that SAAM is doing and maybe add your voice to the cause.