THE VOICES OF RAPE by Janet Bode

THE VOICES OF RAPE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A rape survivor gathers interviews from other victims, offenders, and various professionals into a survey and handbook with powerful impact. Beginning with teenagers' responses to a questionnaire ("Is it okay for a boy to force a girl to have sex if[:] He spends a lot of money on her?. . .She's wearing sexy clothes? They're married?"--some of the boys said "Yes" to all of the questions), Bode goes on to lengthy accounts by different types of survivors and offenders, plus monologues by a social worker at a rape-crisis center; a psychiatrist for a juvenile-sex-offender treatment program (fiercely uncompromising); a nurse who explains exactly what should happen in the emergency room, and why, if the victim chooses to go there; a policeman (compassionate, sensible); a defending lawyer; a judge. The voices vary in tone and precision, but the message builds: the survivor is not guilty, and has a right to regain control of her life; the system has an obligation to help. There are a great many specifics here, unblinkingly delivered--enough to give might-be rapists pause and survivors comfort, though Bode admits that the criminal-justice system is not always supportive. Sturdy, forthright, detailed, essential information and advice. Source notes; bibliography; index.

Page count: 144pp
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