April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It started in the late 1970s when women in England held protests against the violence they encountered when they walked the streets at night. They called them ‘Take Back the Night’ marches. Word spread to other countries as the protests grew. (Read more: SAAM History)
Up to this date, an alarming number of people (men, women, and the LGBT community) across the globe encounter sexual assault in different ways may it be through forced sexual intercourse, child molestation, domestic violence, date rape, etc.
Sexual assault knows no gender, age, race, disability, or socioeconomic boundaries. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
I stand with SAAM.
That being said, I took the liberty to do the research for your own SAAM TBR! Here’s a very short list of books (mostly) in Young Adult fiction that explore and raise awareness of sexual violence. I will also be sharing with you two of the books I’ll be reading this month.
I hope this list could help you find which books to read for SAAM!
1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)
Considered a classic, a young woman heals after experiencing sexual assault.
2. All The Rage by Courtney Summers (2015)
A book that examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?
3. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (2008)
Often labelled “disturbing”, this is a story of a little girl who was abducted when she was 10 years old and sexually and physically abused for 5 years.
4. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn (2001)
A wealthy boy is abused by his father. When he begins dating, he realizes that he has the same controlling and violent tendencies as his father.
5. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler (2015)
Inspired by the Steubenville Rape Case that gathered nationwide attention, where a 16 year old girl, passed out drunk, is repeatedly beaten and assaulted by 2 other 16 year olds on their homecoming dance. She was publicly and repeatedly sexually assaulted by her peers, several of whom documented the acts on social media. The victim was transported, undressed, photographed, and sexually assaulted.
OPINION: This rape case is maddening. Do you know the 80’s movie Sixteen Candles? I watched it last year because I was in the mood for “cute” stuff, only to realise that that movie, where literally almost the same thing happened (only it wasn’t a big deal because the girl woke up not remembering anything but feeling sexually satisfied) might have helped lay the groundwork for this rape. ALARMING!!!!
6. But I Love Him by Amanda Grace (2011)
A book about domestic violence, this evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.
7. Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (2012)
A mystery. A girl’s boyfriend is killed in a car accident, and she loses her memory of the incidents. Flashbacks reveal he wasn’t the perfect guy everyone thought he was. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free?
8. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (2014)
Rumors circulate about a girl who hooks up with two guys at a party and is in a car crash because she was sexting. But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself. A look at slut-shaming.
9. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult (2003)
A book about child molestation, where a female prosecutor whose cherished family is shattered when she learns that her five-year-old son has been sexually abused.
OPINION: I personally LOVE this one! Yet another masterpiece by Jodi Picoult. This book just shows that a mother’s love has no boundaries.
And now for two of the books on my April TBR:
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens (2014)
Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton (2012)
How can you talk about something you can’t remember?
Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.
Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.
If you want to know what YOU can do for SAAM, click here.
Let me know if you’re joining me on this project this month!