To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

survivors

Book: To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence

Author: Robert Uttaro

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1490931661

ISBN-10: 149093166X

Language level: 5

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Adults

Rating: *** 3 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Uttaro, Robert.  To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence (Published in 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).  Inspired by his undergraduate studies in Criminal Justice, author Robert Uttaro is currently in his twelfth year as a rape crisis counselor and community educator and continues to embrace a life-long commitment to activism and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence. Uttaro serves as a counselor to support rape survivors through myriad emotional, spiritual, and legal issues.   In addition, he also facilitates workshops which discuss the realities of sexual violence and offer strategies for support and prevention with a focus on healing.

To the Survivors is about Uttaro’s journey as a rape crisis counselor with true narratives of sexual violence shared by survivors in their own words.  The author, who has been featured in magazine publications across the country and on international radio broadcasts, gives the story of the victims by letting them speak for themselves through uncensored written accounts, poems, and interviews from women and men who have experienced rape and sexual assault.  Uttaro draws upon his years of experience to warn that sexual abuse is far more prevalent than most people suspect.  The subject is indeed a sensitive one, but this book is not just for survivors of sexual violence.  Anyone can benefit from the words in these pages, whether rape survivor or not, and Uttaro’s work in To the Survivors continues to impact peoples’ minds and hearts globally.

I read the first eight chapters of this book which cover Uttaro’s childhood, decision to get involved, training, and early work.  While Uttaro notes, “This book is not about religion,” he also admits, “I personally believe that God exists.”  There are a few items of warning to be aware of.  Instances of drinking alcoholic beverages are mentioned, one even to the point of passing out.  Some cursing (especially the “h” word) and near-vulgarity (e.g., being “pi**ed at”) occur.  And the “f” word is used rather casually.  I am sure that the remainder of the book contains a lot of useful information about rape and sexual violence.  However, I just personally have trouble reading a book where the “f-bomb” seems to be dropped so frequently.

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