Our allies have produced excellent work on issues of sexual violence in recent years. These notable authors are longstanding partners of CAASE's End Demand Illinois campaign whose work reflects their commitment to elevate the voices of survivors and transform our community's response to sexual violence. 

Lived Through This : Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors

Lived Through This

Part personal history of Anne Ream’s own experience rebuilding her life after violence, part memoir of a multi-country, multi-year journey spent listening to survivors, Lived Through This is both deeply personal and resolutely political. From Anne’s insistently resolute opening essay to its final, deeply moving story, this is a book about truth, but also about hope. The accomplished and courageous women and men profiled in Lived Through This are, in the words of the author, “living reminders of all that remains possible in the wake of the terrible.”

Among the survivors featured in Lived Through This, is Brenda Meyers-Powell, survivor and dedicated partner of CAASE's End Demand Illinois campaign. Brenda is the co-author of the ground-breaking research report: From Victims to Victimizers: Interviews with 25 Ex-Pimps in Chicago. Her work has helped shape efforts in policy reform and ending demand for the commercial sex trade.


“The atrocity of sexual abuse as told by a captivating, diverse collective of survivors… A sad reality graced with hope, humanity and compassion.” Kirkus Reviews

“Heart-stopping, beautifully rendered stories of survivors powerfully illustrating the notion that when we tell our stories, we change the story.” —Eve Ensler, author of In the Body of the World

“Anne Ream poignantly shows that sexual violence isn’t about statistics, it’s about survival. The courage of the survivors in Lived Through This will inspire you and leave you wanting to do more to end the violence that touches nearly every family in America.” —Scott Berkowitz, president & founder of RAINN

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 About the Author

Anne K. Ream is a Chicago-based writer and the founder of the Voices and Faces Project, an award-winning new-media documentary initiative created to bring the stories of survivors of gender-based violence to the attention of the public.  Ream’s essays and opinion pieces have been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan, and numerous other publications. She is the cofounder and workshop facilitator for The Stories We Tell, North America’s first testimonial-writing program for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, and trafficking.

Rape is Rape : How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming Are Fueling A Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis

“More than half of women and girls lie about rape . . .” “Feminists exaggerate rape prevalence to demonize men and raise money for their cause . . .” “Girls cry ‘rape’ when it’s nothing more than regret over bad sex . . .” Such emotionally charged false accusations have convinced much of the general public and the media that acquaintance rape is a figment of the imagination. As author Jody Raphael reveals in Rape Is Rape, the more acquaintance rape is reported and taken seriously by prosecutors, judges, and juries, the louder the clamor of rape denial becomes.

Through firsthand interviews with victims, medical and judicial records, social media analysis, and statistics from government agencies, Rape Is Rape exposes the tactics used by the deniers, a group that includes conservatives and right-wing Christians as well as some controversial feminists. The personal stories of young acquaintance rape victims whom Raphael interviewed demonstrate how assaults on their credibility, buttressed by claims of low prevalence, prevent many from holding their rapists accountable, enabling them to rape others with impunity. Rape Is Rape is an exposé of those using rape denial to further their political agendas, and it is a call to action to protect the rights of women and girls, making it safe for victims to come forward, and end the acquaintance rape crisis. A resources section is included for those seeking help, advice, or hoping to get involved.


"Rape is Rape" is the winner of the WOMEN’S WAY 2014 book prize.

"[A] meticulously researched and passionately argued rebuttal of those who would deny the reality and alarming prevalence of acquaintance rape." —Kirkus Reviews

"A compelling, grim account of the struggle for victims of sexual violence to be heard and believed." —Publishers Weekly

"Must reading for anyone wishing to understand how something as abhorrent as rape can ever be denied." —Military Review

"[Raphael's] eye-opening exposé shows how Americans, including some high profile feminists, ignore or underestimate the devastating nature of this form of assault." —Ms.

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About the Author

Jody Raphael, JD, is an attorney and a nationally known researcher, lecturer, and advocate on issues of violence against women. She is the author of Freeing Tammy: Women, Drugs, and Incarceration; Listening to Olivia: Violence, Poverty, and Prostitution; and Saving Bernice: Battered Women, Welfare, and Poverty.

At DePaul College of Law Ms. Raphael is undertaking a multi-year study and monitoring of the Cook County Circuit Court's response to domestic violence and sexual assault. During 2007-8 she undertook research with women and girls in prostitution in Chicago who are controlled by a pimp or trafficker to better determine how women and girls are coerced into the sex trade industry in Chicago and kept there by violence and threats of violence. In 209-10 research with 25 ex-pimps and traffickers further elucidated the structure of the Chicago sex trade and efforts to recruit girls and women. 

Other Resources: 

The Start by Believing media campaign challenges stereotypes about sexual assault and asks the public to stand with sexual assault survivors. They have presentations, ads, and posters that are free for download here.

NoVo Foundation seeks to end violence against girls and women everywhere. The Foundation partners with change agents who take on deep-seated attitudes that lead to violence against girls and women. Read their report on how Americans understand—and don’t understand—the sex trade, “Seen and Unseen: The Public Conversation on Prostitution,” and explore their “Trauma that Cannot Be Regulated Away” strategic report.