Cover Image: Going Public

Going Public

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Member Reviews

It was a really interesting book, not overly-emotional and as someone who has been through sexual abuse, very relatable.

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This book was challenging - as many books that discuss sexual violence are - but so so so important. Julie Macfarlane bridges the divide between her personal experiences as a survivor of sexual violence with her legal expertise as a law professor. Sharing her story was courageous and meaningful.

Macfarlane assesses the role of institutions, academic, religious, legal, and law enforcement and imbalances of power that prevent sexual violence from being addressed and further stigmatize and traumatize those who come forward. Every situation of sexual violence brought up in this book reminded me of countless others that I have heard - especially the stories of how universities do not protect students from sexual violence. Macfarlane's analysis of how institutions are not supporting survivors of sexual violence was well done, and highlights the need for change.

The narration of this book by Dayna Cornwall was clear and well-paced. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced audiobook in exchange for my honest thoughts!

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This book originally published in September 2020, but the audio will be released February 15th, 2022. I really love when the author narrates their own memoir, but Dayna Cornwall did a fantastic job voicing Julie Macfarlane's story. My only complaint about the audio is that there was some distracting background noise at times. After listening to the audio, I put it on my list to buy, because I would love to mark this book up. I would also prefer to be able to cross-reference with the footnotes.

I am personally interested in content related to sexual violence because of my experience as a survivor and as a survivor advocate in my state. Macfarlane's memoir is unique in how she brings together her personal experience and legal expertise to tell her story. She details systemic problems surrounding institutional handling of sexual violence and offers concrete solutions for transforming support for survivors and prevention efforts. She also dispels myths surrounding PTSD and survivor credibility. Julie Macfarlane's personal story captures the devastation of being let down by institutions time and time again. At the same time, she demonstrates the power in naming and understanding the problem as well as her own experience, and provides a hopeful blueprint for institutional change to disempower assaulters. A blueprint and a pressing call to action.

Content warnings: sexual abuse, assault, rape, and PTSD

Thank you to Netgalley and ECW Press for the audio ARC!

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