We Need to Talk

The Truth About Sexual Violence and My Fight for Justice

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Pub Date 01 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 21 Dec 2022

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Emily was in a restaurant, having lunch with her father – the next thing she remembers is waking up, naked, in a strange hotel room, next to a man she did not know.

She suspected she had been drugged, raped and later found out she had been filmed without her consent. What happened to her that night could have happened to anyone. What came next happens to far too many victims, as failures by the police, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service and other parts of the system, led to Emily doubting she would ever find justice.

Six years after her attack, Emily is an adviser to the UK Government on sexual violence. Part memoir and part investigation, Emily shines a light on the fault lines of a system and a society that is failing rape victims.

We Need To Talk looks at how rape is a mainstream, everyday problem deeply damaging victims, their families, their workplaces and the economy.
Emily was in a restaurant, having lunch with her father – the next thing she remembers is waking up, naked, in a strange hotel room, next to a man she did not know.

She suspected she had been...

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ISBN 9781914451157
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Average rating from 29 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for the eARCin exchange for an honest review.

Rape can be a controversial subject and this book proves that as the author tells her story, while describing the multiple failings of police, hospitals and courts to ensure the outcome she is looking for.

Emily Hunt tells her story. A beautiful dinner with her dad and waking up 5 hours later in an unknown hotel with an unknown man. Failed by the police who considered her unreliable as she called a friend and not the police….Emily has to fight through mountains to ensure that she brings her attacker to justice.

Despite the subject matter, this book is beautifully written. You ache for Emily as you read the failures. You want to be the person going to the police station with her. You want to be her support because you know she needs it.

Emily fought for many years and was able to tell her story. She was able to help make new police officers understand how to act with rape victims. She was able to make a difference.

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This book will stay with me for a long long time, I just could not put it down and read it in two sittings. As a woman who is a part of the statistics that the author writes about, it horrifies and upsets me that rape is not seen as serious a crime that it is. To read how many cases are not reported and those that are not taken seriously just fills me with a rage that I should not have. Reading about the authors fight for justice with odds that were stacked against her from the very beginning made me cry- to go through such a life changing ordeal and not be believed and have to fight so hard to be heard ,this should not be happening.
I am so glad that she is helping to shape the way that rape cases are dealt with however there is still a long way to go but by writing this book she is helping to start conversations that we all should be having,men and women.
Although difficult to read it absolutely is a must read book for everyone.

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A riveting look at tragedy and pain which is uttimately a story of triumph and redemption. I appreciate4d the historical contextualizing here, which deepens the close look at personal experience.

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What a powerhouse of a book! I gasped, I was outraged, my jaw dropped in disbelief but overall, I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t shocked about the repeat failings of the criminal justice system which we trust to protect us and that its treatment of rape victims is terrifying. BUT I was inspired and hopeful to learn about Emily’s fight to change laws, public perceptions and that whilst we have a long way to go, womens’ bravery is leading us in the right direction.

This book is part memoir part investigation and is the type of book I want to force into the hands of everyone I pass. Having said that, understandably, this book is raw, explicit, and is sure to bring out a myriad of emotions in anyone that reads it (that’s why it’s so powerful) but make sure you understand the content as it’s definitely a difficult read.

Whilst the content is difficult and some hard truths are served up, the writing is very accessible and I devoured it. I turned the pages in rage and by the end I felt so empowered and thankful that there are people like Emily in the world fighting for what’s so plainly right, but still remains ambiguous in the eyes of the law.

I could go on and on about this book (I highlighted so many quotes) and I will be raving about it to all my friends and family.

Please pick it up. You will undoubtedly learn something and want to tell your friends due to your fury, which is the whole point, to spark conversations. But it’s not all negative, it’s a book of resilience, fight, inspiration and alliance, and Emily’s openness and vulnerability has already, and will continue to make sure we talk about an experience that so many women have, and continue to face.

Thank you to EmilyHunt, Ad Lib Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC

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Wow. What a brave book. It’s incredibly raw and real and at times, extremely difficult and emotional to read. I think it’s the kind of book that you need to be a really good place to read because of the content and how difficult it can be to process what’s being said. I’m someone who has experienced a lot of sexual trauma and have C-PTSD as a result of this and so it really hit me when I was reading. I had to take it slow and be gentle with myself thouhh and I recommend anyone else who reads this does the same.

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We Need to Talk by Emily Hunt is a gut wrenching and honest memoir. I am a survivor myself and anytime I read another book by a fellow survivor, a part of me feels home.

Thank you so much to Emily Hunt, Ad Lib Publishers, Mardle Books, and NetGalley for this incredible arc. A Must read.

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It never feels right rating or reviewing books of such a personal nature - but this was a phenomenal read. A SA survivor sharing her story of what happened to her - and the continuous failure by the police, CPS and wider society to take rape victims seriously. Important lessons to be learned by the authorities are contained.

Obvious TWS for sexual assault PTSD etc

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Wow what a book! We Need To Talk looks at how rape is a mainstream, everyday problem deeply damaging victims, their families, their workplaces and the economy.

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Whether I read rape cases in my country or Chanel Miller's Know My Name or this book, the similarities are surprising - police inaction, delay in courts and victim blaming. Is there a secret pact of police officers world over to fail their duty in cases of sexual assault?

The story, as the author says, is not about her personal vendetta against one man. It is about how she fought for five years to change a faulty law amidst an oppressive system.

The author was raped and filmed naked when she was heavily intoxicated. Now, both of these could be proven as not guilty using the loopholes in the law of her country. The story is of how the author fought to criminalise filming women without their consent. It is also about how we, as a society, think it is okay to do things like stalking and filming women without consent. These don't qualify as crimes for us. Through social research and surveys, the author states how majority don't understand consent.

I find it similar to the horrific Nirbhaya case in India. Though Nirbhaya was brutally murdered, her fight brought amendments to the definition of consent in the Indian law. Not only were her criminals hanged to death but her case brought discussions at every level about women's safety.

The author's fight wasn't for herself. It was for the thousands of women whose videos were taken, whose rapists were never prosecuted, who couldn't fight year after year. It is for those women whose stories are labelled as false. It is for our sisters and daughters who deserve a safer and better world.

The writing is brilliant and on-point. I finished the book in one go and I think everybody should.

I received a review copy and I am posting my review voluntarily.

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This was phenomenally powerful, well-researched, well-written and absolutely brutal to read at times. Emily Hunt's struggle against the justice system to acknowledge that what happened to her was a crime, the systemic dismissal of violence against women, the diminishing of the impact of rape, sexual assault, and invasion of bodily integrity - Hunt writes with a humane and very real, painful voice that this awful thing happened to her, but this book is more than a gratuitous account of violence. Quite the opposite. This is a powerful polemic, an important read, and a truly stunning piece of work. I'll definitely be getting a hard copy when it's published, and recommend you read this, too.

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In this non-fiction position, Emily Hunt tells her heartbreaking story. We follow her narration from when she woke up in a bed with a stranger and through her prolonged fight to have him recognised as a rapist and convicted for the crime. Disappointed by all the institutions that were supposed to help the women in her situation, she starts a battle for justice and a change in the way we perceive rape.

We Need to Talk is an autobiography and an interesting analysis of how our society understands sexual violence. The author presents the popular myths about rape and explains how they are harmful. Her arguments are supported by case studies and lots of sociological data. Emily Hunt points out the lack of support for victims, who are often treated with suspicion and undergo close scrutiny. She sees the reasons for this injustice in the way sexual violence is sometimes dismissed or ridiculed in the social discourse. I believe We Need to Talk to be a fascinating and essential position.

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A truly remarkable lady. Who has the strength and resilience to fight for justice not just for herself but for everyone who unfortunately may find themselves in a position ad Emily. I hope that she continues her brilliant work for victims along with support from those people who enter lives in the worse circumstances. Thank you for sharing your experience I cannot begin to understand how you feel but can definitely support your cause.

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Emily takes you through the part of her life where she is dealing with her rape, which involves the details of what happened when she woke up, through to her dealings with the police, CPS and the general justice system in the UK.

To say I was shocked and appalled at some of the things told through this book would be a huge understatement. I knew enough to expect that change is needed, but to that level is astounding. Emily does a great job of using her awful experience to open your eyes to how awful the system is in the UK when it comes to convicting rapists.

This was a real eye opener and I would highly recommend.

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Wow – what an inspirational and informative read! I finished this in one sitting. Although the sensitive issue of rape and violence will not be for everyone, the awareness that Emily Hunt brings to her readers is exceptional.
There are various facts about the UK’s justice system brought to my attention that I did not previously have knowledge of, and while I am not legally trained, the writing style makes this remarkably simple and easy to understand. Our system is unmistakably broken, failing victims and their families in a disgustingly high proportion.

Emotionally persuasive and intense, I have finished this read feeling empowered yet incredibly angry for Emily and other victims like her.

We need to discuss this subject more openly, and I can only hope this book reaches as many people as possible!

Powerfully written, brutally honest, yet beautifully dignified. Five stars are never enough for this read! Pre-order a copy today!

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This is an incredible book. A damning indictment of the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and of our cultures attitudes and response to rape. Emily's story will stay with me for a long time. This is the sort of book that should be on school and university curriculums.

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This book was a shocking and somewhat disturbing but at the same time a great and necessary read. The title expresses really well what the book wants to convey: "We Really Need to Talk" about rape and everything connected to it, starting from how justice works when it comes to this specific crime. Most of us do not even realize that bias dominates our way of reacting to the idea of sexual assaults (I really appreciated how the author explained what rape myths are and how we can fight them).

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