‘To Report, Or Not to Report: Survivor Testimony of the (In)Justice System’
When you have been sexually assaulted, sexually abused, or raped, the decision to report, or not to report, is one that every woman has to make, whether she wants to or not. Even the act of not doing anything is a decision. And, whichever way she chooses, there are consequences & implications. For her, for her loved ones, and more. At a time when she is traumatised she has to make a decision that she knows, whichever way she chooses, has the potential to help her recovery, or hinder it.
Only 15% of those who are raped decide to report. Yet the narrative held by wider society seems to imply that anyone who has been raped would of course report it and seek justice. Why is it that 85% decide not to? What is the experience of reporting for the 15% who do? What does it feel like to achieve ‘justice’? What does it feel like not to?
In ‘To Report, Or Not to Report’, we’re exploring the realities of that decision. We’re looking for women of all ages, sexualities, ethnicities and abilities to share their personal experience of their decision to report, or not to report, with their thoughts on the subject then and now. It doesn’t matter where in the world it happened to you, the reality of rape and justice is similar the world over. There is a healing power in writing our truths; if you want to share your truth, this is your opportunity to be heard.
‘To Report, Or Not to Report’ will include:
1. Chapters about why you didn’t report
2. Chapters about why you did and the process you experienced
2a. Not prosecuted stories
2b. Prosecuted, no conviction
2c. Prosecuted, conviction
2d. Still in progress at time of writing, outcome unknown
3. Interviews with people involved about what could be done to improve the experience for survivors
‘To Report, Or Not to Report’ will be edited by Emily Jacob (ReConnected Life) and published by Emma Kalson (Resonance Press). Resonance Press is publishing the book pro bono in exchange for 15% of net royalties. The remaining 85% will be donated to the charity chosen by the authors.
How To Submit:
Deadline: Midnight, 30 June, 2017 – NOTE EXTENDED FOR ONE MONTH!!
Wordcount: 2,000 – 3,000 words (a little over, or a little under, will still be considered).
Send your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of “To Report Or Not To Report Submission.”
Your work must be typed in Times New Roman 12pt.
No tabs, headers or footers or personal information.
DOC, DOCX or RTF only.
Name your file with the name you want to publish under and chapter title like this: Name_Title.
Your email should briefly summarise your submission and include:
- Your name
- The name you want to publish under (anonymous is fine if you don’t want to use a pseudonym)
- Your chapter title
- Word count
- Whether your submission relates to the UK, or outside the UK
- Whether your submission relates to childhood trauma, or adult trauma
- Whether you reported, or didn’t report; and if you did, whether you achieved ‘justice’.
(This information will help with ‘sorting’ for the running order of the book).
When You Submit, What You Can Expect:
- When your submission is received, they will be read in the order in which they are received
- When all submissions have been read, you will be informed if your submission will be included. If it is not, you will be given the reasons and a window to address those reasons if you want to.
- You will receive a contract for e-signature. This will state that you own the IP for your work but that Resonance Press and ReConnected Life owns the IP for the book. It will also ask you to indemnify Resonance Press and ReConnected Life from libel in case of any identifying characteristics included in your testimony. In this contract you will also waive your rights to any royalties.
- When the contract is received, you will then be sent your chapter with suggested edits for comment, review and eventually approval.
- All contributors will be given the opportunity to vote for the charity to receive the 85% of net royalties; the charity with the most votes will be the one chosen.
- It is intended that the book will be published on 5 September 2017. (Note, this is now likely to be pushed to later in the Autumn as submissions deadline extended)
The video below has some thoughts on things to consider, particularly about ‘outing’ yourself, and advice to stay safe whilst writing. (Note, the video may mention end of May as the deadline, that has now been extended to end June).