**Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, Rape, Violence**
Hello friends and people I may not know yet! Today the discussion will be about sexual assault in YA. The topic came about after a new friend commented on last week’s discussion about Sex In YA via Twitter. I had written a tweet before I posted the discussion….
BOOK BLOGGERS: what are your opinions/thoughts on sex in YA? I’m writing a discussion about it now and would love your input!! (pls RT!)
— Angel (@AvidReaderBlog) June 13, 2016
and she answered it saying….
@AvidReaderBlog I think a convo on sexual assault in YA/NA would be interesting too. It happens all the time, needs to be discussed.
— Sophia Elaine Hanson (@authorsehanson) June 13, 2016
And thus started the conversation, ending to where we are now. Now this discussion is going to be a little more interesting/different than the others I’ve posted because it is a two part-er (hence the “-1”)! Today I will be discussing sexual assault in YA and then Sophia will discuss it tomorrow with a guest post on here! Y’all ready for this? Let’s go:
Ok so I’m not gonna lie, I’ve maybe read three books that include sexual assault and I can only name one off the top of my head, What We Saw* by Aaron Hartzler . I read WWS last year I believe and ohmygoodness it was soooooo good! It’s inclusion of sexual assault and the really real reactions of everyone knowingly/unknowingly involved was a breath of fresh air and made it one of the best books I’ve ever read. My point is, though, that the fact that I’ve maybe read 3 books involving sexual assault and can name one of those off the top of my head, is horrible! It’s kinda like the Muslim representation thing I talked about a couple weeks ago: representation is needed! There are people out there whose stories and lives have been changed by sexual assault and yet no one talks about them in the right way. Sure, we talk about it all the time over the news – [insert name] faces # months/years in prison for raping [insert second name] at [insert place – but it’s always followed by “but what was she wearing? Was she drinking? Were they friends or lovers? Is he really a rapist?” aka all the horrible, degrading questions that makes sexual survivors feel like nothing…
ASIDE: Before we go farther, I will acknowledge that you probably caught on to my usage of ‘she’ in regards to the survivor. I said that because the news only seems to talk about women survivors as if no other gender is raped. They are and their stories should be talked about…
(back to the post) Hence the need for sexual assault to be written about more! There’s a # going around Twitter today called #OwnYourOwn started by the wonderful Kaye M. that I actually participated in for a bit and urge you to participate in! #OwnYourOwn story! Own your assault and be unafraid to talk about your experience and how that’s changed you and give advice! If you’re scared to talk about it, it’s a good way to dip your foot in the water because anyone following the hashtag is really understanding and will not judge or hate you one bit.
The underlying point of this entire post really – before I continue rambling hahaha – is that sexual assault needs to be written about more because representation matters.
Including sexual assault means you’re educating hundreds of people on a really skewed topic, you’re giving a voice to fellow survivors and opening the discussion.
Just something to think about it and I’d love to know what you think….what do you think both about the post and about sexual assault in YA? Do you like how it’s presented? Should there be more or less? Do you know of any books inclusive of sexual assault? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments below! Also, don’t forget, tomorrow part 2 of this discussion post will be up! Thank you, have a great day/night and tata for now!
*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon 🙂