2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This review is without a doubt, the hardest for me to write for many reasons. I say "I hated it," but... it's only because of me and my past that I hated it. So I gave this a three as "neutral." Here is why...
Positives: The writing is very well done! This was a page turner. I couldn't put it down. I couldn't walk away. I read this book in 24 hours. The author articulated a lot of my own thoughts a number of times... And this... this I think is why I hated the book. Because the author was spot on with the horrors here.
Most of the book—and I mean 95% of the book—revolves around men cat-calling, voyeurs, pedophiles, and an insane amount of harassment revolving around unwanted sexual innuendo. And yes! Sexual innuendo galore to the point where you're just... SICK of it. My empathy to the author. I get it!
I read these passages and thought, "Yeah? So? Join the club. You just deal with it." as if the abuse wasn't a big deal. I sounded just like many of the people in this book. This bothered me more than anything. The fact that I was just as "desensitized" to the abuse as the rest of them. That is when I realized I am still "used" to it...
Perhaps sharing some of my own past will help you understand my experience in this read. Perhaps knowing me better will help you understand what you can expect from this book.
I have been raped, tortured, enslaved, spied on, violated, prepped for trafficking, forced to witness severe animal abuse, and beaten. Between two rapists, a pedophile and abusive "boyfriend," I was publicly raped repeatedly for seven years. Privacy is a luxury in my world. Still is even though the abuse ended fifteen years ago.
Like the author, I too LOATHED walking down the street. I still do. When they started, I wore my waist-length hair up in a bun, I carried a book JUST to ward them off and wore glasses all to discourage them. I think the message in this book is "I shouldn't have to!" and "I'm entitled to walk down the street in peace!" I can not tell you how wrong these thoughts feel to me.
The changes I made reduced the number of comments and certainly reduced the harassment, but nevertheless, they continued until I became a shut in... for fifteen years. Being spied on while I used the bathroom does shake you up and violate you in such a horrific way... Of everything I've ever been subjected to... the "eye in the window" bothered me far more than being raped in parking lots and on the highway for all to see. I'll take a rape any day over the unwanted voyeur. Is it wrong that I still think this way?
I didn't read this book as someone who just reads memoirs. I read this book as someone who related 100% to Joy's experiences. Right down to the wet t-shirt "contest" and lewd sexual remarks from EVERYONE.
Maybe this is why I hated this book. Maybe this is why I read it and was frustrated and angry.
This review is so hard...
I respect the author deeply for her courage and strength to share her experiences. I understand completely the strength required to speak out and finally find the courage to throw away the forced silence that rapists and pedophiles demand of you. That silence, in itself, is another kind of hell and abuse.
Stripped of your voice is, without a doubt, the hardest and most final form of abuse to overcome, speaking out and sharing with others your plight... I'm thrilled Joy found her voice and stripped the abusers of that power.
I worry I can not give a review that will do this book justice due to my own experiences. I am too biased. So I will say this:
The author has a wonderful talent and she writes beautifully. Her skills are wonderful! This is a memoir. She tells her life exactly as it happened best to her memory. So the content and the story is not up for criticism. All I can do is smile, hug the authors, and say, "Great job! You have been heard. You're safe now. *smile* Me too."
I was unsatisfied with the ending because no justice was done! Pedophiles walked free... as does mine. Joy presses no charges against her rapists. Neither did I. But it was not because we didn't try!
Joy tried to report the abusers. No one cared. Same here, Joy. Police didn't care that I could give them the name, address, and social security number of the pedophile who raped me for five years. They didn't "want to handle the paperwork."
This book was a strong reminder of how broken our society is and how much these crimes go unpunished everywhere! Not just Australia. And there are many MANY good men in the world... including Australia. I for one, have a very good Australian male-friend: a gentleman.
I have decided that bad men gather in numbers and surround themselves with each other. I also believe that good men gather in numbers and surround themselves with each other. I have no doubt, Joy was lived in a circle of bad men. I also lived in a circle of bad men. I have since landed myself in a circle of good men, all of whom had to stand by and watch their mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends put a fragmented mind back together afterward.
Many of them, my husband included, has dedicated years, just standing by and watching me recover while I writhe with my demons. It isn't for want of helping. This kind of abuse leaves a woman having to fight back and heal all on her own. Our men can't fight our battles for us, but believe you me, they would if they could. I imagine Joy's Brandon is now doing the same for her.
On behalf of all those men... they would give anything to undo what has been done to us and being unable to do so leaves them feeling completely helpless and unable to protect us.
This may be the BPD in me, but I see black and white: men who beat and rape. And men who don't. This book shows only the dark side, save for Brandon.
My recommendation? Read it. Don't rely on reviews for this one. This is one book that you can only take away your own experience.