In some ways, this particular title didn’t seem appropriate for a book review. A False Report is the true story of a serial rapist, how he was brought to justice, and the victim that nobody believed. But honestly, this book needs as much publicity as it can possibly get, specifically because of its subject matter.
What fired me up:
The authors went to a lot of trouble to try and mitigate any bias stemming from their genders. Extensive research, sensitivity checks, and the way the cases were presented throughout the book. At each stage, they show both a case gone right and a case gone wrong.
They also expertly balance giving enough of the graphic detail to appropriately show the suffering inflicted without being gratuitous. It’s overall a very readable, if emotionally difficult, demonstration of what happens when we choose not to believe people who come forward.
As I mentioned above, it was an emotionally difficult read. There were times I had to stop reading and take a break, just because it was a lot to process. That’s the only bad thing I can really say, and even that’s not a condemnation so much as a warning. Don’t necessarily try to plough through the whole thing in one sitting, as it can get graphic and kind of heavy, given the subject matter. But don’t skip it unless sexual violence is triggering for you.
As America has a farcical debate about whether or not it matters that a SCOTUS nominee might have sexually assaulted someone and heaps scorn on the women who came forward, books like A False Report are becoming essential reading. We’re long overdue for a very critical overhaul of how we as a society regard sexual violence. Part of that, is examining what happens when women are automatically doubted. Marie’s story is a stark example of that.
So while it can be a painful, emotionally difficult read at times, I would highly encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zones and read this book.
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Originally published at ashandfeather.com on September 25, 2018.