April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Not so coincidentally, this month also marks the start of a partnership between Macmillan and RAINN to raise money for survivors of sexual assault, called Speak4RAINN. Macmillan is the publisher of Laurie Halse Anderson's best-selling novel Speak, which is about a high school girl who is raped and subsequently withdraws from her life, including no longer talking to her friends, family, and really everyone.
Since the novel was first published in 1999, Halse Anderson has been speaking at schools and discussing her novel with students - many of whom, she's found, don't really understand what rape is, or how it can destroy the victim's life. In this awesome article from the Atlantic, Halse Anderson talks about her experiences working with students. That woman has probably single-handedly taught more people about the realities of sexual assault than almost anyone, and she's done it through literature, in a way that helps start discussions and gets to the heart of the matter. Simply amazing.
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