To the Survivors
is about one man’s journey as a rape crisis counselor with true stories of sexual violence shared by survivors in their own words. Gently and beautifully constructed, To the Survivors is moving, tender, sharp, and piercingly true all at once. Readers will encounter uncensored written stories, poems, and interviews from women and men who have experienced rape and sexual assault, plus the advocate-author voice that weaves their experiences together. The survivors are diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity, yet each gives a similarity raw and heartfelt account of his or her victimization and recovery. The authenticity and vulnerability with which survivors speak resonates profoundly. But this book is not just for survivors of sexual violence. Robert Uttaro believes anyone can benefit from the words in these pages, rape survivor or not.
By Grady Harp on October 30, 2014
Author Robert Uttaro studied Criminal Justice and what he has done with both his educational background and indomitable spirit in bringing closure and healing to rape victims as discussed in this book makes him a very significant herald of change. He has been working and volunteering as a rape crisis counselor, public speaker and community educator for seven years and he continues to embrace a life-long commitment to activism and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence. Serving as a counselor, Uttaro supports rape survivors and their significant others through various legal and case management issues. He also facilitates workshops aimed at education, prevention and exposure of the realities of sexual violence. Uttaro is currently touring many universities and high schools throughout Massachusetts.
The scope of this book is vast and yet personal. In this volume Uttaro talks to us, his readers, about how he came into the line of counseling to which he ha devoted his life, but he does this in the most credible way possible. The book is a series of interviews with sexually abused victims, conversations really, in which Uttaro explores the history of each patient, male and female, who have come to The Healing Place (THP) and are growing away from the indelible scars with which early sexual abuse has marked their psyches. His transcripts of these conversations are well demarcated by having the victims’ words in bold italics and his own responses and questions and guidance in regular font. He names each of his chapters for the person in the interview and the shared moments cross sexual lines – male, female, transgender – multicultural and multigenerational. For example, one man, raped at age 4, des not come to grips with his `repressed/forgotten’ incident until he is 55 years old.
By Melissa Dykas on September 7, 2014
This book draws attention to the real and painful disturbing truths in society. It is mind opening and educational. To the Survivors explains how there is a such a loss of true compassion and empathy in society. The lessons and messages are applicable in many life situations. Lets face it; somehow someway we are all survivors. We all have a story. It is about using our voice. Being heard with sincere validation and belief is imperative. One will never heal but those who have the proper support systems and resources are able to begin to cope. Bobby shows these examples throughout the whole book with different people, different stories but the same message; NOT victims these people are real live survivors.
It is beyond discouraging to hear that in some cases individuals do not have the support of their own friends and family. They do not want to hear it or believe it.
This book is from a male’s perspective that eloquently demonstrates that us that rape has no limits. This huge act of social injustice does not just last a day or night , the effects and repercussions last a lifetime.
This book should not be looked at as a controversial but rather a survival tool for those in need. It should also serve as a loud reminder that instead of being entitled and selfish being nice and compassionate can go a long way in society!
By Sandra on January 16, 2015
By L. C. Henderson on February 14, 2016
Many a reader will most probably find it rather ironical that the author of To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence, Robert Uttaro, grew up in a Catholic household. This is especially so when one considers how much sexual molestation has been at the front of the news for several decades now as a sin that has, in the past (and, one fears, even at present, although perhaps to a slightly lesser extent), tended to have been covered up by the Catholic Church when it has been perpetrated within their own ranks. Uttaro states, in this regard: “For the purposes of this book, I will only write about the allegations of priests breaking their vows of celibacy, sexual abuse, and an arrest of one priest.” Reading between the lines, it seems that Uttaro knows a great deal more on this subject than he intends to share, but, then, this is only one aspect of the whole spectrum of rape and survival, and he has a vast field to cover. However, he does offer some insights into the issue of the hushing up of sexual scandal under the banner of Cardinal Law, from the perspective of what he encountered while growing up, albeit it largely based on the accounts of others.
Uttaro states that his sole purpose in receiving his initial training as a rape counselor, which he concluded in August of 2007, was to help rape survivors in any way possible, as he felt that his vocation lay in that direction, in short, to counter the evil of rape, which he sees as a very tangible and negative force in this world