We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out is a powerful anthology of 36 stories from survivors of campus sexual assault. The book is an important step for EROC and the survivors who contributed their stories.
About the Book
We Believe You is a collection of 36 survivor stories powerfully conveying the realities of trauma, healing, and everyday activism. Through telling their stories,these survivors amplify voices that are too often silenced - LGBT, male, and/or survivors of color- and in doing so, challenge pervasive narratives surrounding campus sexual assault. The book allows survivors to tell their stories without the filter of media, stigma, or shame. These are their stories told in their voices.
The power of this book stems from the survivors that brought it to life. Unfortunately, their stories echo throughout the country. 1:4 female identifying students and 1:6 male identifying students will be assaulted by the time they graduate college. We Believe You sends an important message to these survivors: You are not alone.
We're proud of Annie, Andrea, and the 34 survivors who used this book as a platform to make their stories known. ALL survivors deserve to be believed and heard. Period.
About the Editors & Contributors
Andrea L. Pino is a co-founder of End Rape On Campus, and the Director of Policy & Support. She attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Political Science. Her activism has been featured in the The New York Times, Vogue, CNN, Good Morning America, as well as many other media outlets. She has appeared as a guest on theMelissa Harris-Perry show, and is a contributor to the Huffington Post. In 2013, she became the first student featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Influence List, and was listed on the Huffington Post’s most influential forces in higher education list. Her work and personal journey is prominently featured in the documentary The Hunting Ground, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Annie E. Clark is a co-founder of End Rape on Campus, and a lead complainant in the Title IX and Clery complaints against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Political Science. She has a certificate in business, and is a former administrator at the University of Oregon. She is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae. After directly working with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, she helped write the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act. In 2013, she was listed alongside President Barack Obama as one of the most influential forces in higher education, and she is featured in the campus sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground.
We Believe You Contributors
We are so grateful to the 34 survivors who have brought this book to life. Their powerful narratives counter common misconceptions regarding campus sexual assault and inspire us to demand inclusion as we move forward in addressing this issue.
Although may survivors are now coming forward, May have not and never will for many reasons. For many it is fear of safety, for others it's fear of being ostracized by their communities or their school, and for many queer, trans and survivors of color, it's lack of spaces for their stories. Not every survivor needs to or should have to come forward, but we acknowledge that this book is stronger because of the courage of our anonymous contributors. We Believe You, and you are not alone.
More bios Coming Soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is this book about, and why is it so important?
We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out, is a powerful collection of 36 stories of survival, healing, and everyday activism. For the first time, readers will have the opportunity to hear student stories that are too often silenced, exploring the ignored intersections of race, economic and family backgrounds, gender identities, and immigration statuses – told by survivors, for survivors, and full of their political journeys in between.
Why are you focusing on campus survivors?
Sexual assault happens in every area of our society, and happens way before students even apply to college, as some of our contributors themselves talk about. This being said, we are focusing on colleges to illustrate a microcosm of how violence goes unaddressed across our entire society. Much like on campuses, there are institutional hierarchies of racial, gender, and financial privileges that protect perpetrators and silence survivors in the criminal justice system, high schools, churches, and the athletic and entertainment industries. We hope that by delving into the stories of campus violence that we can help pave a path for societal accountability to end all sexual violence, on and off campuses.
Where do the proceeds from the book go?
We Believe You was published as a paperback to keep the price down, and keep the book as accessible as possible. The ”author" portion of profits will be donated to the non-profit organization End Rape on Campus (EROC), which works to end campus sexual violence through direct support for survivors and their communities, among other kinds of activism. Specifically, EROC wants to create a fund for survivors--to ensure a safe place to stay for a night or two, or psychological counseling, a plane ticket to see family, or other supports.
What kinds of stories are in this book?
We Believe You is woven together by the stories of 36 survivors of campus violence, including survivors of many different identities. We share the stories of male survivors, of trans and non-binary survivors, of survivors of different national origins and racial communities, and survivors of many facets of the queer community with the intention of encompassing the full picture of who is impacted by campus violence. The book is told for survivors , free from the filters of the 'perfect victim,' or from the harmful framing of 'alleged assaults.' unfiltered, not-white washed, or straight-washed, or sensationalized by the media.
I’m concerned about triggers, what should I be aware of?
Every survivor has different triggers, but we formatted We Believe You in a way that readers could pause in between the stories. The chapters are divided in to five different sections of survivors lives: ‘Before,’ ‘How it Happened,’ ‘Trauma & Betrayal,’ ‘Everyday Activism,’ and ‘Declaration of Independence.’ If you are concerned about triggers, each section introduction will give a brief preface of what lies in the following pages. We encourage all readers to practice self-care if they feel that a section is too triggering to read at this time. The power of We Believe You is that these stories will always be with you when you need them.
I am not a survivor...should I read this book?
Yes! Absolutely. This book is for survivors, but it's also for their support systems - parents, friends, family members, partners and their communities. We need more allies, and this book allows folks who are unfamiliar with this topic to read first hand accounts and to understand the complexities of sexual violence and its aftermath. We Believe You is a great educational tool, and will be taught everywhere from women studies classes, law schools to student affairs masters programs. This book is for educators, students, lawmakers, politicians, and those who work in the criminal justice system. Anyone could read it and gain something from these strong, inspiring testimonies of surviving, healing, and everyday activism.
Where Can I Get One?
Click here to access all the options to buy the book online.
What can I do to get involved?
Check out our new "Take Action" site detailing all the ways you can get involved to join the movement and counter campus sexual violence and rape culture.
Spread the word about the book using the hashtag #WeBelieveYou!
Media Coverage & Testimonials
Andrea Pino and Annie Clark helped start a national conversation on campus sexual assault. Now they've published a collection of survivors' stories.
On Tuesday, Andrea Pino and Annie E. Clark, founders of End Rape on Campus and the primary subjects of the 2015 documentary “The Hunting Ground,” will release their first book, “We Believe You,” a compilation of stories from sexual assault survivors published by Holt Paperbacks.
Campus sexual assault is an international epidemic and two survivors are helping to continue the discussion by giving those who come forward a voice