Monday, April 6, 2015

Tolson 4 TEARS* Reviews "Crash Into Me"

Liz Seccuro spent years building her world anew after it had been destroyed by rape when she was seventeen. The strong foundation of her carefully structured life was weakened when the rapist, William Beebe, dared to contact her twenty-two years after the assault. Ms. Seccuro wrote Crash Into Me as a concise narrative that documents the complex true story of surviving after rape, and seeking the justice victims deserve.
Ms. Seccuro conveys how she feels as she engages the rapist in email correspondence. The exchanges prompt her to take on the seemingly insurmountable task of pressing charges against the man who had assaulted her when they were at the University of Virginia in 1984.
The reader sees the wide net of protection that is cast upon institutions that value the status-quo. It is disturbing to hear how society defends the perpetrator while blaming the victim. It is maddening to read that: “in a rape case, it is never, ever the alleged rapist on trial, whether in the courtroom or in the media. The victim is on trial. Always.” (p. 114) No wonder victims do not dare report!
Ms. Seccuro candidly reveals the details of her experience, and the story yields even more brutality and betrayal. She balances her emotional content with the inclusion of court documents (which left me shaking my head in disbelief at the absurdity of the questions posed by the defendant’s attorney to the witness, the victim herself). She deepens the readers empathy with every impossible decision she must make. How hard do rape victims have to work to empower themselves as individuals and in society?
Seccuro’s singular book speaks volumes about the priggish institutional systems and the precision in which they cooperate to cover-up crime. How can a medical facility turn away a rape victim? (This was the case for seventeen year old Liz). Crash Into Me is a fast-paced, riveting read, written with clarity and courage. Bravo to Liz Seccuro!


Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
*Tolson 4 TEARS: Telling everyone about rape and suicide, so no shed tears is wasted.

Rolling Stone Magazine published an in 2014 titled "A Rape on Campus" that was focused on a University of Virgina student "Jackie" who claimed sexual assault in a fraternity house. Controversy ensued over the validity of the student's claims and the credibility of the journalist.

Liz Seccuro responded by publishing an article in The Daily Beast with the heading "I was gang-raped at the University of Virginia. I was gang-raped at the Phi Kappi Psi fraternity house... and no one did anything." 



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