Robert Uttaro – To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence

tothesurvivorsRobert Uttaro, a long-time advocate for those affected by sexual violence wrote To the Survivors. It’s a memoir of his own journey to become a rape crisis counselor with The Healing Place (THP), a fictional name to hide his employer from associated, as are the real names of the people he interviewed for the book. Uttaro doesn’t want to talk about sexual violence victims as mere statistics. Their true stories, illustrated by raw quotes and poems make up the most part of To the Suvivors.¬†The survivors are diverse in age, gender, religion and ethnicity. Some of them became speakers for THP, others just discovered their dark past and open up for Bobby U, Uttaro’s nick name.

In each chapter a survivor shares a story, is honest about feelings of overcoming, anger, revenge, forgiveness and moving on. Therapy, martial arts, deep breathing, or an understanding that there’s much more light than darkness, there’s help for everyone. The author doesn’t want to offer a one size fits all. Sexual violence is too complex to tackle in one book. According to Robert Uttaro survivors are not to blame. If someone discloses to you, please believe and listen to him or her. Don’t force survivors to do anything. Support them in what they need at the time. Always understand that people can and do heal from sexual violence and other forms of violence as well. Belief in hope and healing are core messages of this uplifting, yet emotional book on a very sensitive and tough topic.

About the author

Robert Uttaro is in his eighth year of working and volunteering as a rape crisis counselor, public speaker and community educator. Inspired by his undergraduate studies in Criminal Justice, 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. A recent significant blessing for Uttaro was the opportunity to address soldiers of the United States Army at Fort Eustis, Newport News, Virginia.

Read interviews with the author on Booksummit.com, and Worcestermagazine.com.

The author provided me a free review copy.