End Silenced Abuse: Tell Somebody
Aleesha Barlow with Shalonda SJ Johnson, The TMG Firm, LLC , Memoir/Biography/Autobiography
In this era of social media, the author’s Tell Somebody, Inc. organization, founded in 2015 because of the sexual abuse she experienced as a child in the early 1990s, has helped energize a movement, not unlike the energy Alyssa Milano’s 2017 tweet helped attract to Tarana Burke’s 2006 Me Too Movement.
While the first half of the book shares the details of the abuse and the lack of support she received from family members, the second half tells her inspiring journey described by Oprah Winfrey as, “You are a perfect role model for turning pain into power.” The first half is a difficult read; however, it is in the second half where that transition is most evident and can be appreciated for the potential to support others. Aleesha Barlow states, “More often than not, Tell Somebody affords me the opportunity to interact with survivors, like myself, or to focus on prevention.”
Given that the focus is on childhood sexual abuse, perhaps the book should come with a trigger warning, particularly due to the cover featuring a photo of a young girl. Also, chapter subject headers would be helpful for those who need to read about how they can be helped, rather than re-living someone else’s story.
Overall this book is a worthwhile read that would be better served by a revision of the packaging, especially interior layout, and less details of the horrific abuse. Hopefully, this book provides another opportunity for healing for Aleesha and her brother, as well as for other victims of childhood sexual abuse.
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