As an intern, Caryn didn’t expect her writing to get too much exposure, but when she submits an article about the sexual abuse of her former teacher at Windemere Academy, she unleashes a firestorm as other women come out to state their claims that the same teacher did something similar to them, the teacher who happens to still have a job at the same school. These Violent Delights by Victoria Naming is a raw and uncensored peek into the world of sexual harassment, adolescence, and culpability, as well as consent and justice. It seems that now more than ever, we need a book like this to shake up the conversation.
The story Caryn tells is one that many people have probably heard before, a teacher gets too close, she feels uncomfortable, then when she brings it up to the authorities, or the people that are supposed to protect her from the perpetrator, they don’t do much about the situation. A little slap on the wrist, at best. This happens more than we can ever know in this country. Hearing Caryn’s story makes me sick, especially have I have a daughter. When Caryn starts to receive emails from other girls who have been in the same predicament that she was in with the same teacher, she starts to feel less alone, and more like they can actually do something about the trauma that they all endured.
This book is written beautifully, it’s not too heavy where you feel like your re getting punched in the stomach by the information, and you will be rooting for Caryn to get her justice after all these years. Naturally, there are the naysayers within the book, the people that don’t believe her, and of course the person that’s screaming “WHY NOW?” but as you watch Caryn rise above them, you can’t help but be proud as if she was one of your own children.
Thankfully, I have not experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, though I have been sexually harassed before (to be honest, I don’t think there is a woman alive who hasn’t been at some point in her life), but reading this story made me want to stick up for all the people who have been treated wrongly, unfairly, and to seek justice and get the answers they deserve. When your family and your school won’t stick up for you and do what’s right, then you have to do it yourself. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it was incredible. Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book.