Things That Must Be Said: An Erin Moulton Book Review

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. Every eight minutes, that American is a child. While hundreds are affected by this on a daily basis, six of every 1,000 abusers are imprisoned. The topic of sexual assault has been marked as taboo for decades… until now.

In Things We Haven’t Said, Erin Moulton dives into online sources, nonfiction titles, and most importantly, actual survivor stories to help get the point across that time is up not only for the abusers who have gotten away with their actions, but for the idea that this can’t be an open topic.

Moulton opens the book with her introduction to the topic of sexual assault. While she has never experienced it personally, she was a teen librarian and heard a student’s story during a summer program.

“I replayed the situation in my mind and realized how unprepared I’d been to discuss sexual violence,” she said.

Creating this book was a long time in the making for her, but once stories started making their way to her she knew that she was onto something.

Each person’s story is beyond heartbreaking – from Ella Andrews’ poem about her father to Janet Goldblatt Holmes’ letter to her former self. Attempting to walk in their shoes even for a step is something words can’t do justice. However, their words and their stories are eye-opening in every sense of the word.

After each author’s story, Moulton conducts a brief Q&A to have them expand on what they’re willing to share, give advice to anyone who may be in a similar situation and share how accomplished they’ve become after facing the cruelest treatment.

Allison Maloney became the news and politics editor at Teen Vogue. G. Donald Gribbs published a novel titled The Packing House and his working on its sequel. Carrie Jones is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. Bryson McCrone is a novelist and a poet. Carol Lynch Williams won the Whitney and the Association of Mormon Letters awards for her young adult novel.

Each post-story discussion shares similar beliefs in that recovery is, and possibly will forever be, an ongoing process. There are still moments that they battle and moments that the memories come back full force, but they continue with positive outlooks with the help of family, friends and professionals.

These crimes that happened to them do not define who they were and who they have become. They have struggled and they have survived. They are warriors. They are inspirations. They are breaking past the wall of things that haven’t been said.