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I Have the Right To
Cover of I Have the Right To
I Have the Right To
A High School Survivor's Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope
"A bold, new voice." —People
"A nuanced addition to the #MeToo conversation." —Vice

A young survivor tells her searing, visceral story of sexual assault, justice, and healing in this gutwrenching memoir.
The numbers are staggering: nearly one in five girls ages fourteen to seventeen have been the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. This is the true story of one of those girls.

In 2014, Chessy Prout was a freshman at St. Paul's School, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire, when a senior boy sexually assaulted her as part of a ritualized game of conquest. Chessy bravely reported her assault to the police and testified against her attacker in court. Then, in the face of unexpected backlash from her once-trusted school community, she shed her anonymity to help other survivors find their voice.

This memoir is more than an account of a horrific event. It takes a magnifying glass to the institutions that turn a blind eye to such behavior and a society that blames victims rather than perpetrators. Chessy's story offers real, powerful solutions to upend rape culture as we know it today. Prepare to be inspired by this remarkable young woman and her story of survival, advocacy, and hope in the face of unspeakable trauma.
"A bold, new voice." —People
"A nuanced addition to the #MeToo conversation." —Vice

A young survivor tells her searing, visceral story of sexual assault, justice, and healing in this gutwrenching memoir.
The numbers are staggering: nearly one in five girls ages fourteen to seventeen have been the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. This is the true story of one of those girls.

In 2014, Chessy Prout was a freshman at St. Paul's School, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire, when a senior boy sexually assaulted her as part of a ritualized game of conquest. Chessy bravely reported her assault to the police and testified against her attacker in court. Then, in the face of unexpected backlash from her once-trusted school community, she shed her anonymity to help other survivors find their voice.

This memoir is more than an account of a horrific event. It takes a magnifying glass to the institutions that turn a blind eye to such behavior and a society that blames victims rather than perpetrators. Chessy's story offers real, powerful solutions to upend rape culture as we know it today. Prepare to be inspired by this remarkable young woman and her story of survival, advocacy, and hope in the face of unspeakable trauma.
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About the Author-
  • Chessy Prout is a high school sexual assault survivor. Raised in Japan, Chessy matriculated to St. Paul's School—a boarding school in New Hampshire, where her father and sister attended. There, as a freshman, Chessy was the victim of a sexual assault. Chessy's case and eventual trial garnered national and international media attention, as her assault was part of a ritual competition at the school called the "Senior Salute." Two years later, in Chessy's pursuit for justice, she decided to step forward publicly in August 2016 and launched the #IHaveTheRightTo initiative with the organization PAVE, for which she is an ambassador. In this initiative Chessy encourages survivors and others to assert their most important, basic rights, and uses her voice to let other survivors know that you are not alone.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 12, 2018
    In this honest and raw memoir, Prout shares her experience as a 15-year-old victim of sexual assault by an older student at New Hampshire's St. Paul's School in 2014. With a sometimes confusing structure, Prout chronicles her first (and final) year at the boarding school. Leading up to the assault, she writes about battling homesickness, navigating a rocky friendship, and struggling to find her place at a school where, she perceives, "everything was about status, tradition, and hierarchy—and guys ruled all three." She also reflects on surviving a terrifying earthquake in Tokyo in 2011, where she temporarily lived with her family. Prout's descriptions of her assault and its crushing emotional aftermath (involving self-doubt, guilt, shame, peer ostracizing, and cyber-bullying) and the agonizing, widely publicized trial that resulted in her assailant's conviction on some, but not all, charges brought against him, are wrenching and painful. Readers will take away a deep appreciation and admiration for Prout's resilience as she transitions into a resolute crusader for the empowerment of victims of sexual violence—and for its prevention. Ages 14-up. Agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2018
    As a 15-year-old, Prout was sexually assaulted at an elite New England boarding school, a crime that would make the national news before she made the decision to go public with her identity and reclaim her story.Prout takes readers behind the headlines in this candid and inspiring memoir of her assault and subsequent journey to justice and healing. After a childhood in Tokyo with her biracial (Japanese and white) father, white mother, and two sisters, Prout joined her older sister at St. Paul's, where a social system based on privilege and status allowed misogyny to flourish unchecked. As a freshman, Prout was raped by a popular senior boy who took her on a "Senior Salute," a ritualized school tradition wherein seniors tried to "score" younger students before graduation. Prout recounts her traumatic experience and its prolonged aftermath--the bullying and ostracization she endured upon her return to St. Paul's and the well-publicized trial--in honest and gut-wrenching detail. Prout acknowledges her privilege as a "white, straight, blond-haired girl from an upper-class family" that supported her unconditionally and explains that she wants to use her voice to help create a culture in which all survivors of sexual assault can feel empowered to speak out.Powerful, essential reading for all high school and college students, parents, and educators. (author's note, resources, letter from the Prouts, note from co-writer, acknowledgements) (Memoir. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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I Have the Right To
I Have the Right To
A High School Survivor's Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope
Chessy Prout
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