DATED: 27 July 2018

THE ANATOMY OF SILENCE (Or: the shit that gets in the way of speaking out about sexual violence)

edited by Cyra Perry Dougherty

How do you understand the silences and silencing that surround sexual violence? What’s at the root of your not speaking up or speaking out about what you see, hear, or experience related to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault?What are the ways that your body, family, friends, partners, institutions, and cultural norms perpetuate silences surrounding sexual violence?

What happens when you say something?


Nearly universally—culturally, socially, politically—we have a hard time talking about sex, sexuality, gender, and we have an even harder time talking openly and honestly about the

hurt that comes from sexual violence in all its forms. The Anatomy of Silence is an anthology of personal narratives that seeks to understand these silences surrounding sexual violence better in order to plant the seeds for change. Our Kickstarter campaign to support the cost of this project will be launching in October.

If you are a survivor or ally interested in submitting a piece about the ways you have been silenced or encountered the culture of silence surrounding sex, sexual harassment, and/or sexual assault, please submit it to with the subject line: ANATOMY OF SILENCE SUBMISSION, TITLE OF ESSAY, NAME by 23/08/2018. (Word Limit 2,500 words. Writers who are published in the final project will be paid for their work. Rates are $0.06 pw up to a max of $250.)


Many of us needed the collective power of #MeToo Movement to encourage us to break our silences surrounding our experience with sexual violence. But what created those silences in the first place?

The Anatomy of Silence invites us to understand how we learn what is ok and not ok when it comes to speaking about sexual violence in our lives, families, and institutions. Through a collection of personal narratives, this anthology points to a vicious cycle of silence and silencing that creates to global culture in which victims of sexual violence suffer silently, often alone, without clear avenues for healing. Each chapter is a building block in the collective wisdom of what will be required of us to break the cycle of silence. The testimonies collected in The Anatomy of Silence together suggest that it is in learning how to speak about sex, feelings, oppression, and violence that we will make change.

Download and share the PDF version of this Call for Submissions