Trigger warning: This book is about sexual assault and abuse.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Jessica Kingsley Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“Of all the times I've ended up in regrettable sexual situations, the one that will follow me the longest is the one I remember the least.”
Take It As A Compliment tells the stories of survivors of sexual assault, harassment and abuse. These anonymous, real life stories are illustrated by Maria Stoian's artwork, drawn in a style reminiscent of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. She captures the mood of each story without actually depicting anything too graphic. The comic book format provides just enough distance to make it easier to read about such disturbing subject matter without without reducing the significance of the events. The different narrators talk about their feelings of shame or guilt following what happened to them and the difficulty of persuading people to take them seriously. The stories ranged from sexual assault to catcalling, making the point that commonplace acts like that are a form of abuse too.
The book also includes a few brief points of advice for survivors on how to seek support and on how to provide support when someone is ready to talk.
Take it as a Complimentis not a fun book to read, but it is an important one. Maybe it will help survivors to know they are not alone, and teach others that these kinds of things can happen no matter what you are wearing or how you behave and that it's never the victim's fault.