The coronavirus pandemic has made vulnerable people more vulnerable, and brought trauma into many lives that were already unsteady. A powerful testament to personal survival, this story of sexual violence and its effects on mental health, abuse, and addiction also offers insight into how the recovery and mental health treatment communities can change to address these issues more effectively.
In this brutally honest and compelling memoir, Jennifer Storm revisits the trauma of her childhood rape and ensuing addiction and how she channeled her pain into a healing life of advocacy.
Sexual assault, addiction, and other traumatic experiences can leave both physical and emotional scars. For Jennifer Storm, these scars serve as a reminder--both of the darkness and suffering she once experienced, and of how far she has come. When she was first assaulted at age twelve, Jennifer turned to alcohol to dull the emotional pain. After a string of childhood traumas, she fell into crack use and self-harm. Once Jennifer finally found treatment after surviving the last of multiple suicide attempts, she discovered that it was possible to heal her shame. She could start to recover by uncovering the secrets she had kept hidden for years. Blackout Girl is the heartbreaking, enlightening, and inspiring story of Jennifer’s narrow escape from her own self-destructive instincts when all of the odds, and systems, were stacked against her.
Since Blackout Girl was first published in 2008, Jennifer has seen the #MeToo and Times Up movements empower countless brave survivors to reveal the truth of their experiences. Yet, our society is only just beginning to truly understand and support victims and recognize the importance of trauma-informed care. Now more relevant than ever, Jennifer’s story and professional insights expose the societal failures these victims have endured, and how we can all help each other heal. If you are still experiencing or recovering from victimization, Jennifer’s story shows you are not alone. For those struggling to understand a loved one’s experience of addiction and trauma, Jennifer’s recovery provides hope. This new edition of Blackout Girl includes additional chapters with more details of Jennifer’s story, new insights on the societal changes of the past decade, and a powerful foreword by survivor advocate and founder of the End Rape Statute of Limitations movement, Caroline Heldman, PhD. Blackout Girl is a must-read both for those looking to learn about the personal effects of widespread sexual assault and addiction and for those who already hold these issues dear.
About the Author
Jennifer Storm is a survivor, advocate, and internationally recognized victims’ rights expert. Storm has worked on many high-profile cases including helping victims of Jerry Sandusky, Bill Cosby, clergy of the Catholic Church, and thousands of others. She serves as a content expert on victims’ rights in the media and tours the country sharing her experiences. Her media appearances include frequent live and taped appearances on all major networks as a spokesperson for victims’ rights. In addition to Blackout Girl, Jennifer is the author of Leave the Light On: A Memoir of Recovery and Self-Discovery, Picking Up the Pieces without Picking Up: A Guidebook through Victimization for People in Recovery, and Echoes of Penn State: Facing Sexual Trauma. She is also working on a documentary based on Blackout Girl to help raise awareness of the cycle of addiction, victimization, and trauma. Storm resides in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, with her wife, Fianne, and their adopted son, Victor.
In Blackout Girl, Jennifer Storm provides us an unvarnished, harrowing and transformative look into the workings of trauma, and the healing, redemption and resilience that comes from it. Her deeply personal, honest and matter-of-fact account of her trials is a testament to the courageous spirit of a true survivor. — Andrea Constand, Founder, Hope, Healing and Transformation
Storm's Blackout Girl cries out into the darkness that recovery from addiction and sexual assault is possible. It is a story of courage and hope. — Constance Scharff, , PhD, VP Rock to Recovery, Addiction and Mental Health Researcher
Jennifer Storm's experiences as a sexual assault survivor who also battled addiction, so honestly and painfully detailed in this book, are what make her such an effective, passionate advocate for victims in the state of Pennsylvania. She truly understands what they're going through, from every possible angle. She's also an inspiration, showing there is a path to recovery, even after you hit rock bottom; that you can not only heal, but use the knowledge you gained to help others, which she does. Every single day. — Nicole Weisensee Egan, author of CHASING COSBY and award-winning investigative journalist
Raw. Authentic. We are in a time of elevating consciousness, and this is the type of story the world needs to hear right now. Addiction and trauma are so often partners in crime. These are battles fought well beneath the surface. And not everyone is willing to go there. — Wes Geer, former Korn guitarist, Founder of Rock to Recovery
I have had the honor of knowing Jennifer for many years and have always known her to be honest, compassionate, funny, smart as a whip and a kick ass broad and Victim Advocate. So it is no surprise to me that she would author a book that encapsulates all of who she is, in an effort to make a difference in the world. Her raw truth telling punches you in the gut but it is her divine hope for a better tomorrow that inspires all of us to do more to help other victims and survivors. — Kim Goldman, Victim Advocate, NYT's Best Selling Author, Host of Confronting: O.J. Simpson, and Vice Chair of National Center for Victims of Crime