In this honest and practical guide, rape survivor and victim advocate Jennifer Storm shares the information, tools, and resources she has gained from more than twenty years of personal and professional experience to help fellow survivors recover from co-occurring sexual trauma and substance use.
In recent years, the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have exposed the truth that many already knew: sexual violence, victimization, and rape culture are real, pervasive, and causing widespread trauma for millions of survivors. This newfound visibility is also shedding light on the lack of resources available for victims to cope and heal from their pain. Perhaps it’s not surprising that many turn to whatever coping mechanisms are close by, which often include alcohol, other drugs, and unhealthy behaviors. How can people in recovery from both sexual trauma and substance use heal in a place where victim-blaming and addiction stigma collide?
Jennifer Storm is living proof that there is hope. In her memoir Blackout Girl, she shared her story and showed survivors that they are not alone. In Awakening Blackout Girl, Jennifer goes further by providing the road map she used to wake herself up from the drug-fueled numbness that was killing her and to achieve a fulfilling life of recovery and advocacy. With more than twenty years of experience helping other victims through the criminal justice system, Jennifer knows what survivors face. In this guide, she provides the exercises, tools, and wisdom they need to heal. The foreword by Kristen Schmidt, MD, an addiction psychiatrist and trauma expert at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, provides essential context on the clinical treatment of sexual trauma and addiction and how Jennifer’s strategies can help you find recovery.
While covering crucial subjects ranging from shame and self-harm to sex and relationships, Jennifer’s message is this: Neither your pain, nor your offender, nor anyone else who doubts your strength gets to finish your story. You have the power to write your ending. You can survive, you can heal, and you can thrive.
About the Author
Jennifer Storm is a survivor, author, advocate, and internationally recognized victim’s rights expert with more than twenty years of experience. 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 victim’s 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 telling her story in her first memoir, Blackout Girl, Storm 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.