How far would you go to tell a story?

In 2004, Voices and Faces Project founder Anne K. Ream and documentary photographer Patricia Evans embarked on a unique journey. Their goal was to document the stories of survivors who have been shaped – but refuse to be defined – by the gender-based violence they have lived through. Anne and Patricia believed that putting names and faces on an issue that too often leaves its victims silent and invisible could change the way the public sees gender-based violence. And the way that survivors of such violence see themselves.

The resulting book of narrative and photographic profiles  – Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors – is the end result of their journey. Part personal history of Anne’s experience rebuilding her own life in the wake of violence, part memoir of a multi-year, multi-country journey spent listening to survivors, Lived Through This is at once deeply personal, and resolutely political. The survivors profiled in the pages of Lived Through This aren’t sharing their testimonies because doing so is healing—although it can be—but because it is necessary in a world that too often underestimates the scope and scale of gender-based violence in the US, and beyond our borders.


Critical praise for Lived Through This.

Heart-stopping, beautifully rendered stories of survivors powerfully illustrating the notion that when we tell our stories, we change the story.”

Eve Ensler

Author of In the Body of the World
Ream’s greatest accomplishment is her book’s considerable humanism, giving each survivor a three-dimensional life and personality that transcends the stigma too often attached to rape. Each individual story commands attention; assembled as a collection, they positively demand it.”

Publishers Weekly

Anne K. Ream has turned a deeply personal trauma into a rallying call for survivors of gender-based violence. The range of individuals profiled in Lived Through This shatter every stereotype imaginable about those who are targets of abuse. This is one author who understands that the struggle to end abuse is not about gender, but about common humanity.”

Jimmie Briggs

Author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War
Anne K. Ream poignantly shows that sexual violence isn’t about statistics, it’s about survival. The courage of the survivors in Lived Through This will inspire you and leave you wanting to do more to end the violence that touches nearly every family in America.”

Scott Berkowitz

President and Founder
(Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
The atrocity of sexual abuse as told by a captivating, diverse collective of survivors…A sad reality graced with hope, humanity and compassion.”

Kirkus Reviews

Lived Through This is a heartbreaking book that is also hopeful in its belief that people’s stories matter. Its most beautiful virtue is that it’s not the story of a series of assaults; it’s the story of a community of survivors who found the courage to share one part — one enormous part — of their history.”

Chicago Tribune

In Lived Through This Anne Ream has created a series of profiles that vividly bring to life the ways that survivors are creating change in their communities. This is a book that requires that we stop, listen and truly bear witness. An important step toward bringing back the light on the issue of sexual violence.”

Maile Zambuto

Joyful Heart Foundation

Let’s talk:The Lived Through This discussion guide.

Powerful books create important conversations. The Lived Through This discussion guide was developed to help readers think differently – and deeply – about gender-based violence, while encouraging them to ask key questions about each of the stories in the book. Developed by the trauma-informed team at The Voices and Faces Project, the discussion guide can serve as a helpful resource for literary book groups and survivor support groups. It is also an excellent training tool for rape crisis counselors, therapists in private practice, and direct service providers seeking to better understand and serve those whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and trafficking.

From the page to the stage: Lived Through This is being adapted for the theater.

Through a partnership between The Voices and Faces Project, Women’s Media Group, and award-winning theatrical director Ann Filmer, Lived Through This is being adapted for the stage by its author, Anne K. Ream, alongside playwrights Marilyn Campbell and Caity-Shea Violette. For details on our 2019 showcase, or to find out more about bringing the theatrical adaptation of Lived Through This to your theater or community, email us.