One of Us

I am a mere data point along a data set of others who have been sexually assaulted

Social Movement: They have their inception in the condition of unrest, and derive their motive power on one hand from dissatisfaction with the current form of life, and on the other hand, from wishes and hopes for a new scheme or system of living. - Herbert Blumer

One of Us: Sex, Violence, Injustice.  Resilience, Love, Hope.

With this autobiographical narrative of the military judicial system experience as a civilian victim of sexual assault, Sandi Giver has vividly brought to light the challenges of seeking legal justice when all odds are against the victim. Giver takes the reader from the night of the assault in Uganda as a Peace Corps Volunteer to a Norfolk, Virginia, courtroom recounting intimate details to  help protect others from a sexual predator.  At a time where Peace Corps was under scrutiny for not supporting victims of sexual assault and the military for not keeping alleged perpetrators accountable, this case was the perfect storm.

In its poignant retelling of an all-too-familiar story in exotic jurisdictions, One of Us demolishes societal assumptions about rape, sex, virtue, honor, and even friendship. It shreds our false notions of white or black, of virgin or slut, of safe or asking for it, of consensual sex or ‘legitimate rape.’ As individuals, we kid ourselves into thinking that if we take enough precautions, we will be safe in an unsafe world. In her journey from not being able to ‘think straight enough to verbalize it cohesively’ to writing this book, Sandi Giver forces us to realize the uncomfortable reality: that an edifice that produces rapists needs restructuring.
— Bethany Quinn, Social Justice Consultant
One of Us tells a story that is at times frightening, aggravating, heartbreaking, and hopeful. It’s a story that’s all too real and all too common, and is threshold reading for anyone who cares to stem this epidemic.
— Mike Santonocito, Feminist and Friend of Survivors
Gratitude – that is what I felt upon finishing Sandi Giver’s debut work. Through One of Us, the author bravely summons us all to experience her suffering and frustration as a sexual assault survivor seeking justice in a system that does not often deliver. At the same time, she provides us with a uniquely intimate perspective on the life-altering work that Peace Corps volunteers contribute to marginalized communities in the developing world. Her voice is sad and rightfully angry at times, but her strength and courage shine through. Her story needed to be told, and we as readers and advocates need to ensure the world hears it.
— Krystal Mercer, RPCV, Writer