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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Point Park chapter.

Movies and books can be huge influencers in our media-centric society. Here are our top 6 movies and books relating to the topic of sexual violence:

6. Antwone Fisher (movie)

Antwone Fisher was born in prison, and never knew his father, who was murdered two years prior to his birth.  He was put into a foster home with a family named the Picketts. Antwon spent 14 years with the Picketts, and throughout those years he experienced verbal, physical and sexual assault repeatedly. This led to a life of violence and anger. Fisher eventually joined the United States Navy and fell in love. His story was made into a film in 2002, based off his autobiography. Denzel Washington directed and starred in the film playing the role as Fisher’s mentor. Fisher is now a successful writer, director and poet who shares his life story to help others.

5. It Happened to Nancy (book)

It Happened to Nancy is a real diary written by a teenage girl who contracts AIDS. Nancy meets a boy at a concert after she has an asthma attack. The boy’s name is Collin and he tells her that he is eighteen. Nancy believes that Collin is her true love, and one night she invites him over when her mother is at work. Collin rapes Nancy in her mothers bed. The next day Nancy did research on Collin and realized that he lied about everything. Soon she became ill and her mother took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with HIV. Nancy kept her diary until her death, her last wish was to have it published for other girls to know the truth.

4. Bastard out of Carolina (movie)

Ruth Anne a.k.a. “Bone” is a young girl that struggles with wanting to know her biological father and a mother that chooses her stepfather that physically and sexually abuses her. Bone is repeatedly raped by her stepfather Glen and her mother repeatedly takes his side, even when she witnesses him raping her daughter. By the end of the movie Bone is sent to live with her aunt and uncle who keep her safe, and her mother never sees her again, choosing to stay with Glen, and Bone’s half-sister.

3. A Thousand Splendid Suns (book)

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a fiction book that follows the lives of two women from Afghanistan who are forced into marriage. Mariam and Laila are both forced to marry Rasheed, who abusives them both physically and sexually. Both women get away from him after Mariam kills him, they go on with their lives and find happiness & love. The book takes a look into the lives of women in the middle east, and how little rights they have.

2. Georgia Rule (movie)

Lindsay Lohan plays a girl that is misunderstood by her mother, and eventually confesses to her mother that her stepfather raped her when she was 14. Her mother doesn’t believe her at first, and eventually spirals back into drinking alcohol. Rachel (Lohan’s character) falls in love with a local boy in her grandmothers town, and he promises to marry her. Her mother divorces her stepfather, and her and Rachel learn to love each other again.

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In 1969, Maya Angelou took the world into her life before her fame, and success with her autobiographical book , “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” When Angelou and her brother were young they were abandoned by both of their parents. When reunited with their mother, 8 year old Maya is raped and sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. He was later found guilty, but avoided jail time because he is murdered by Angelou’s uncles. Angelou feels guilty and goes into a shell. She eventually meets an educated woman in her town and learns the value of communication and books. Maya Angelou became a writer, poet, activist and icon to many. Following her death, she still inspires victims of abuse and with her book helps empowers those who have lost their voice.