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Sex assault survivor Chessy Prout to return to Concord to discuss memoir

  • U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster thanks Chessy Prout for speaking out during “Voices for Change: A Conversation about ending sexual violence in NH,” a panel discussion at University of New Hampshire Law School in Concord on Monday, April 17, 2017. Prout and Kuster were among the panelists. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file

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Monitor staff
Friday, February 09, 2018

Sexual assault survivor Chessy Prout will be at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord next month following the release of her memoir.

Prout will be joined by co-author, Jenn Abelson, a member of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, and U.S. congresswoman Annie Kuster, who will provide the opening remarks. The event on March 18 is free and open to the public and will begin at 2 p.m.

In her memoir, titled I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope, Prout chronicles her time at St. Paul’s School in Concord, where she was sexually assaulted at age 15 by then-senior Owen Labrie as part of a sexual conquest game known as the “Senior Salute.”

“If my story helps even one survivor of sexual assault realize they are not alone, or better, prevents a crime from happening in the first place, then writing this book will have been worth it,” Prout said previously. “The perpetrators in crimes like these are not just the attackers, but also the institutions that allow these horrific crimes to happen under their nose. When an institution puts more value in its reputation than it does the lives of their students, rape culture thrives.”

Since going public with her story on NBC’s Today show in August 2016, Prout has become an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. She is an ambassador for the Washington, D.C.-based organization Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE), and launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #IHaveTheRightTo.

In addition to her work with PAVE, Prout has partnered with Kuster, who has also come forward as a survivor of sexual abuse, on initiatives to improve access to sexual assault prevention education throughout the country.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)