Chessy Prout appears on ‘Today’ show ahead of memoir’s release

Monitor staff
Monday, March 05, 2018

Sexual assault survivor Chessy Prout’s highly anticipated memoir will be available in bookstores and online beginning Tuesday.

Prout kicked off her book tour Monday morning with an appearance on NBC’s Today show, where she told news anchor Hoda Kotb that she wrote her memoir, in part, because she wanted to reclaim her name and her story, and show the world that “there is no perfect victim.”

Prout’s memoir, titled I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope, chronicles her time at St. Paul’s School in Concord, where she was sexually assaulted as a freshman by then-senior Owen Labrie as part of the “Senior Salute.” But the book is about far more than that one horrific event; it tells the story of a young woman helping lead a movement for change.

The Monitor spoke with Prout about her first-ever book and will preview I Have the Right To in Tuesday’s paper.

In less than two weeks, Prout will be joined by co-author, Jenn Abelson, a member of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team and U.S. congresswoman Annie Kuster at Gibson’s Bookstore. The event on March 18, which is the sixth stop on her eight-city book tour, is free and open to the public.

Prout first went public with her story on the Today show in August 2016. At the same time, she launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #IHaveTheRightTo and became an ambassador for the Washington, D.C.-based organization Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE).

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