Not My Shame

"And suddenly I am flooded... terror, shame, despair, horror, disgust."

"How can I talk about things I can't pin down?"

With subtlety and sensitivity, this powerful graphic novel draws the reader into the experience of trauma and dissociation caused by sexual violence. It reveals the intrusive traumatic memories and distress experienced by a victim of childhood sexual exploitation in her adulthood and follows the process of coming to terms with her past through therapy and art. Positive and hopeful at its heart, it demonstrates her ability to be a good parent irrespective of mental health struggles and explores the importance of relationships with people in the present.

Tackling complex issues including the nature of traumatic memory, self-harm, victim-blaming, racism in the police, health and education services and the media's impact, this graphic novel reveals how the past can be triggered by the present and how victims of sexual abuse can be excellent parents and successful in life in spite of this.
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Press reviews for: Not My Shame

Dr Sam Warner, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Honorary Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Salford University

This is a brave book that offers real insight into sexual exploitation. Told from the perspective of a woman who survived it, this beautifully drawn book powerfully illuminates the terror, blame and shame that traps victims in sexually exploitative relationships they do not want, but cannot leave. It offers hope, juxtaposing the psychological hurt that is carried into adulthood with the joy - and challenges - of parenting a child. Policy makers, professionals, carers and survivors will all gain from reading this book.

Clare Shaw, author, Royal Literary Fellow and co-editor of 'Our Encounters with Self-Harm' (PCCS, 2013)

Here is an invitation to engage with a story of explosive power: a raw yet nuanced depiction of childhood sexual exploitation; service responses and failures; and the challenge of living with the impact of trauma. Fury is the flipside of love; and this book is furious and loving in equal measures. It will touch, challenge and change those who read it. Read it. Whatever brings you to it, you'll be struck not just by its uncompromising depiction of darkness, but by the redemptive light that it shines.

Una, author of 'Becoming Unbecoming'

It is so important to hear the voices of the many survivors who are beginning, in recent times, to make artistic work about their experiences. I hope there will come a time when we will look back at this period and see how it changed attitudes towards sexual violence and victim blaming. Not My Shame is an honest account of the after effects of rape on the individual. It looks difficult themes straight in the eye with a combination of evocative images and text, taking the reader along on a survivor's journey through trauma.

Ian Williams, Cartoonist, Doctor and Founder of

This powerful graphic story is important in showing how victimisation and sexual abuse destroy hope and prevent the fulfilment of the most basic human needs. It exposes the rape culture and victim-blaming that seems endemic in the media and the professionals who misread and misunderstand the power structures in play. It is, in itself, a cry of hope; this story, most likely played out in many lives, needs to be told.

Andy Oliver

Broken Frontier

Walker's narrative style is less about linear sequential art but instead presents the reader with an almost overwhelming series of images and thoughts (...) that underline the manner in which our victim-blaming culture has permeated every layer of our societal structures. (...) Books like 'Not My Shame' are a reminder that comics are such a vitally empathetic medium. In sharing her own story, Walker inspires her audience and asks them to challenge all too prevailing attitudes.

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