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The Man Behind the Curtain

by Jessica Renee and Valerie Dimino


A silenced victim of sexual assault steps into her power, using her voice as a torch that illuminates difficult truths as well as a path forward.

“This book will stay with you long after you turn the last page.” —Anne Panning, author of Dragonfly Notes: On Distance and Loss

Jessica Renee was 11 years old when her stepfather began routinely raping and sexually assaulting her. Only when she was 15 and her boyfriend asked the right questions did the truth come to light—a terrible truth that her mother chose not to believe. Backed by a church community that believed a woman’s duty was to support her husband above all else, Jessica’s mother and countless other family and friends turned against her, labeling her a sinner even as her rapist was convicted.

Throughout the long road to that conviction, Jessica often felt she didn’t have a voice, as she was continually questioned, criticized, and cast aside. She is ready to make her voice heard now and provide a guiding light for those who are still searching for hope.

In calling attention to sexual abuse happening at home, by a family member the victim loved and trusted, Jessica’s story is a powerful addition to the Me Too movement and a rallying cry for victims and allies to rise from the ashes of silence.

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