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Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up

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"A welcome book offering an important wake-up call to the Christian community and beyond."--Gail Eubanks, Library Journal Tiffany Bluhm wishes this wasn't her story to tell. Yet like many women today who are taking action against sexual harassment and sexual assault, it is. Bluhm explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse in systems we all find ourselves in. W "A welcome book offering an important wake-up call to the Christian community and beyond."--Gail Eubanks, Library Journal Tiffany Bluhm wishes this wasn't her story to tell. Yet like many women today who are taking action against sexual harassment and sexual assault, it is. Bluhm explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse in systems we all find ourselves in. With honesty and strength, she tells stories of how women have overcome silence to expose the truth about their ministry and professional leaders--and the backlash they so often face. In so doing, she empowers others to speak up against abuses of power. Addressing men and women in all work settings--within the church and beyond--popular author and podcast host Tiffany Bluhm sets out to understand the cultural and spiritual narratives that silence women and to illuminate the devastating emotional, financial, and social impact of silence in the face of injustice. As readers journey with Bluhm, they will be moved to find their own way, their own voice, and their own conviction for standing with women. They'll emerge more ready than ever to advocate for justice, healing, and resurrection.


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"A welcome book offering an important wake-up call to the Christian community and beyond."--Gail Eubanks, Library Journal Tiffany Bluhm wishes this wasn't her story to tell. Yet like many women today who are taking action against sexual harassment and sexual assault, it is. Bluhm explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse in systems we all find ourselves in. W "A welcome book offering an important wake-up call to the Christian community and beyond."--Gail Eubanks, Library Journal Tiffany Bluhm wishes this wasn't her story to tell. Yet like many women today who are taking action against sexual harassment and sexual assault, it is. Bluhm explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse in systems we all find ourselves in. With honesty and strength, she tells stories of how women have overcome silence to expose the truth about their ministry and professional leaders--and the backlash they so often face. In so doing, she empowers others to speak up against abuses of power. Addressing men and women in all work settings--within the church and beyond--popular author and podcast host Tiffany Bluhm sets out to understand the cultural and spiritual narratives that silence women and to illuminate the devastating emotional, financial, and social impact of silence in the face of injustice. As readers journey with Bluhm, they will be moved to find their own way, their own voice, and their own conviction for standing with women. They'll emerge more ready than ever to advocate for justice, healing, and resurrection.

30 review for Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josh Olds

    I’m writing this review the day after RZIM released an initial report from their investigation that the sexual abuse allegations against the late Ravi Zacharias are truthful. I’m heartbroken. For the victims and their trauma. For Ravi’s family in dealing with this side of his life. For the evangelical community and the damage this has done to our witness. And, selfishly, for myself, because Ravi’s ministry was instrumental in starting my own. I’m also encouraged by the transparency of RZIM. It w I’m writing this review the day after RZIM released an initial report from their investigation that the sexual abuse allegations against the late Ravi Zacharias are truthful. I’m heartbroken. For the victims and their trauma. For Ravi’s family in dealing with this side of his life. For the evangelical community and the damage this has done to our witness. And, selfishly, for myself, because Ravi’s ministry was instrumental in starting my own. I’m also encouraged by the transparency of RZIM. It would have been easy to cover this up and keep it quiet—and indeed, that appeared to have been the case when Ravi was at the helm. They did the right thing and have been forthright and honest, allowing the formerly silenced women to tell their stories. Prey Tell is a book borne out of the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements. Tiffany Bluhm crosses the realm of secular and religious, conservative and liberal, pointing the finger at how society—US society in particular—tends to cover up sexual abuse and sexual harassment and what we must to right these devastating wrongs. The first part of the book deals with the why. Why do we silence women? What are the types of environments in which women are silenced? Where are the red flags? How do we know when something is wrong? Right out of the gate, Bluhm attack fake egalitarianism, which—particularly within the church—pretends to uphold women and puts them in positions of power…but only as pawns or objects of exploitation. She speaks—out of experience, or out of the stories of many others—the stories that are left untold, the small things that build up to big things. She writes of how women may feel uncomfortable with a comment or a touch, but they feel too indebted to the male in power to question them or speak up. Women, Bluhm says, are forced to work within a broken system, and it’s the same system that forced Hagar into surrogacy, that summoned Vashti to parade in front of drunken partiers, that raped Bathesheba, and dragged the adulterous women—so-called—into the public sphere while her male counterpart was conspicuously absent. Bluhm writes about how this power imbalance often forces women into silence. They must keep their stories silent or face the loss of the job, finances, and reputation. She relates to readers the story of Christine Blasey Ford, whose long-kept secret of sexual assault was brought into the national limelight largely against her will and has negatively impacted her. Women often stay silent because speaking out is worse. (And if a Republican example offends you, consider the lifelong effect Bill Clinton’s adultery has had on Monica Lewinsky—and how little it has had on Clinton. Another chapter of the book deals with the question of “Why don’t the women speak up?” You hear it with every accusation, from Clinton to Cosby to Kavanaugh. Bluhm forthrightly recounts various reasons why women might stay silent. It’s to save their job or their finances. Sometimes, it’s so ingrained into the culture, that women understand that a little harassment just comes with the territory. Bluhm tells the story of Rachael Denhollander and so many others who were abused by Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar’s abuse was swept under the rug because “he’s done so much for Team USA.” (As a former member of USA Gymnastics, let me tell you that the whole organization is still in the business of covering up abusers.) Bluhm writes that women wait to tell the truth because it is usually only after time has passed that it feels safe enough to speak. The middle part of the book builds on the first, looking at how women are silenced. Bluhm specifically gets into what techniques are used, from threats of corporate blackballing to gaslighting and more. She writes about enablers—men and women who don’t directly engage in abusive behavior, but ignore it and perpetuate the systems that encourage it. Drawing from several real-life examples, Bluhm connects the dots to show us how bad people are empowered by bad systems run by people either ignorant and ambivalent toward the abuse. The last part is about what we can do to change and, frankly, it’s disheartening that Bluhm must use so many words to explain what should be self-evident. Perhaps most powerfully, she writes that the emotional/physical/sexual abuse of women is not just a woman’s problem. It is a man’s problem. It is decidedly not enough for men to not harass, assault, silence, slander, and destroy women. Male allyship for gendered equality is absolutely necessary. Men must not be neutral, but must wield their power to destroy these destructive systems. Bluhm writes that we must not blame the victim. We must make a radical shift in our theology and sociology to understand that a woman’s actions or dress are not stumbling blocks that will destroy a man’s pursuit of holiness or serve as an invitation for assault. She asks that we simply believe women. Their stories need to be shared. We must listen. We must be willing to act. We’ve come a long way in our treatment of women, and I mean that as an indictment. We’ve come a long way and we celebrate how far we’ve come, but it’s like a lifeguard celebrating that they threw the drowning person a flotation device without ever noticing or caring if they actually grabbed hold of it. Bluhm offers readers a real, substantive way forward that we must take if we truly want our society to survive and thrive, and if we want our churches to live up the belief that all humans are made in God’ image.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gwendolyn Irene

    I picked up this book because I’m tired of the culture that plays the blame for abuse on the women and takes the responsibility away from the man. It’s time to change the conversation. This book helps to do that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book is SO important. Well-researched, powerful, and highly relevant words about the ways that our culture and especially the church culture has failed to protect and uphold the dignity of women. Short and very clear, this should be required reading for any church staff member who is truly committed to women's empowerment. Our churches should be the absolute safest places for vulnerable people, rather than protecting abusers and creating dangerous environments for truth-tellers. Bluhm gives This book is SO important. Well-researched, powerful, and highly relevant words about the ways that our culture and especially the church culture has failed to protect and uphold the dignity of women. Short and very clear, this should be required reading for any church staff member who is truly committed to women's empowerment. Our churches should be the absolute safest places for vulnerable people, rather than protecting abusers and creating dangerous environments for truth-tellers. Bluhm gives practical action steps for both men and women who wish to be allies to victims of abuse and also work to create healthier cultures and systems in their churches and organizations. The hyper-focused nature of the book means that several parts are a bit redundant. I was also hoping to see more of Bluhm's personal story and experience. Still, this is a fantastic book and will be a great resource for the church!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eric Skwarczynski

    “Interestingly, purity culture and rape culture have always had one notion in common: that a woman’s body is not her own but belongs to a man. Both cultures equate respectability with safety and assume women are culpable if defiled, because, in order to be violated, they must have strayed from patriarchal standards ensuring their protection.” The quote above represents just one of the gut-punching passages within Prey Tell, written by Tiffany Bluhm. The new book – releasing in March 2021 from Bra “Interestingly, purity culture and rape culture have always had one notion in common: that a woman’s body is not her own but belongs to a man. Both cultures equate respectability with safety and assume women are culpable if defiled, because, in order to be violated, they must have strayed from patriarchal standards ensuring their protection.” The quote above represents just one of the gut-punching passages within Prey Tell, written by Tiffany Bluhm. The new book – releasing in March 2021 from Brazos Press – “explores the dynamics of power and lack of accountability that occur within many organizational contexts and encourages women and men to speak out in the face of unjust systems.” (Publisher’s Summary) Prey Tell is undeniably well-researched, but it also comes from personal experience. In the opening chapter, Bluhm recounts the terror of spotting her sexual abuser in public – the person she spent so long trying to avoid entirely – as well as the racially-charged mistreatment she experienced as an adopted child from East India. It becomes all too clear in the following pages that her feelings of isolation, fear, and frustration were not an anomaly. As she explains in her introduction, “the practice of silencing women is not a female issue, male issue, Democrat issue, Republican issue, Black issue, white issue, Asian issue, Latinx issue, indigenous issue, evangelical issue, mainline issue, upper-class issue, middle-class issue, or lower class issue. It’s an everyone issue. It permeates every field, sector, and pocket of society. It happens to fast food employees, high-powered executives on Wall Street, educated and affluent medical doctors, Hollywood actresses, assistants making minimum wage, everyday churchgoers, and devout clergy. In short, it’s happening everywhere. And unless we pursue the redemptive arc of justice, it will continue untested, and half the human population will suffer under the weight of abuse and violation.” So, why does abuse happen? How does it happen? The book presents several well-articulated, thoroughly-researched reasons and connects them with real-world examples. Bluhm navigates her way through complicated and complex subject matter, doing each topic justice without sacrificing readability or relevancy to the reader. The #MeToo movement, racism, or gender inequality could – and have – easily warrant their respective books – but this relatively short work shortchanges none of them. For those questioning whether abuse is a serious matter that we must address with great urgency, this book should serve as a jarring call to action. For those struggling to identify areas where they might be enabling abuse, this book will serve as an X-ray, revealing weaknesses and spaces that we must improve. For those who want to become better allies, this book will present several necessary tools. In short, this is an essential read for pastors, churchgoers, business owners, employees, parents, and, frankly, anyone else with a pulse. Prey Tell is currently available for pre-order now and releases March 16, 2021: https://amzn.to/2KTduza

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I wish Tiffany Bluhm hadn’t had to write this book, but I understand why she did. As a girl growing up in the purity culture of the 90’s, I was under the impression women could both accomplish anything they wanted and also receive protection and honor from the men in their lives. As a young adult, this belief was challenged as soon as I left school and entered the workforce: I learned quickly that men—charming, charismatic men—make use of this false belief to befriend, flatter, and prey upon wom I wish Tiffany Bluhm hadn’t had to write this book, but I understand why she did. As a girl growing up in the purity culture of the 90’s, I was under the impression women could both accomplish anything they wanted and also receive protection and honor from the men in their lives. As a young adult, this belief was challenged as soon as I left school and entered the workforce: I learned quickly that men—charming, charismatic men—make use of this false belief to befriend, flatter, and prey upon women over whom they hold power. I’ve spent many years healing over the trauma of sexual assault committed after falling prey to such charisma. But until I read Bluhm’s book I had almost forgotten about other traumatic stories from my life—the insidious stories of workplace harassment and the harrowing consequences of speaking up on behalf of myself and others. Thoroughly researched and easy to read, this book provides a broad overview of where we are as a culture, why women often remain silent in the face of abuse, and what we can do to make lasting change. Bluhm vulnerably gives us snippets of her own story, which add a certain gravitas to her academic style. Prey Tell is a necessary read, especially if you claim to follow Jesus. Bluhm reminds us of how broken our systems really are—especially those in the church, clouded by outdated misinterpretations of Scripture and the preservation of power. But she doesn’t leave us there—she points us back to Jesus, who not only listened to and believed women, but who walked alongside of them into health and healing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily Lund-Hansen

    "As much as we'd love to believe that the church might handle misconduct differently than mainstream culture, there is no wrath quite like the wrath of holy men caught in the transgressions they condemn." This is, unfortunately, an all-too-timely book, as the truth of the quote above continues to surface in ministry settings. I appreciated Bluhm's attentiveness to harassment and abuse in church circles, not just in wider culture--I actually wish there had been more of an exclusive focus on how t "As much as we'd love to believe that the church might handle misconduct differently than mainstream culture, there is no wrath quite like the wrath of holy men caught in the transgressions they condemn." This is, unfortunately, an all-too-timely book, as the truth of the quote above continues to surface in ministry settings. I appreciated Bluhm's attentiveness to harassment and abuse in church circles, not just in wider culture--I actually wish there had been more of an exclusive focus on how these evils are perpetuated in the church specifically. But this book is an important open door to conversations that must--MUST--take place, no matter where we work or worship.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hill

    I am so thankful that Tiffany Bluhm wrote this book. Prey Tell is beautifully written and extensively researched. But above all, she shows us how the abuse and silencing of women in culture has become part of our many systems. She shares her own story and calls out the church for its own complicity in this abuse, expertly laying a case for justice and ways for us all to move forward together in better, fuller and far more loving ways. This book spoke to and broke my heart as a woman who has endu I am so thankful that Tiffany Bluhm wrote this book. Prey Tell is beautifully written and extensively researched. But above all, she shows us how the abuse and silencing of women in culture has become part of our many systems. She shares her own story and calls out the church for its own complicity in this abuse, expertly laying a case for justice and ways for us all to move forward together in better, fuller and far more loving ways. This book spoke to and broke my heart as a woman who has endured sexual harassment and silencing and her preaching and teaching to the topic in such love was so healing and empowering for me. I know I won’t be alone in this experience as a reader of Prey Tell and I know that this book will help and free so many in the years to come.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristal Locke

    Odds are most women have experienced some sort of sexual harassment, misconduct, or abuse. Prey Tell by Tiffany Bluhm sheds light on this darkness. If you’ve ever wondered, why did it take her so long to say something, why did she put herself in that position, or why did she stay in proximity to him? Instead, why don’t we ask her how did she live with that pain for so long, and why did she keep quiet? Read Prey Tell. Prey Tell will brings awareness of abuse of power and the physical, financial, Odds are most women have experienced some sort of sexual harassment, misconduct, or abuse. Prey Tell by Tiffany Bluhm sheds light on this darkness. If you’ve ever wondered, why did it take her so long to say something, why did she put herself in that position, or why did she stay in proximity to him? Instead, why don’t we ask her how did she live with that pain for so long, and why did she keep quiet? Read Prey Tell. Prey Tell will brings awareness of abuse of power and the physical, financial, and relational toll it takes on people, and why we fear saying anything. This book is healing and inspiring, challenging and convicting. Not a easy read, but a necessary one. Take the time to learn. Speak up for yourself and others.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I LOVE Tiffany Bluhm’s writing style in this amazing resource of a book! She seamlessly weaves together her personal experience, other examples of abuse of power and how women have navigated coming forward/being silenced, research/statistics, theological and biblical reflection, and ideas for how we can all work together and speak up when it comes to injustice. While this book can be empowering, enlightening, and healing for women I think it is important that men also take advantage of this reso I LOVE Tiffany Bluhm’s writing style in this amazing resource of a book! She seamlessly weaves together her personal experience, other examples of abuse of power and how women have navigated coming forward/being silenced, research/statistics, theological and biblical reflection, and ideas for how we can all work together and speak up when it comes to injustice. While this book can be empowering, enlightening, and healing for women I think it is important that men also take advantage of this resource and not just been seen as a "women's book." Prey Tell is a MUST READ for all. If you have experienced abuse of any kind, I caution you to read this book with care. While I believe you will feel seen, heard, and affirmed in what you experienced, it might be hard to read at times because it seems like she is telling your story. This book might also help one realize that what one is going through or went through in relationships or in the work place was not normal or healthy but abusive and toxic. Even if you have never suffered abuse, I believe men and women will find this book disturbing because of the truth that is being shared has long been hidden, denied, ignored, minimized, dismissed, excused, etc. and Bluhm breaks down all of those barriers in this brave book. I truly believe that this book will be critical in helping to change the culture of patriarchy and unchecked misogyny/power that not only hurts women, but all people.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Funk

    This is a book that is just so needed right now and I'm so thankful I managed to get it soon after it was published. Bluhm wrote about sexual assault in our whole culture but dove deeper into the dynamics of power and silence particularly in church communities. I keep reading books that break my heart and anger me but like several other books around this topic that I've read in the last year, this is one I would recommend to everyone. I honestly find it hard to summarize because her words are so This is a book that is just so needed right now and I'm so thankful I managed to get it soon after it was published. Bluhm wrote about sexual assault in our whole culture but dove deeper into the dynamics of power and silence particularly in church communities. I keep reading books that break my heart and anger me but like several other books around this topic that I've read in the last year, this is one I would recommend to everyone. I honestly find it hard to summarize because her words are so much stronger than anything I can write. "Although the truth might be at odds with our preconceived ideas or beliefs, when we listen, we heed the example of Jesus to treat women as worthy of dignity"

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Judd

    I am very thankful that a book like this exists. Tiffany Bluhm did an excellent job of breaking down the issues that muddy women's voices when they report abuse and harassment. She follows this up with explaining why it's important to support women who report abuse, how to be allies, and how to set up organizational protocols that can prevent and/or mitigate the damage caused by abusers. The entire book is well researched and gives both scholarly and biblical reasoning on how to move forward in I am very thankful that a book like this exists. Tiffany Bluhm did an excellent job of breaking down the issues that muddy women's voices when they report abuse and harassment. She follows this up with explaining why it's important to support women who report abuse, how to be allies, and how to set up organizational protocols that can prevent and/or mitigate the damage caused by abusers. The entire book is well researched and gives both scholarly and biblical reasoning on how to move forward in this era of #MeToo. (For what it's worth, it's also a #ChurchToo problem.) I plan on recommending this book to everyone, especially those in leadership positions, whether they be secular or ecclesiastical in nature. As mentioned above, the book is well researched, but it is not presented in a dense, hard to read way. Bluhm managed to simplify the language to make it accessible to a wide audience. If the material itself wasn't heavy (looking at abuse is not a lightweight subject), I would've finished the book much faster. Rather, it took me awhile because reading it weighed on my heart and soul.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz Yielding

    Powerful, eloquent, and eye opening. All words I would use to describe Prey Tell. Be prepared for your perspective to be shifted and your preconceived notions on women who have been silenced to be challenged. Prior to reading Prey Tell, I was blinded to the manipulation and abuse of power by men towards women. I honestly just thought that’s how it was. That it was my job as a woman to make my appearance more or less appealing based on what men above me needed. That it was my job to laugh off ina Powerful, eloquent, and eye opening. All words I would use to describe Prey Tell. Be prepared for your perspective to be shifted and your preconceived notions on women who have been silenced to be challenged. Prior to reading Prey Tell, I was blinded to the manipulation and abuse of power by men towards women. I honestly just thought that’s how it was. That it was my job as a woman to make my appearance more or less appealing based on what men above me needed. That it was my job to laugh off inappropriate comments and pretend that I was flattered. I thought that anything outside of physical contact that offended me was me was me being uptight, a prude. After all, it was because of my appearance that caused them to make such comments. And therefore, those perspectives ingrained in me kept me silent in the face of others’ being treated inappropriately. No. More. Women, be empowered to speak up! Men, be challenged to do better in places of power! All peoples, be allies for the broken, the silenced, and the mistreated. This book will make you want to do better. To be better. To change the world. Read it, you won’t be disappointed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ross

    (Read my full review here: https://www.elizabethrosswrites.com/p...) This book offers valuable research and scriptural wisdom as Bluhm addresses the silence surrounding the abuse of women in society and the church. 4.5 out of 5 stars - This book covers a lot of ground (in a good way!) but often goes wide rather than deep. I strongly encourage readers to mark the studies or stories they found striking and go back to dig deeper. I recommend this book to anyone who’s wondered if they should say someth (Read my full review here: https://www.elizabethrosswrites.com/p...) This book offers valuable research and scriptural wisdom as Bluhm addresses the silence surrounding the abuse of women in society and the church. 4.5 out of 5 stars - This book covers a lot of ground (in a good way!) but often goes wide rather than deep. I strongly encourage readers to mark the studies or stories they found striking and go back to dig deeper. I recommend this book to anyone who’s wondered if they should say something. Whether you’re in the clergy, corporate world, or in college — this book is a necessary push to repair broken systems and to use our voices to facilitate healing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Windle

    Well researched, calm, clear and powerful. Everyone - man, woman, personal experience of the issues or not, christian or otherwise should read this book. It highlights issues that are key in our society and in the church today. I found myself, seething, fired up, desperately upset and deeply convicted reading it. It is important and I will recommending it far and wide. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of the title in exchange for an impartial review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Living Well Read

    SO MANY THOUGHTS. First, the writing is engaging and the research is strong. The content is heavy, but Bluhm navigates the subject matter in a really compelling way. Her book is a powerful and convicting read highlighting why we silence women and how to stand up in Christian faith and speak truth to power. One of the most fascinating parts of the book to me was her discussion of the “Just World Theory,” which is essentially the idea that we want to believe that the world is a just, fair place, a SO MANY THOUGHTS. First, the writing is engaging and the research is strong. The content is heavy, but Bluhm navigates the subject matter in a really compelling way. Her book is a powerful and convicting read highlighting why we silence women and how to stand up in Christian faith and speak truth to power. One of the most fascinating parts of the book to me was her discussion of the “Just World Theory,” which is essentially the idea that we want to believe that the world is a just, fair place, and that we choose not to believe women who have been preyed upon because we WANT to believe that they somehow deserved what was coming to them. Because if we don’t believe that, it could happen to us or to our daughters. Whoa. Another part of the book that I found compelling was her discussion of purity culture and how this mindset has shaped the way that we see sexual harassment. (For the record, I want to toot my own horn here and say that I feel like a truth-teller before my time because I was one of the few in my Christian high school who thought I Kissed Dating Goodbye was nonsense and strongly advocated against it.😜) Bluhm is quick to point out all of the positives that came from this culture, but she also rightly addresses how this way of thinking silences women and that women who grew up in this culture have essentially been groomed to believe that sexual harassment is somehow our fault. The whole purity culture discussion is a fascinating one that extends way beyond the scope of my post on this book, but its connection to this conversation was eye-opening for me. Key Quotes: “What if we could hold space for women who have been harmed, who have been humiliated, and who have been silenced? Lament alongside them? Ensure them that they are seen, that their stories matter, and that they will be treated with the utmost care? What if our churches, kitchen tables, and faith gatherings were the safest of places for them to process those experiences? What if silence weren’t spiritual? What if we not only listened but also committed to the process of healing? Of wholeness?” “The Last Adam empowers the daughters of Eve, and so must we.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    I am sure most women can recollect or think of a time when they or someone they knew were treated poorly, sexually harassed or abused or felt forced to keep quiet after a man in authority abused his power . Right now, in the news, we hear about it frequently, in the church, government, media… everywhere. Tiffany Bluhm’s book “Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up” tells the stories of the “prey”ed upon women who have stood up against their abusers and h I am sure most women can recollect or think of a time when they or someone they knew were treated poorly, sexually harassed or abused or felt forced to keep quiet after a man in authority abused his power . Right now, in the news, we hear about it frequently, in the church, government, media… everywhere. Tiffany Bluhm’s book “Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up” tells the stories of the “prey”ed upon women who have stood up against their abusers and how the world has reacted to their bravery. She (Bluhm) sets up the book in three sections: Why we silence women who tell the truth, How we silence women and How everyone can speak up. Bluhm tells the stories of so many women who have been hurt and abused and how it is our responsibility to speak up and stand up for those women, to believe their stories and to hold those who hurt others accountable for their actions. Ms. Bluhm speaks directly to the Christian church, which has since the Biblical times silenced women who were abused, whose names were tainted in history due to men in authority taking advantage of them. Today, we still see in the news powerful pastors and church leaders who have preyed upon women. She asks us to speak up, like Nathan in 2 Samuel who spoke up to authority (King David) and stood as an ally to Bathsheba. We can also look toward our Savior in how to react in these situations. When Jesus stood by the adulterous women, he did not ask what she did to deserve death by stoning, he drew a line in the sand between her and the Pharisees (ensuring her physical safety) and he then confronted her harassers and spoke to her with tenderness and compassion. We are to be an ally to women who have been hurt and believe them, no matter what. I recommend taking time to read “Prey Tell.” Listen to the voices of those on the margins, lift up the abused and hold the abusers responsible. The church (and frankly, the world) has not listened to the voices of women until the most recent #metoo movement but that doesn’t mean we can’t now. Read the book. Look at your leadership, hold men accountable for their actions, listen and believe those that have been hurt.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diana Sherban

    Women's voices are still far too often ubiquitously silenced when it comes to male abuse of power. Even with as much progress as has been made in advancing women's rights, there is still more work to be done to completely shatter glass ceilings for women violated by men with power. In her new book, Prey Tell, Tiffany Bluhm discusses many of the nuances of how and why women are silenced, and how institutions and individuals must better support those who experience abuse at the hands of men with p Women's voices are still far too often ubiquitously silenced when it comes to male abuse of power. Even with as much progress as has been made in advancing women's rights, there is still more work to be done to completely shatter glass ceilings for women violated by men with power. In her new book, Prey Tell, Tiffany Bluhm discusses many of the nuances of how and why women are silenced, and how institutions and individuals must better support those who experience abuse at the hands of men with power. She rightly calls out many of the wrong tactics that are used to continue to silence and oppress women who have been abused. This book is incredibly well-researched and full of truth, going into greater detail and shedding more light on a number of prominent sexual abuse cases, and the reality of the high cost to women who bravely come forward to speak up and tell their stories to continue to make society safer for all of us. This book is a must-read in contributing to women being free to offer all that we have to give in society to truly flourish and thrive as God created us to. I hope and pray many women will find their voice and courage in reading this book, to be validated in their experiences, and emboldened to speak out and take action against injustice, whether at home, school, church, the workplace, or in any institution or scenario where women are oppressed. “More often than not, it is the oppressed and their allies who bend the arc of history toward justice.” -Tiffany Bluhm

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Whalen

    Tiffany Bluhm's Prey Tell asks readers to dive into why it's so easy to not believe women when they come forward with stories of sexual harassment or assault. She did great research for this book and pulls from many examples from society from the past thirty or so years, but more importantly she focuses on how the church fails in this area. The church has failed many victims and protected men because they are powerful and charismatic. Bluhm not only calls out these instances, but also writes how Tiffany Bluhm's Prey Tell asks readers to dive into why it's so easy to not believe women when they come forward with stories of sexual harassment or assault. She did great research for this book and pulls from many examples from society from the past thirty or so years, but more importantly she focuses on how the church fails in this area. The church has failed many victims and protected men because they are powerful and charismatic. Bluhm not only calls out these instances, but also writes how we can and should do better. It has been incredibly frustrating and disheartening to hear stories of abuse being not believed or swept under the rug churches, but Bluhm does a great job of offering a way forward. She brings in biblical stories and verses that back up her points and reminds us how imporant and vital women and giving them respect is to society. She also doesn't lump all women together - she points out that BIPOC women are much more likely to not be believed or championed for. Many tough situations and statistics are in this book, but Bluhm offers hope for how she pictures a world where we join together to do better.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily Box

    Prey Tell pierced a tender place in my heart. As a woman who grew up in church in the South, I understand the underlying messages that place unfair blame on women for the ways they dress and behave, and I have been quick to dismiss women's stories out of blind belief that they were asking for attention. Tiffany's thorough research, personal experience, and ties to biblical truth have given me the tools I need to be an empowered ally and an advocate for my own stories. I wholeheartedly believe th Prey Tell pierced a tender place in my heart. As a woman who grew up in church in the South, I understand the underlying messages that place unfair blame on women for the ways they dress and behave, and I have been quick to dismiss women's stories out of blind belief that they were asking for attention. Tiffany's thorough research, personal experience, and ties to biblical truth have given me the tools I need to be an empowered ally and an advocate for my own stories. I wholeheartedly believe this is a must-read for everyone in every institution. Each chapter is concise and easy to read, yet packed with so many studies, stories, and one-liners that stick with you long after you’ve finished. This book is practical, grace-filled, and hopeful, but above all, it is honest. Tiffany constantly points us back to Christ’s example as a model for embracing women with dignity, respect, and honor. In her words, “Jesus, who came to make all things right, who came to overthrow power structures that demean and oppress, gave women a voice when others didn’t. He dignified their experiences by his actions and attention and invited women to take their place as beloved daughters.” May we all have that kind of conviction, courage, and compassion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Edwell

    How can we support silence breakers? How can we become silence breakers? This book explains how cultural norms and expectations (especially within Christian communities) enable abuses of power while silencing and punishing those who attempt to speak out. Bluhm draws on stories and anecdotes from scripture, history, and pop culture as well as wisdom from scholars and thought leaders to illuminate harm and guide us toward healing. Her explanation of how men manipulate women and contexts as well as How can we support silence breakers? How can we become silence breakers? This book explains how cultural norms and expectations (especially within Christian communities) enable abuses of power while silencing and punishing those who attempt to speak out. Bluhm draws on stories and anecdotes from scripture, history, and pop culture as well as wisdom from scholars and thought leaders to illuminate harm and guide us toward healing. Her explanation of how men manipulate women and contexts as well as the ways women are silenced is strangely, awfully familiar. Her insights about the danger of secrets and the weaponization of forgiveness within Christian communities are powerful. Ultimately, Bluhm's call to action begins with individuals and extends to the transformation systems that have failed to protect vulnerable people. For this level of change, she insists that institutions/churches must be committed to uncovering truth and caring for victims throughout the process. This book is important for Christian leaders and laity. It may also be of interest to those who survived 90's purity culture as well as those who felt seen (or called out/in) by the #metoo movement.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather De

    This book really blew my mind. I think I “forget” how the world is sometimes, I just put my head down and work. I ignore the frat boys in my industry and their off-color comments (while not directed at me, I was reminded in this book that they are unacceptable). I'm grateful I haven't been "harassed" by men in my workplace during my career-- no touching or name calling or overt rude behavior-- but the privilege is often so nauseating. The separate set of rules for the boys is annoying. I can hyp This book really blew my mind. I think I “forget” how the world is sometimes, I just put my head down and work. I ignore the frat boys in my industry and their off-color comments (while not directed at me, I was reminded in this book that they are unacceptable). I'm grateful I haven't been "harassed" by men in my workplace during my career-- no touching or name calling or overt rude behavior-- but the privilege is often so nauseating. The separate set of rules for the boys is annoying. I can hypothesize that prior to employment at my current employer (almost 20 years into my professional career), I probably made less than any man in my position but championed more work. Often this doesn’t make me angry because I make a good living, but that thinking is not right. I should be angry and put my experience into action although I’m not sure how to do that besides teaching the women coming along side me in the next generation. I'm sad that Tiffany had to write this book but grateful she did—it challenged me to think about these things again. I think this book is a must read for all women.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    This book! Wow. I learned so much just in the first chapter, but besides what I learned, it touched me deeply to read a book that resonated with me on such a deep level. The author gives both her own experience while referencing the experience of others and weaving in historical information and context. I recommend this book to everyone who works or volunteers anywhere with any type of hierarchical system. (So, everyone!) It’s important for us all to learn and grow and understand both power dyna This book! Wow. I learned so much just in the first chapter, but besides what I learned, it touched me deeply to read a book that resonated with me on such a deep level. The author gives both her own experience while referencing the experience of others and weaving in historical information and context. I recommend this book to everyone who works or volunteers anywhere with any type of hierarchical system. (So, everyone!) It’s important for us all to learn and grow and understand both power dynamics and how they often play out in our society, especially how they can negatively impact women. If I had the means, I would buy this book for every school superintendent, principal, CEO, Director, and Leader. If you want to be part of the solution, read this book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chrisy Dorsey

    This book is a must read for this time in history. The culture, systems, and structures that women have to navigate on a daily basis in work, church, and the organizations they are connected to can still be very challenging, disorienting, confusing, manipulative, narcissistic, patriarchal, and unsafe. This book reveals what we accept as normal, where we are complicit, and where we have been silent at the cost of our safety and worth. It also reveals how our silence can enable abuse and mistreatm This book is a must read for this time in history. The culture, systems, and structures that women have to navigate on a daily basis in work, church, and the organizations they are connected to can still be very challenging, disorienting, confusing, manipulative, narcissistic, patriarchal, and unsafe. This book reveals what we accept as normal, where we are complicit, and where we have been silent at the cost of our safety and worth. It also reveals how our silence can enable abuse and mistreatment to continue for decades. This book is an invitation to live in the truth and embrace the value of women to our society, communities, workplaces, and organizations. This book is for men and women. This book is honest, provoking, stirring, and I pray many others are impacted personally, as I have been by reading these pages!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Singh

    This book is a fresh look of truths that shake you out of complacency about the role and position of women in systems including in the church today. This book provides timely truths that will help dismantle unhealthy gender imbalances that have been present for decades. It is full of real world examples of many women who were silenced while male abusers were not held accountable for their behavior and in some cases, even championed for their abuse of power. In a time where many Christian male lead This book is a fresh look of truths that shake you out of complacency about the role and position of women in systems including in the church today. This book provides timely truths that will help dismantle unhealthy gender imbalances that have been present for decades. It is full of real world examples of many women who were silenced while male abusers were not held accountable for their behavior and in some cases, even championed for their abuse of power. In a time where many Christian male leaders have abused power without accountability rather than keep women safe, this book will provoke you to remember the truth of the gospel is to empower women and give back a voice to those wrongly silenced.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky Miller

    This book is an uncomfortable read, and I mean that in the best way possible. I felt a prickle on the back of my neck as I read, normally a signal that I'm sensing danger, which makes sense, because the author is addressing danger to women. She reveals the strategies of people in power who prey on women and try to silence them. She helps give name and notice to the subtle silencing techniques that can be hard to grasp when they are being used against you. She unravels bad Bible interpretation on This book is an uncomfortable read, and I mean that in the best way possible. I felt a prickle on the back of my neck as I read, normally a signal that I'm sensing danger, which makes sense, because the author is addressing danger to women. She reveals the strategies of people in power who prey on women and try to silence them. She helps give name and notice to the subtle silencing techniques that can be hard to grasp when they are being used against you. She unravels bad Bible interpretation on passages that are wrongly used against victims. Then she helps women figure out how to reclaim their voices and speak truth. This will be such a useful resource in my pastoral care work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Belisa Perez

    I love Tiffany's writing style! I feel like I'm on a journey where I could visualize what I'm reading which is good and bad at the same time. We need more women speaking up about these topics. I believe that no matter if you feel she's "right" or "wrong" a woman's voice should be heard and never be silenced. There were many times where my voice was silenced without me even noticing because I thought it was the "norm." I have learned to embrace the truth of who I am and that Jesus loved, listened I love Tiffany's writing style! I feel like I'm on a journey where I could visualize what I'm reading which is good and bad at the same time. We need more women speaking up about these topics. I believe that no matter if you feel she's "right" or "wrong" a woman's voice should be heard and never be silenced. There were many times where my voice was silenced without me even noticing because I thought it was the "norm." I have learned to embrace the truth of who I am and that Jesus loved, listened to, healed, restored, and continues to empower women just like you and me! It's time to let our voices be heard with the confidence that only comes from our Heavenly Father.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Travis Teigen

    For the few that have made it through unscathed thus far, and believe that through love, empathy, and our faith we may somewhat understand another woman who has been silenced or worse, pick this book up! Not because your heart isn’t right, not because you have to be hurt to understand. This book is not any of that. For me, this book opened my eyes in ways they had not been opened. Tiffany so eloquently helped me to see how to give a voice to other women and support one another in such defining t For the few that have made it through unscathed thus far, and believe that through love, empathy, and our faith we may somewhat understand another woman who has been silenced or worse, pick this book up! Not because your heart isn’t right, not because you have to be hurt to understand. This book is not any of that. For me, this book opened my eyes in ways they had not been opened. Tiffany so eloquently helped me to see how to give a voice to other women and support one another in such defining times in their lives. She not only shared her story, but so many stories that this book became our story by the end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    Tiffany writes with passion and conviction regarding the support and belief of women who face harassment in any form from men in places of power. She shares bits of her personal story and how she herself had to overcome the shame and fear related to abuse she suffered personally and professionally. This book is a quick and easy read that all women can relate to one one level or another. It’s even good for men to recognize signs of abuse in power and tips on how and why it’s so important to suppo Tiffany writes with passion and conviction regarding the support and belief of women who face harassment in any form from men in places of power. She shares bits of her personal story and how she herself had to overcome the shame and fear related to abuse she suffered personally and professionally. This book is a quick and easy read that all women can relate to one one level or another. It’s even good for men to recognize signs of abuse in power and tips on how and why it’s so important to support the voices of women raising the alarm. As a Christian I also appreciate Tiffany’s biblical approach, citing scripture and a godly view of women. Prey Tell is a thought provoking, easy read that I recommend checking out!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen Triplett

    If you happen to be like me - grew up in purity culture and didn't realize the harm behind asking questions before believing women - I highly recommend you read this book!  It was both eye-opening and convicting in the best of ways.  With a helpful balance between researched examples/statistics and personal experience that draws you in, Tiffany lays out the gut-punching reality of this prevalent issue of silencing women.  She weaves in biblical truth throughout, reminding us that Jesus was a HUG If you happen to be like me - grew up in purity culture and didn't realize the harm behind asking questions before believing women - I highly recommend you read this book!  It was both eye-opening and convicting in the best of ways.  With a helpful balance between researched examples/statistics and personal experience that draws you in, Tiffany lays out the gut-punching reality of this prevalent issue of silencing women.  She weaves in biblical truth throughout, reminding us that Jesus was a HUGE advocate for women, then follows up with calls to action.  Tiffany is passionate, informative, and inspiring!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Neva Rodrigues

    I’ll admit, as someone who was completely oblivious to the rampant patriarchal and abusive silencing culture of the church (but knew very well of the more popular instances we’ve all heard about in the news in one way or another, i.e. R. Kelly, Brett Kavanaugh, etc.), this book was a real eye-opener to the reality of its shortcomings. More importantly, it provided guidance and insight into HOW we can break the detrimental cycle and give a voice to the abused. I’m so glad Tiffany chose to use her I’ll admit, as someone who was completely oblivious to the rampant patriarchal and abusive silencing culture of the church (but knew very well of the more popular instances we’ve all heard about in the news in one way or another, i.e. R. Kelly, Brett Kavanaugh, etc.), this book was a real eye-opener to the reality of its shortcomings. More importantly, it provided guidance and insight into HOW we can break the detrimental cycle and give a voice to the abused. I’m so glad Tiffany chose to use her writing platform to bring light to this topic—not just for the ignorant (like myself!), but for those who are suffering or have suffered at the hands of silence.

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