Chapel Hill residents and students came to Flyleaf Books Thursday night to listen to Ashley Warner talk about her book, “ The Year After: A Memoir ,” which recounts her experience with sexual violence 23 years ago.
Warner encouraged others who have a story to tell to speak up if they are able to. For those who don’t want to tell their story publicly, Warner said writing a journal can be theraputic.
“For survivors who want to write, just get it out, don’t edit it,” said Warner, who grew up in Chapel Hill. “You edit it later.”
The book is written in a journal format where Warner recounted her day-to-day life after the incident.
“The healing process was the journals, just that experience of getting it down,” Warner said. “When I wrote the book, I was well past my own trauma. This is completely a different experience.”
Warner said she was nervous about writing the book and debated on whether to put herself out there.
“I debated whether to use my own name or a pen name,” she said.
Warner said her hesitation and fear of putting herself out there is ultimately what drove her to do it.