This, Too: All Our Stories Matter

Olivia Castetter

Olivia is fighting for a world in which survivors of all kinds of abuse—including victims of misconduct—are heard, validated, and empowered. A world in which trauma survivors are treated as equals, even when their trauma varies. If our #MeToo stories are about community and solidarity, then so is this, too.

This, Too: All Our Stories Matter is the journey of Olivia Castetter, a survivor of myriad sexual trauma whose experiences are all too common yet never quite meet the common example.

From her earliest years, Olivia endured sexual abuse and grooming from her father, which mirrored her mother’s guidance that all men viewed women as was for sexual satiation. As a teen, by then abandoned by her father, Olivia was victimized by her teacher, a serial opportunistic offender with a pattern for selection one female student from each graduating class to pursue a sexual relationship with. However, when her teacher was investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct and abruptly resigned during Olivia’s junior year, his grooming and sexual harassment ceased…but the damage had already been done. Within weeks of her teacher’s departure, a new man entered Olivia’s life, one whose violence toward her was undeniable to many but seemed all too normal to her due to her previous experiences. Although she eventually escaped that violent relationship, new damage had been done, and yet another grooming-based offender – a peer – entered her life, one who would assault and abuse her both the summer after high school and then again nearly a decade later.

Through her experiences, Olivia shines a spotlight on forms of abuse that are often overlooked even as they unfold. By closely examining the multiple instances of grooming in her life, she describes the circumstance that allowed the abuse to begin, the events as it unfolded, and the lasting impact. This, Too: All Our Stories Matter is both a memoir and a call to action for survivor advocates, urging those who fight to end sexual violence to take a closer look at the earliest stages of abuse and how so much is able to proliferate unnoticed.