Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up
"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.
Part 1: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth
1. Everything Is Just Fine
2. His Way or the Highway
3. Be Quiet
4. But He's Done So Much for Me
Part 2: How We Silence Women
5. What Do You Have to Lose?
6. The Questioning
7. Puppets of the Patriarchy
8. Look at Who I Am
Part 3: How Everyone Can Speak Up
10. It's Not Her Fault
11. He Is Not Indispensable
12. Believe Women
"Prey Tell is a devastating look at how culture, theology, and economics combine to uphold abusers and to silence those who try to speak the truth in our day and age. Tiffany Bluhm lays out all the ways it costs women to speak up, inviting us into the terror of this situation while also asking us to grapple with our own role in enabling this cycle to continue. A must-read--a truly difficult read--for anyone who longs to see justice upheld in our world."
D. L. Mayfield, author of The Myth of the American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power
"In what is at once a gut punch to the silencing of women as well as a call to action for the church to create a more just and equitable world, Bluhm leads the way by doing with this book what we all need to do--break the silence, tell the truth, believe women, protect the survivors, and end sexualized violence against girls and women. By illuminating both how predatory behavior occurs and the systemic forces that keep it from being spoken about or believed, Prey Tell reminds us that the church is not absolved from the legacy of sexualized violence, nor is it exempt from the responsibility of repairing unjust systems. The church is precisely the community that needs to be leading the way toward a future where all women are both safe and free."
Hillary McBride, psychologist, author, speaker, and podcaster
"Fueled by her lived experience and well-executed and helpful research and reporting, Bluhm bravely paints a poignant picture of the damage of unchecked misogyny both within and outside the church. Exploring the intersection of gender, race, class, and religion, she candidly calls out the evil of the abuse of power while maintaining hope for a brighter future. I am so grateful for Tiffany's courage and cogency and the role this book will play in our collective fight for justice, restoration, and dignity."
Liz Forkin Bohannon, CEO of Sseko Designs; author of Beginner's Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now
"For too long the voices of women and girls who suffer violence have been marginalized, ignored, or worse, silenced within communities of faith and beyond. The global church has all too often stood by while the stories of the suffering of women at the hands of powerful abusers went untold. Tiffany Bluhm has lived this silence and out of the ashes written a clarion call to action, challenging our culture of deafening silence with her story and wisdom. Prey Tell is an absolute must-read book for our age, breathing courage into survivor and ally alike--reminding the world that silence is not spiritual, and action is not optional."
Belinda J. Bauman, author of Brave Souls: Experiencing the Audacious Power of Empathy; cofounder of #SilenceIsNotSpiritual
"Prey Tell offers an urgent word to followers of Jesus, challenging the church to believe women and form cultures that protect the vulnerable, advocate for victims, and practice transparency. If you care about the church's culture and witness, buy Prey Tell in bulk."
Bryan Halferty, lead pastor of Anchor Church, Tacoma, Washington
"I read this excellent book with a mixture of gratitude and sadness: gratitude for the wisdom offered for leaders in the church and beyond who are charged with handling reports of sexual harassment and abuse, and sadness that I did not have this tool sooner. Tiffany Bluhm weaves her own experiences with carefully researched information that sheds light where we most need to see and face the truth. I encourage you to read with an open mind and heart, ready and willing to play your part as an advocate for justice and healing. We can and must do better."
Nancy Beach, leadership coach, Slingshot Group; author of Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church
"I've often believed that something is wrong when we have believers who are passionate for God yet who lack compassion for the wounded and interest in the truth. Tiffany's story is a compelling and necessary look into what happens when 'loyalty at all cost' is put before truth. Her words are a clarion call to believers to finally do the work of holding genuine space for the wounded and the abused, especially when that means having to be critical of ourselves and our institutions."
Leslie Nwoke, founder, HeartWork Now
"As a survivor of abuse and exploitation, I have discovered the undeniable power of breaking the silence. Vocalizing our experiences and pain is a necessary step toward healing and freedom. In Prey Tell, Tiffany provides readers with two invaluable gifts: brilliantly excavated insight into the systems and practices that silence women, and a roadmap to finding our voices and helping others to find theirs. This timely and important work is sure to open eyes, shatter barriers, and unleash justice."
Harmony Grillo, author of Scars and Stilettos; founder of Treasures
"Prey Tell sounds the alarm on both the obvious and more subtle forms of misogyny that are all too common--both inside and outside the church today. Tiffany educates readers on the systems and practices that silence women through eye-opening statistics and paradigm-shifting Scripture. Every chapter is filled with silence-breakers sharing their stories of harassment and assault, and through their brave honesty, readers are invited to advocate for a better path forward. As a woman in church leadership for close to two decades, I believe this book is an absolute must-read! In these pages men and women alike will find comfort, healing, hope, and real solutions for a more just tomorrow."
Nicole Smithee, CEO and co-founder of Iridescent Women
"In Prey Tell, Tiffany Bluhm brings passion, insightful research, and biblical conviction to the problem of the harassment, manipulation, and silencing of women. As one who has experienced this treatment while also finding healing and wholeness on the other side, Tiffany is uniquely positioned to help the reader understand not only why and how this abuse happens but also the practical actions each one of us can take to stop it. As a man who serves in leadership, this book will help me to serve as an advocate for the women around me."
Bobby Arkills, executive director, Tacoma Area Youth for Christ
"I devoured Prey Tell in one sitting. Every page is rich with compelling true stories, Scripture, and statistics that describe the experiences of women everywhere. Tiffany offers hope for the future, strength for the reader, and solutions for creating communities where women are helped and not harmed. Men and women in positions of leadership, as well as women recovering from abuses of power, will benefit from the wisdom and insight Tiffany provides. This book is timely and necessary."
Ashley Abercrombie, author of Rise of the Truth Teller; cohost of the Why Tho podcast
"For anyone wondering how abuse happens, and why a victim of abuse might not speak up for years, Bluhm does an exquisite job dissecting the factors of power that come into play--gender, discrimination, wealth, and seniority--and creates a map to understanding the dynamics that make abuse possible. She then provides steps to allyship in the fight toward building safe systems that dignify women. This is an important read for anyone who's been silenced or done the silencing: in short, everyone."
Blythe Hill, CEO and founder, Dressember Foundation
"Tiffany Bluhm offers clear, concise, and compelling insights on the whys and hows of the silencing of women, offering straightforward steps to end it. Putting the reader in the mind of the silenced, Bluhm offers understanding, sympathy, and ways to act on their behalf. She quashes the all-too-common stereotypes and myths about abuse with well-documented and thorough research. If you want to grow in your love and advocacy for women, read this book. My copy is chock-full of highlights. I will return to it again and again."
Eric Schumacher, coauthor of Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women; cohost of the Worthy podcast with Elyse Fitzpatrick
"Bluhm's compelling arguments are given gravitas by recent, headline-grabbing cases in which the victims' abuse was shockingly twofold: first by the original perpetrators, and then by the very systems which were supposed to protect them. . . . A welcome book offering an important wake-up call to the Christian community and beyond."