"Freitas recounts with great thoughtfulness how her perception of the power differential between [herself and her stalker], as well as her faith in the religious and educational institutions she'd grown up with, lulled her into susceptibility and disbelief."―New York Times Book Review
Books & Publications on Consent
Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention
Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has traveled around the country speaking about Title IX, consent, religion, and sex on college campuses. In the other, she is a victim, a woman who suffered and suffers still because she was stalked by her graduate professor for more than two years.
As a doctoral candidate, Freitas loved asking big questions, challenging established theories and sinking her teeth into sacred texts. She felt at home in the library, and safe in the book-lined offices of scholars whom she admired. But during her first year, one particular scholar became obsessed with Freitas’ academic enthusiasm. He filled her student mailbox with letters and articles. He lurked on the sidewalk outside her apartment. ...
In Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention, Donna Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor, and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today.
Consent on Campus: A Manifesto
Freitas offers an in-depth accounting of the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, analyzing both the likely exacerbating factors and various successful or ill-advised response strategies from universities. Based on a decade of research, her book is measured and rigorously reasonable, taking pains not to stray too far in any ideological direction…Freitas is worth reading for her interviews with college students, whom she treats with an uncommon degree of dignity and respect. They are, she reminds us, the experts in their own lives. —The New York Times Book Review - Moira Donegan
A 2015 survey of twenty-seven elite colleges found that twenty-three percent of respondents reported personal experiences of sexual misconduct on their campuses. That figure has not changed since the 1980s, when people first began collecting data on sexual violence. What has changed is the level of attention that the American public is paying to these statistics. Reports of sexual abuse repeatedly make headlines, and universities are scrambling to address the crisis.
The Big Questions Book of Sex & Consent
What this book is NOT:
The fear-based How-To on sex and consent, oversimplified and focused on technicalities, that represents so much of our sexual education today.
What this book IS:
A journey into the Big Questions that will turn you into a thinking person about sex and consent, with the ability to wrestle towards the answers that work for YOU and continue to wrestle towards them for the rest of your life. What is the meaning and purpose of sex? How does it intersect with who I am? Why are people so afraid of it? What does a healthy and joyful approach to sex look like for me? Why is consent so much more than a yes or no question?
Who this book is FOR:
Everybody!! No matter your sexuality, gender, religion, or race.
What could be more essential?
Dear Professor confronts and galvanizes. It is a public accusation and a personal confession. Above all, it is a guide to how to express and claim one’s anger, to use it to good and healthy effect to explode the shame that victims of stalking often feel and the silence they are often forced into. It acknowledges the grief of what was lost through years of trauma—the life that the author’s younger self had planned and invested in, including a very different kind of academic career. And it embraces what’s been gained: empathy, resiliency, adaptability, clarity, and more—all highly useful ingredients, it turns out, in becoming an expert on matters of consent and in successfully pursuing a writer’s life. It asks if either forgiveness or outing her stalker by name (something she’s assiduously avoided in print and at her readings and lectures) is necessary to her healing. Is what her former mentor did to her or may have done to others in any way her responsibility? How much can be expected of victims of such pernicious harassment? And how can Freitas continue to protect herself and her right to choose how she overcomes?
At once intimate and incendiary, Dear Professor is an act of liberation and self-love and an invitation to others who’ve been victimized to accept their pain and outrage, assign fault where fault is squarely due, take pride in what must be a uniquely personal journey, and say no, and no again, to censorship, secrecy, and stigma.
Dear Professor: A Woman's Letter to her Stalker
An expert on sexual consent and Title IX, Donna Freitas lectures at universities and institutions across the United States. View some of her talks below.
October 13, 2018 | Part Of 2018 Wisconsin Book Festival
C-SPAN: The author talks about sexual abuse on college campuses at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison.
October 13, 2018 | Part Of 2018 Wisconsin Book Festival
C-SPAN: Donna Frietas talked about sexual abuse on college campuses and took viewer phone calls from the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison.
April 4, 2013
THE TODAY SHOW: The traditional, one-on-one dinner date is long gone for most young adults today. From texting to group outings, casual is the name of the game. Psychiatrist Ish Major and author Donna Freitas talk about navigating this new relationship landscape.