My Body is a Book

A DANGEROUS WOMAN: Exposing the Dark Underbelly of the Nonprofit World and How Cancel Culture Came for Me, Chapter 5

Here is the next chapter in the on-going story. Please find the entire chapter at My Body is a Book People Pass Around for Research – Break Free With Karen Hunt (

Drawing Gerardo “Jerry” Fuentes did for Silvia while she was awaiting her trial in juvenile hall from the A&E film Gangsta Girls pt.4 – Bing video

Gone was the wild street life. Silvia had four minutes to shower, used the toilet in full view of the staff and had to ask permission for everything, following lines along the floor as she walked with her hands behind her back. She ate food that tasted like watery play dough and smelled like cat food.

Twice a day she and the other girls wee strip-searched. Naked, they stood in a row while the staff inspected them for contraband, which could be anything from pens to drugs.

“My body is like a book that people pass around to make their research,” Silvia wrote one day.

Even though she’d had so many men, she’d always been shy about showing them her body. Now, she exposed herself to strangers who looked her up and down and inspected every inch and orifice, asking her to bend over and cough so they could “see what we need to see.”

Silvia dreaded the nights. Entombed in silence, she lay on her bed and could not sleep. There were no open windows, no relief from the stale air recycled through the lungs of forty prone girls. Closing her eyes, the blackness frightened her. Opening them, she couldn’t bear what she saw. Forty steel bunk beds standing in the dark with bodies lying on each one, some stretched out and still as death, others curled up in tight balls of pain, others sleepless like Silvia and staring wide-eyed at nothing, some occasionally moaning or crying out.

Silvia before entering juvenile hall

Silvia knew what it was like to feel alone, but never had it been as bad as this. She was surrounded by girls her own age but trusted no one. That was the rule, you didn’t let anyone in. Afraid to sleep, she feared she would never wake up, and then again, she wished to sleep forever. Buried alive in a great big box, it was just a matter of time before the oxygen ran out and her last breath escaped her chest.

My Body is a Book People Pass Around for Research – Break Free With Karen Hunt (

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