Vermont Reads 2021

“We Contain Multitudes”
by Sarah Henstra

Resources on Dating, Sexual, and Domestic Violence

Issues of dating violence, sexual violence, and domestic violence are present in We Contain Multitudes. Local programs or the statewide Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence can help support conversations around these topics in book groups or other discussions.

Partner Organizations to Help with the Book's Themes

Vermont Humanities has partnered with three Vermont organizations to help you navigate the themes of We Contain Multitudes in your community. Vermont Reads project hosts can receive one free presentation from one of these organizations.

The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence has provided us with the following resources:

Online Resources

Askable Adult campaign

Johnathan said that his dad was his hero in a letter at the beginning of the book. But life is messy, and by the end of the book there are some shifts. How can adults show up for the young people in their lives professionally and personally?

In a 2017 survey, Vermont’s children and youth identified an array of concerns that cause them stress in their everyday lives—including drug and alcohol use; poverty; sexism and harassment; body shaming and bullying; and homophobia and transphobia. When asked what would help, young people said that the number one solution would be more adults they can confide in their lives.

Coaching Boys Into Men

Kurl’s coach was the only adult paying attention to the bruises and injuries he had.

Athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men. Because of these relationships, coaches are poised to positively influence how young men think and behave, both on and off the field. Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) is the only evidence-based prevention program that trains and motivates high school coaches to teach their young male athletes healthy relationship skills and that violence never equals strength.

Get Help

Kurl and his mother may have needed someone to talk to about what was happening at home. Jonathan may have needed someone to ask those questions about consent.

Local Vermont hotlines and chatlines are available to discuss Dating Violence, Sexual Violence, and/or Domestic Violence.

Community Resources Handout

A list of organizations that can help you navigate the themes of the book in your community.