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Local Author Aims to Keep Spotlight on College Campus Sexual Assaults

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Ellen Bravo isn't giving up on being a Milwaukee political activist, she is just adding novelist to her title.

Bravo currently heads Family Values @ Work Consortium, the group advocates for issues such as paid sick days and family leave insurance in the workplace. Before that, she was the national director of the organization 9to5, which focuses on a similar set of issues that impact working women.

So it’s probably not surprising that Bravo’s novel, Again and Again, is a political thriller. Although it is not the first novel Bravo has written, it is her first published one.

Again and Again tells the tale of a political activist whose college roommate was a victim of date rape. Decades later, the perpetrator is running for U.S. Senate. The main character must make a tough decision that can change the outcome of the control of the Senate, friendship and a marriage.

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For Bravo, the subject of sexual assault on college campuses was a topic that needs to be kept at the forefront of people's minds.

"I wanted to show that we have made a lot of progress. On the other hand, as we know from the prep school rape case and the Old Dominion banners and so many other things, it's a huge problem on college campuses today," Bravo says.

Through her novel, Bravo hopes to make others think twice about how they view the topic of rape and initiate a change in a culture that remains relatively silent on the issue.

"What's really important is ending bystanders, is getting other men to say 'I see this is going on and I will never congratulate you for boasting about slaying some female.' And that's what we need to change the culture," she says.

Milwaukee writer Ellen Bravo will talk about her new novel tomorrow evening at Boswell Book Company on Downer Avenue in Milwaukee.

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