Not Child’s Play

Not Childs Play book cover

Risa Shaw headshotRisa Shaw, PhD, the editor of the second edition of Not Child’s Play: An Anthology of Brother-Sister Incest, visits with Mark Alyn. This groundbreaking work focuses on the silent narratives of shame, anger, and pain of the girls who were abused by their brothers and the brave women they have become. Through a collection of writings and artworks contributed by female survivors, the book starkly exposes the harrowing trauma of incest perpetrated by brothers. Not Child’s Play fearlessly navigates this challenging subject matter with unparalleled courage and sensitivity.

Risa offers insights on essential information. avenues for seeking support. and the path forward into healing. Herself a survivor. Risa bravely shares her personal journey and recounts her family’s response upon disclosure of her experiences.

Despite how often it occurs, sibling incest is rarely talked about in our culture, even in the era of #METOO. Risa sheds light on this issue, striving to empower women to eclaim the lives that have been from them. The goal of Not Child’s Play is to break the patterns of shame and secrecy that often silence survivors, obscure their stories, and perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

In her new preface of the second edition of Not Child’s Play, Risa reveals the power of 40 years of truth-telling to address the damage done not only to her, but to every survivor of sibling incest.

Risa is an educator, leader, and activist. As a (now retired) Professor of Interpreting and linguistics at Gallaudet University.

Risa has never shied away from the challenge of telling truth to power and she intentionally finds ways to center and amplify the voices of those silenced by oppression and violence. She has participated in and organized numerous actions against patriarchy, misogyny, racism, ableism, anti-immigrant discrimination, audism, and anti-LGBTQ+ efforts. Living her life out loud for over 40 years in the Washington, D.C. area, Risa shares her life with her wife of 36 years and a large beloved community. With the first edition of Not Child’s Play in 2000 and now the publication of a second edition with a new Preface, Foreword, and Afterword, Risa has translated decades of hard, brave, and meaningful work into a means of healing both for herself and for her readers. You can learn more about Risa and sibling incest on her website,

Listen to Risa and Mark here:

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