Still Room for Hope: A Survivors Story (Book Review)

By James.B

Alisa KaplanSAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (ANS - May 5, 2015) - On July 6, 2002, sixteen-year-old Alisa Kaplan awoke, sick and disoriented, in the passenger seat of her car. She'd been at a party the night before, but there was a big blank hole where her own memories of the night should have been. So what happened at that party? Why couldn't she remember anything about the night before?

As the appalling, terrifying details of that night began to surface, it ignited a media frenzy and a storm of controversy with Alisa trapped at the center: A straight-laced, straight-A student, sexually assaulted by three male friends-all caught on videotape.

Her fight for justice pitted her against some of Southern California's most powerful families, and made her the target of a devastating smear campaign. Despite the evidence, the corruption and humiliation of her first trial resulted in a hung jury, and sent her spiraling into the oblivion of meth addiction.

But on the threshold of her last chance and darkest moment, Alisa discovered: There was still room for hope. Now she has recounted her gripping story of transforming from victim to survivor: How she got a second chance, broke her silence, and found faith and grace in God on her way to rebuilding a stronger, meaningful life.

In her debut book, Still Room for Hope, A Survivor's Story of Sexual Assault, Forgiveness and Freedom, which released on April 7 from Faith Words (a division of Hachette Book Group), Alisa shares a first-hand perspective of what happened more than 10 years ago, including her subsequent identity crisis, struggles with drug addiction, and a deep depression that almost ended her life.

Courageous and heartbreaking, Alisa's hope-filled account demonstrates that redemption is always possible, and forgiveness can transform anyone.

Though many did not know her name as at the time of the sensational trial -- she was known by the media as "Jane Doe" -- Alisa is now ready to not only let the world know her name but also show how purpose and hope can shine through even the darkest situations.

According to a news release, Alisa's story doesn't end there. Still Room for Hope is a tale of redemption - a young woman struggling to define herself and separate who she is from what has been done to her; a victor able to overcome the forces working against her with the help of those who chose to never abandon her.

And, ultimately, a story of finding forgiveness for both herself and those who wounded her - from a God whose love is unfailing and unconditional.

Though the road to recovery was an excruciating one, God has transformed her story of suffering into one of hope and inspiration. Alisa now serves as a state-certified victim's advocate and crisis intervention counselor.

Through Still Room for Hope, she wants to help so many others who feel hopeless due to abuse, divorce, loss, terminal illness, or other difficulties, perceive that survival and spiritual growth is within their reach. Life can go on - just ask Alisa.

"My Calling, I believe - what God wants from me - is to help others who have suffered," said Kaplan. "It is to share what I now know - that there is an 'after,' and victims can not only survive, but find purpose and healing."

Today, Alisa Kaplan is a state-certified sexual assault victim advocate and crisis intervention counselor and volunteers at a rape crisis center in Los Angeles County. She also works for a religious organization and is attending college to obtain her degree in psychology. She still lives in San Bernardino County, California where she was born and raised.

Photo: Alisa Kaplan (Photo: Stephanie Simpson)

For more information, please contact Heidi L. McDow, A. Larry Ross Communications, 972.267.1111,

About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 51 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts the weekly "Front Page Radio" show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States and around the world. He is the author of some 45 books, the latest of which is a novel about the life of Jesus through the eyes of his mother called "Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary". For more information, please go to, where you can find details of how to order the book.

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