Sexual Assault & Abuse Victimization Issues

Further Reading for Victim/Survivors & Facilitators

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Alisen, Paige. Finding Courage to Speak: Women’s Survival of Child Abuse, Northeastern University Press, 2003.

Blending her own painful experiences of child abuse with the powerful testimonies of other survivors, Paige Ailsen presents a disturbing yet inspiring account of childhood trauma and its long-term consequences for women’s mental and physical well-being. Haunted by their horrific pasts and suffering in silence, girls traumatized by severe child abuse often endure debilitating medical ailments and serious psychiatric problems well into adulthood. They withstand clinical depression, anorexia, sleep dysfunction, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, and one of the most extreme conditions-dissociative identity disorder (DID), the development of multiple personalities.  Paige Alisen, herself diagnosed with DID as a result of repeated sexual, ritual, and psychological abuse, skillfully blends her own painful experiences with the powerful testimonies of other survivors, to present a disturbing yet inspiring account of childhood trauma and its long-term consequences for women’s mental and physical well-being. She also delivers a strong indictment against a society that permits and perpetuates the brutal treatment of women and children, and offers an informative, practical, and encouraging guide for survivors on the journey to healing and recovery.


Allen, Charlotte Vale. Daddy’s Girl: A Very Personal Memoir, Island Nation, 2002.

This is a memoir of childhood sexual abuse. Charlotte Vale Allen grew up in the thrall of an incestuous relationship with her father that began when the author was seven years old and did not end until she was seventeen.  Twenty years after she escaped the nightmare world she inhabited, she was at last able to tell the truth about incest and its damaging effects on a child’s life.  In writing it Allen decided that for her book to have validity it would be necessary not only to show the past but also to give a picture of the present-illustrating how the events of my childhood affected me at the time, as well as later in life as an adult and a parent.  So the book weaves back and forth between past and present (the present being 1979, when the final version was completed).   Given that she wrote the book in the first place as a document that she hoped would be useful to others who’d suffered abuse and also to professionals, she felt it was very important to present detailed portraits of the child she was and the woman she grew to be (in large measure as a result of trying to cope with the long-term effects of the abuse.)  She also strives to illustrate how fallout from the abuse can be felt down through the generations, if one fails to exercise awareness and caution.  Survivor Story.


Allison, Julie A., and Wrightsman, Lawrence S. Rape: The Misunderstood Crime, Sage, 1993.

Rape: The Misunderstood Crime is a resource for professionals and students of psychology, sociology, education, social work, criminal justice, and law who seek to dispel “rape myths” and wish to better understand the nature and dynamics of both the rapist and the victim.  Following an introductory chapter, the book outlines a profile of the typical rapist, focusing on characteristics that distinguish rapists from men who are not likely to commit rape. Three chapters deal with specific kinds of rape, i.e., rape by strangers, date rape or acquaintance rape, and spousal rape. The next several chapters explore attitudes toward rape, by considering the acceptance of rape myths among the general population, the phenomenon of blaming the victim, and explanations for the prevailing negative attitudes toward rape victims. The book describes the effects of rape on the victim, stressing the rape trauma syndrome and self-blame, and discusses the treatment of rape victims by trial courts. The final section of the book reviews recent legislation that has revolutionized the legal system’s reaction to rape, the debate over the punishment of convicted rapists, and possible avenues of rape prevention.


Bass, Ellen, and Davis, Laura. The Courage to Heal, [4th (Twentieth Anniversary) Edition] HarperCollins, 2008.

First published in 1988, the groundbreaking The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse has been completely revised, updated, and expanded for its 20th Anniversary edition. Considered “a classic” and “the bible of healing from child sexual abuse,” this inspiring, comprehensive and compassionate guide provides a map of support of the healing journey and a lifeline for millions. Weaving together personal experience with professional knowledge, the authors provide clear explanations, practical suggestions, strategies, and support throughout the survival healing process — as well as help, hope and reassurance for families, friends, and caregivers. Readers will feel recognized and encouraged by hundreds of moving first-person accounts drawn from interviews and the author’s extensive work with survivors, both nationally and internationally. Available in translations, as well as in an enhanced audio format, its life-saving messages resonate across cultural, leaf.


Benedict, Helen, and Brison, Susan. Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault—for Women, Men, Teenagers, Their Friends and Families [Revised Expanded Edition], Doubleday, 1995.

This book offers the survivors of rape and their friends and families information and comfort by building on the works of Susan Brownmiller, Diana Russell, and Ann Burgess.  By interviewing rape survivors and their loved ones, and by drawing on the vast knowledge that rape crisis workers and psychologists have gathered during recent years, when rape has been taken seriously, Benedict offers advice on how to cope with both the short-and the long-term aftermath of rape.  This edition provides expanded and updated coverage on  AIDS, date rape, and where to get help, including  rape crisis programs, shelters, and special resources for teenagers, men, gays and lesbians..


Blume, E. Sue. Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women, Ballentine, 1991.

Focusing on the later manifestations of incest, this reference offers a diagnostic aftereffects checklist, suggestions for healthy (rather than neurotic) coping mechanisms, and therapeutic treatment strategies. Secret Survivors is the first book to expand the definition of incest to include any adult abuser and to focus on what incest does to survivors.  E. Sue Blume shows how incest is often at the root of such problems as depression, sexual and eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and phobias and panic disorders. Using this information and the author’s guidance, survivors can identify themselves, develop alternative, nondestructive survival techniques and begin again on a new path toward a rich and empowered life.


Bolton, F., Morris, L., and MacEachron, A. Males at Risk: The Other Side of Child Sexual Abuse, Sage, 1989.

Male children and adolescents are sexually abused, sexually misused, and involved with adults, peers, and siblings in ways that inhibit the development of normal sexuality. In Males at Risk, the authors examine why sexual abuse occurs, how prevalent the problem is among male populations, and offer suggestions for clinicians working with sexually abused children.  The authors examine environmental factors which may contribute to child sexual abuse, explore the long-term impact on child victims, the differences between male and female child victims, the role of perpetrators, and evaluation, assessment, and treatment issues.  Finally, the authors provide step-by-step case guidelines for clinicians involved in treating abused male children.


Brison, Susan J. Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self [the story of a woman raped while traveling in France], Princeton University, 2002.

On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the self and the world it inhabits were shattered. At once a personal narrative of recovery and a philosophical exploration of trauma, this book examines the undoing and remaking of a self in the aftermath of violence. It explores, from an interdisciplinary perspective, memory and truth, identity and self, autonomy and community. It offers imaginative access to the experience of a rape survivor as well as a reflective critique of a society in which women routinely fear and suffer sexual violence.  Survivor Story.


Burgess, Ann W.  and  Holstrom, Lynda L.. Rape: Victims of Crisis, Robert J. Brady, 1974.

“This book speaks for the victim…It has been written for people who may at some time be involved with rape…as a professional, as a crisis worker, as a member of the rape victim’s family, as a friend of the rape victim, or as a rape victim herself. We hope it speaks in a way that will make people listen and then, hopefully, rethink their own attitudes and positions on this serious societal problem. Our main hope, however, is that this book will promote humanistic treatment of the rape victim.”  — from the authors.  Before this book, very little was available to help the victim/survivor and family through the traumatizing experience. The authors have drawn on  research and practice from actual cases of rape, and provide excerpts from real life situations and people involved in rape.  This 308 page book includes the following sections: The Victims View of Rape / The Rapists View of Rape / Reactions to Rape / and Crisis Intervention.  A classic foundational book.


Butler, S.  Conspiracy of Silence: The Trauma of Incest [updated edition], Volcano Press, 1996.

A review of the scope of the problem notes that 1 girl in 4 is sexually abused before puberty and 1 in 3 by the age of 18. The book defines incest as any sexual activity or experience imposed on a child by a family member which results in emotional, physical, or sexual trauma for the victim. Incest occurs in families from all social classes and has devastating psychological effects on victims, many of which stem from the isolation, guilt, shame, and fear derived from keeping the incest a secret. Interviews with the victims are presented verbatim to indicate types of sexual abuse and the victims’ feelings about it as well as subsequent effects. Interviews with incest offenders presented verbatim explore their childhood backgrounds, marital dynamics, and feelings associated with the incest. Interviews with mothers in families where father-daughter incest has occurred demonstrate the breakdown in mother-daughter relations in incestuous families and the mother’s emotional needs in the context of incest revelations. Interviews with professionals who generally encounter incest victims reveal a general lack of training and awareness that would equip them to address incest. Interagency cooperation is generally lacking. Appendixes present California child sexual abuse statutes. Chapter notes and 50-item bibliography.


Campbell, Jacquelyn C. (Editor). Assessing Dangerousness: Violence by Sexual Offenders, Batterers, and Child Abusers, Sage 1995.

Assessing Dangerousness is a skillfully edited volume that brings together experts in the fields of health, mental health, and criminal justice with both clinical and research experience in predicting dangerousness.  The introductory chapter presents the theoretical and clinical issues involved in predicting violence in general.  In language accessible to clinicians, Assessing Dangerousness discusses the prediction of child abuse using the Child Abuse Potential Inventory, as well as the prediction of homicide in spouse abuse, of further violence by sexual offenders, and of further assault by batterers.  The contributors, well known in their areas of expertise, discuss accurate measurement using tested instruments as well as the role of clinical observations.  An important resource for any physical and mental health practitioner, legal or law enforcement professional and advanced student interested in methods for more accurately predicting the potential for future abuse.


Carter, Christine, (Editor). The Other Side of Silence: Women Tell About Their Experiences with Date Rape, Avocus, 1997.

Women who have been date-raped reveal the singular pain of betrayal that compounds the brutal experience of sexual violence. Their personal accounts are then considered by health professionals who explain how to recognize factors common in rape situations, recommend methods for recovery, and answer frequently asked questions. Includes a state-by-state listing of rape crisis centers available in 1997.


Colodzin, B. How to Survive Trauma: A Program for War Veterans and Survivors of Rape, Assault, Abuse, or Environmental Disaster, Station Hill, 1993.

This practical manual by an experienced trauma therapist offers a wide variety of therapeutic methods for dealing with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder as well easy-to-understand explanations for why post-traumatic symptoms occur. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder may afflict not just war veterans but anyone who has suffered a severe physical or emotional assault.  Dr. Colodzin’s view is that most post-traumatic symptoms were once in fact adaptive reactions to the situations in which they developed, but are no longer appropriate to a changed live situation.  The book is for individuals suffering from Post-traumatic Stress, their friends, families, and therapists. It offers techniques to help overcome its often paralyzing effects: from anxiety, depression, and rage to flashbacks, insomnia, nightmares, and substance abuse.  It will help anyone understand what a traumatized person is experiencing.


Davis, Laura. Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child, HarperPerennial, 1991.

Based on in-depth interviews and her workshops for partners across the country, Laura Davis offers practical advice and encouragement to all partners-girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and lovers-trying to support the survivors in their lives while tending to their own needs along the way. She shows couples how to deepen compassion, improve communication, and develop an understanding of healing as a shared activity. Addressing partners’ most important questions, Allies in Healing covers: The Basics-answers common questions about sexual abuse. Allies in Healing-introduces key concepts of working and growing together. My Needs and Feelings-teaches partners to recognize, value, and express their own needs. Dealing with Crisis-includes strategies for handling suicidal feelings, regression, and hopelessness. Intimacy and Communication-offers practical advice on dealing with distancing, control, trust, and fighting. Sex-provides guidelines for coping with flashbacks, lack of desire, differences in sexual needs, and frustration. Family Issues-suggests a range of ideas for interacting with the survivor’s family. Partners’ Stories-explores the struggles, triumphs, and courage of eight partners.


Denhollander, Rachael.  What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics, Tyndale Momentum, 2019.

Rachael Denhollander’s voice was heard around the world when she spoke out to end the most shocking US gymnastics scandal in history. The first victim to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who sexually abused hundreds of young athletes, Rachael now reveals her full story for the first time. How did Nassar get away with it for so long? How did Rachael and the other survivors finally stop him and bring him to justice? And how can we protect the vulnerable in our own families, churches, and communities?

What Is a Girl Worth? is the inspiring true story of Rachael’s journey from an idealistic young gymnast to a strong and determined woman who found the courage to raise her voice against evil, even when she thought the world might not listen. This deeply personal and compelling narrative shines a spotlight on the physical and emotional impact of abuse, why so many survivors are reluctant to speak out, what it means to be believed, the extraordinary power of faith and forgiveness, and how we can learn to do what’s right in the moments that matter most. Buy from ABEbooks

Dorais, Michel.  Don’t Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003.

Examines the effects of sexual abuse on the emotional and sexual life of men, including their sense of self and their personal relationships. Using the first-hand accounts of victims Dorais shows that certain reactions are specific to male victims of abuse as they attempt to preserve a sense of physical integrity and masculinity. He also provides innovative strategies for both prevention and treatment that will be of use to those who have suffered abuse as well as to their families and all those who are trying to help them – spouses, friends, social workers, and therapists.


Estrich, Susan. Real Rape: How the Legal System Victimizes Women Who Say No, Harvard University, 1987.

Many men believe that they can force women to have sex against their will and that it isn’t rape–at least, not if the man knows the women and doesn’t beat her up or wield a weapon. The law’s casual treatment of such rape cases is the subject of this trenchantly written call for reform.


Finkelhor, David, and Yllo, Kersti. License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives, Holt, 1985.

In the United States, approximately 1 in 10 wives is raped by her husband.  In this early eighties study, marital rape is defined as the use of ‘physical force or threat’ of it by the husband to make the wife have sex with him or in the course of sexual activity. In more than half of the States, a man can be prosecuted for raping a female, but he cannot be charged if the victim is his wife. This book examines why such abuse remains legal and why so many people still romanticize and dismiss it as a marital tiff. The discussion explores the patterns of sexual coercion, the motives of husbands who rape (based on interviews with three such husbands), and the emotional aftermath for abused wives. Myths about marital rape are challenged, including the notion that marital rape only happens to battered wives. Suggestions for short-term and long-term measures to end marital rape include criminalizing it, intensifying media exposure, and increasing the number of self-help groups and social services. Appended data from the survey, review of the California experience with a marital rape law, chapter notes, and subject index.


Finkelhor, David, Williams, Linda M., and Burns, Nanci, (Editors). Nursery Crimes: Sexual Abuse in Day Care, Sage, 1988.

Since the McMartin Preschool case in Manhattan Beach, California, many communities around the country have also been rocked by cases of sexual abuse of very young children in day care. While child welfare workers, prosecutors, and counselors have deliberated about how to respond to such cases, parents, day care staff, and state regulators have wondered whether day care was still a safe place for children. Now a new book addresses this disturbing problem, based on the first nationwide study of 270 cases of sexual abuse in day care. How could children be abused without their parents suspecting? How could trusted day care employees conceal abuse? Can offenders be screened from the ranks of day care employees? Can abusers be brought to justice without further trauma to the children? The authors, well known researchers in the field of child abuse, explore these questions and many others using a wealth of case material and careful analyses. Chapters cover incidence and dynamics, the impact on victims, disclosure and detection, the perpetrators, and the impact on local communities. Over 16 recommendations are forwarded for the prevention, detection, and investigation of these cases. Practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and students will benefit from the information provided in this long-awaited study.


Francisco, Patricia Weaver. Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery, Cliff St., 2000.

In this intimate memoir, Patricia Weaver Francisco tells of her fifteen-year journey to recognize and overcome the effects of a violent rape. Francisco explores key aspects of a woman’s life in the aftermath of rape – passion, marriage, solitude, childbirth, motherhood. She invites the reader into her life and into the questions raised by a crime with no obvious solutions or easy answers. We see the dimensions of a human struggle often kept hidden from view. While there are an estimated twelve million rape survivors in the United States, rape is still unspeakable, left out of our personal and cultural conversation. In Telling, Francisco has found a language for the secret grief carried by men and women who have survived rape.  Survivor Story.


Gay, Roxane. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Harper, 2017

Roxane is the survivor of a gang rape at 12 by the older boy she thought was her boyfriend — and his friends. The book is, on the surface, the story of her struggle with her weight, but it is an eloquent sharing full of subtle and not so subtle impacts and effects of the assault.  As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life.  She explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen.  Survivor Story.  Buy from ABEbooks


Girshik, Lori B. Woman-to-Woman Sexual Violence: Does She Call It Rape?, Northeastern University, 2002.

Based on a nation-wide survey and in-depth interviews, this book exposes the shocking, hidden reality of woman-to-woman sexual violence and gives voice to the abused. The author discusses how the lesbian community has silenced survivors of violence and considers what role homophobia has played.  This controversial work examines for the first time the often taboo subject of bisexual and lesbian women who are sexually assaulted by other women.  Contents:

    1. Speaking the unspeakable
    2.  The societal context of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia
    3.  The myth of lesbian utopia unraveled
    4. “I couldn’t believe a woman did this to me”
    5.  Did she call it “rape?”
    6. The emotional impact of sexual violence
    7. Heterosexism in the legal system
    8. Lesbian- and bi-friendly services
    9. The vision and the challenge.


Graney, Dawn J., and Arrigo, Bruce A. The Power Serial Rapist: A Criminology-Victimology Typology of Female Victim Selection, Charles C. Thomas, 2002.

The Power Serial Rapist provides an in-depth, comprehensive, and integrated approach to understanding the sexual offender’s victim selection process. Consolidating the criminological research on rape and the victimological literature on victims, this book deepens our knowledge about the offender, his victim, and the sexual crimes this rapist commits. The Power Serial Rapist systematically explores past victimization theories and models, mindful of their relative strengths and limits. Moreover, by selecting out the most salient and useful features of past victim selection typologies, this book.


Groth, Nicholas, and Birnbaum, H.J. Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender, Plenum, 1979.

The standard reference on the psychology of rape, Men Who Rape presents a comprehensive clinical profile of sexual offenders with extensive information on counseling, prevention, and psychiatric treatment.    Men Who Rape differentiates patterns of assault among offenders and examines clinical aspects of their rape behavior, such as the selection of the victim, the determination of the sexual act, the offender’s subjective reaction during the assault, the role of alcohol, sexual dysfunction, and other related issues.  Specific categories of sexual assault, such as gang rape, child rape, male rape, and marital rape, are considered, as well as specific categories of offenders, such as the adolescent offender, the offender against elderly victims, and the female offender.  It is written in a non-technical, readable style.


Herman, Judith Lewis. Father-Daughter Incest, Harvard University, 2000.

Through an intensive clinical study of forty incest victims and numerous interviews with professionals in mental health, child protection, and law enforcement, Judith Herman develops a composite picture of the incestuous family. In a new afterword written especially for this edition, Herman offers a lucid and thorough overview of the knowledge that has developed about incest and other forms of sexual abuse since this book was first published. Reviewing the extensive research literature that demonstrates the validity of incest survivors’ sometimes repressed and recovered memories, she convincingly challenges the rhetoric and methods of the backlash movement against incest survivors, and the concerted attempt to deny the events they find the courage to describe.


Herman, Judith Lewis. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, Basic, 2015.

When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, Herman’s volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large. Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism. The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Meticulously documented and frequently using the victims’ own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking.


Hindman, Jan. Just Before Dawn: From the Shadows of Tradition to New Reflections in Trauma Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Victimization, Alexandria, 1989.

Just Before Dawn provides a new reflection in evaluating the trauma suffered by sexual victims.  Finally, effort has been put forth to depart from a traditional system of evaluating offenders, creating a “renaissance” of new dimension concentrating on the “robbery of childhood” and other effects.  The welcome result is a more effective and comprehensive Trauma Assessment and Treatment plan, leading the victim from the power of the offender to finally breaking the “trauma bond.”   Just Before Dawn is founded on data and development concerning sexual abuse victim ranging in age from infancy to the elderly.  Over a sixteen year period, victims were assessed and monitored through a combination of modalities.  A methodical, comprehensive system of assessment is the product of this necessary publication.


Hislop, Julia. Female Sex Offenders: What Therapists, Law Enforcement, and Child Protective services Need to Know, Issues Press, 2001.

Female Sex Offenders have victimized an estimated three million people in the United States. Our children and youth are not protected, not believed and not treated for the associated trauma because society doesn’t believe females are capable of committing sexual abuse. If we are going to protect the victims, we need to look at facts and not be guided by emotions based on mistaken beliefs. In this book, Dr. Julia Hislop explores the backgrounds of offenders, their methods of abuse and the impact on victims. Research-based information, including precursors to abuse and methods to stop offending, will help therapists establish and prioritize treatment goals. Her opening chapter paints a chilling portrait of life events that have led girls to become female sex offenders.


Jordan, Jan. Serial Survivors: Women’s Narratives of Surviving Rape [15 survivors of sexual assault by the same serial rapist], The Federation Press (NZ) 2008.

This book tells the story of fifteen women who survived a sexual assault, all of them attacked by the same serial rapist. It tells the story of their survival, and is based on extensive interviews with the fifteen women. The interviews illustrate how each stage of the process following the attack became an exercise in survival – surviving the assault, managing police interviewing, surviving and coping with going to court, surviving all the many impacts on their lives, and also managing how those close to them were affected. The picture that emerges demonstrates that surviving rape is not a one-off event but a continual process. The different procedures and aspects each pose their own challenges as the victims/survivors manage the various and on-going intrusions and encounters that follow in the aftermath of rape. This book presents their stories – the losses and the triumphs, the battles and the victories. Their accounts make both their fear and courage palpable. They demonstrate the many diverse ways in which a sexual attack can impact, not only on the woman herself but on her partner, parents, children, friends, neighbors – all of us. For when one woman is raped, a whole community hurts. That is why we need to understand so much more deeply the impacts of rape, and why we must do all we can to minimize its occurrence.


Kalven, Jamie. Working with Available Light: A Family’s World After Violence, W.W. Norton & Co., 1999.

On a golden autumn afternoon, photographer Patricia Evans, out for a run on Chicago’s lakefront, was attacked by a man who severely beat and sexually assaulted her.  Evans’s husband, Jamie Kalven, has written the story of a family shipwrecked in the midst of everyday life, each struggling in his or her own way to make sense of the violence that has entered their lives. It covers a period of five years, during which Evans remaps the world in light of the terrible knowledge inflicted on her, and regains her place in it.  Survivor Story (husband’s view of surviving rape of spouse). 


Kelly, Liz. Surviving Sexual Violence, University of Minnesota, 1988.

Women’s awareness of the threat and reality of sexual violence is now perhaps more than ever publicly acknowledged. Yet this fact continues to be almost wholly ignored. This new study, based on in-depth interviews with 60 women, is the first to cover the experience of a range of forms of sexual violence over women’s lifetimes. Drawing on feminist theory, developing a critique of male research and quoting extensively from the women interviewed, it develops feminist thought in several key areas: the similarities and differences between forms of sexual violence; the ways women define their experience.


Landry, Dorothy Beaulieu. Family Fallout: A Handbook for Families of Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors [adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse], Safer Society, 1991.

The fallout from disclosure of sexual abuse in families affects all family members. Author therapist and survivor Dorothy Beaulieu Landry sensitively and caringly validates emotional reactions of the families of incest survivors. Based on her therapy practice with survivors and their families and on her own healing journey, Landry offers comfort, insight, and hope in every chapter. Family Fallout will be valuable reading for clinicians and other helping professionals also.


Lauer, Teresa. The Truth About Rape: Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, and Sexual Recovery From Rape,, 2002.

The Truth about Rape is based on the author’s own rape experience and journey through healing as well as her professional experience providing counseling to other rape victims.  Material presented can be used by rape victims alone, or with a therapist.  It is organized around four major areas of healing: emotional, spiritual, physical, and sexual.  It contains excerpts from more than fifty therapy sessions between the author and her therapist.  It also answers more than forty Frequently Asked Questions about rape and recover, each from the perspective of both a rape victim and a professional therapist.


Ledray, Linda E. Recovering From Rape, Henry Holt, 1994.

This comprehensive handbook offers emotional support and practical guidance in overcoming the trauma of rape. It explains what to expect at the police station, at the hospital, and, if necessary, in court, and it helps readers learn the most effective ways of dealing with their feelings immediately following an assault, during the subsequent few months, and beyond. The experiences of survivors recounted throughout the book reassure readers that others have pulled through. Each section has advise for the survivor as well as the significant other. Dr. Ledray helps survivors realize that no matter what they did – wore a low-cut blouse, accepted a ride from a stranger, invited an acquaintance home – they did not deserve to be raped. She guides them from guilt or disbelief through bitterness and despair to the decision to take back control of their lives.


Levine, Sylvia, and Koenig, Joseph (Editors). Why Men Rape: Interviews with Convicted Rapists, W.H. Allen, U.K., 1982.

A collection of interviews based on the film Why Men Rape by Doug Jackson, National Film Board of Canada.


Lew, Mike. Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse, Harper & Row, 1990.

Psychotherapist Mike Lew has worked with thousands of men and women in their healing from the effects of childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical violence, emotional abuse, and neglect. The development of strategies for recovery from incest and other abuse, particularly for men, has been a major focus of his work as a counselor and group leader. This book examines the changing cultural attitudes toward male survivors of incest and other sexual trauma. This book offers advice, supported by personal anecdotes and statements of male survivors. It helps survivors to: identify and validate their childhood experiences; explore strategies of survival and healing; work through issues such as trust, intimacy, and sexual confusion; establish a support network for continued personal recovery; make choices that aren’t determined by abuse. Finally, it educates survivors and professionals about the recovery process – speaking to the pain, needs, fears, and hopes of the adult male survivor.


Easteal, Patricia Weiser. Without Consent: Confronting Adult Sexual Violence: Proceedings of a conference held 27-29 October 1992, Australian Institute of Criminology, 1993, Available on 6-14-18 at:

The conference was a follow-up to a controversial two- part television documentary, “Without Consent,” that focused on the devastating effect of rape on the lives of victims. Some topics explored are why many women do not report having been raped, what drives perpetrators to commit such acts, and what can be done to prevent them. Also discussed are public responsibility for and social perceptions of rape, sexual assault legislation, and treatment of offenders. Results of a survey showed that some Australians continue to adhere to myths about rape: that rape is about sex rather than power, that rapists are mentally ill, and that the victim is at least partly to blame. Women were generally shown to be more enlightened than men. Sexual assault workers report that a major reason for victims’ not reporting rape was their belief that doing so would not do any good and may even produce a continuation of their nightmare experience. Summaries containing specific recommendations conclude this book.


McCahill, Thomas, Meyer, Linda C., and Fischman, Arthur M. The Aftermath of Rape, D.C. Heath, 1979.

This book is based on the Philadelphia sexual assault survey of 1,401 women of all ages who reported a rape or sexual assault to Philadelphia authorities between April 1, 1973, and June 30, 1974. Attempted and statutory rape cases were included in this study designed for rape victims and their counselors, including social workers, rape crisis center staff, and psychiatrists. Female social workers conducted initial and follow-up interviews with 790 women, and psychiatrists conducted interviews with 331 women or 41.9 percent of the sample. Other data were drawn from police files, eyewitness accounts of 25 rape cases, and a comparison of the study’s findings with those of national studies and other research in the area of sexual assault. Among the findings were the age, marriage, employment, victim history, and kind of rape and how these affected post-rape adjustment; that police support was influenced by the presence of a policewoman, victim-offender relationship, victim history and appearance, and race; and that case outcome was related to victim history, race of judge and victim, kind of trial and rape, and type of reporting. Post-rape adjustment patterns in eating, sleeping, and social behavior are described as well as the impact of rape on the victim’s home life and marital relationship. The criminal justice response to rape is reviewed, and the survey’s major findings are reiterated.


McCombie, Sharon L. (Editor). The Rape Crisis Intervention Handbook: A Guide for Victim Care, Plenum, 1990.

This handbook is intended to be a comprehensive resource for those in­volved in providing crisis intervention to rape victims. The medical, legal, and counseling needs of the rape victim are presented to prepare helping professionals to offer sensitive and skillful assistance to women who have suffered sexual assault. The interdisciplinary thrust of the book reflects the authors’ conviction that health professionals, police, and prosecuting attorneys must share their expertise and coordinate their efforts in order to successfully meet the multiple needs of rape victims and their families. While an exten­sive literature on rape has developed in the past decade, to the best of our knowledge there is no single source for the practical treatment-oriented information sought by those who work directly with victims. The primary objective of this book is to offer just such a guide to service providers. The book is organized into sections that deal with a specific area of the treatment of victims. Detailed guidelines are provided for the nursing, med­ical, counseling, police, and legal services involved in comprehensive crisis intervention. Interdisciplinary teaming and the emotional impact of rape on service providers are discussed by authors actively involved in rape crisis work. Rape laws are explained and court preparation for victim-witnesses is carefully outlined. Of particular relevance to counselors is an overview of crisis theory and a psychodynamic perspective on rape trauma.  Contents include:

    1. Myths and Realities (A Cultural Perspective on Rape — The Rapist: Motivations for Sexual Violence — Rape Typology and the Coping Behavior of Rape Victims)
    2. The Hospital Emergency Room (The Nursing Care of Rape Victims —  The Medical Examination: Treatment and Evidence Collection)
    3. The Legal System  (The Police Investigation — Rape Law and the Judicial Process — The Experience of the Rape Victim in the Courtroom)
    4.  Psychological Overview of Rape Trauma (A Crisis Theory Perspective on Rape — Psychodynamic and Life-Stage Considerations in the Response to Rape)
    5. Psychological Intervention (Counseling Rape Victims — Counseling the Mates and Families of Rape Victims)
    6. Special Considerations  (The Child Victim — The Male Counselor and the Female Rape Victim)
    7.  Appendixes
    • Appendix 1 • Guidelines for the Nursing Care of Rape Victims in the Emergency Unit
    • Appendix 2 • Guidelines for the Medical Care of Rape Victims
    • Appendix 3 • Permission for Release of Material Evidence to the Police
    • Appendix 4 • Third-Party Rape Report
    • Appendix 5 • Information for Patients Coping with Sexual Assault
    • Appendix 6 • Rape Questionnaire
    • Appendix 7 • Practical Facts and Suggestions about What to Do if Raped
    • Appendix 8 • Safety Precautions to Avoid Assault.



Pierce-Baker, Charlotte (Editor). Surviving the Silence: Black Women’s Stories of Rape, W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.

Charlotte Pierce-Baker weaves together the accounts of black women who have been raped and who have felt that they had to remain silent in order to protect themselves and their race.  It outlines aspects of the personal narrative of a rape survivor story, then gives accounts of eleven black women “Silent Survivors” and concludes with men’s stories about the women they love who have been raped.


Pryor, Douglas W. Unspeakable Acts: Why Men Sexually Abuse Children, New York University, 1996.

The sexual abuse of children is one of the most morally unsettling and emotionally inflammatory issues in American society today. It has been estimated that roughly one out of every four girls and one in ten boys experience some form of unwanted sexual attention either inside or outside the family before they reach adulthood. An alarmingly common occurrence, sexual abuse is traumatic and life-altering for children in its impact. How should society deal with the sexual victimization of children? Should known offenders be released back into our communities? If so, where, and with what rights, should they be allowed to live? In Unspeakable Acts, Douglas W. Pryor argues that much of this debate, designed to deal with abusers after they have offended, ignores the important issue of why men cross these forbidden sexual boundaries to molest children in the first place and how the behavior can possibly be prevented before it starts. Based on in-depth interviews with thirty men who molested their own children or the children of people they knew, Pryor provides a unique glimpse of those who become offenders. His analysis explores how the lives of offenders prior to their offending led up to and contributed to what they did, the ways that initial interest in sex with children began, the tactics offenders employed to molest their victims over time, how they felt about and reacted to their behavior between offending episodes, and how and why they stopped abusing.


Raine, Nancy Venable. After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back, Crown, 1998.

After Silence is Nancy Venable Raine’s eloquent,  profoundly moving response to her rapist’s command to “shut up,” a command that is so often echoed by society and internalized by rape victims. Beginning with her assault by a stranger in her home in 1985, Raine’s riveting narrative of the ten-year aftermath of her rape brings to light the truth that survivors of traumatic experiences know–a trauma does not end when you find yourself alive. Just as devastating as the rape itself was the silence that shrouded it, a silence born of her own feelings of shame as well as the incomprehension of others. Raine gives shape, form, and voice to the “unspeakable” and exposes the misconceptions and cruelties that surround this prevalent though hidden crime. With formidable power and in intimate detail, she probes the long-term psychological and physiological aftereffects of rape, its tangled sexual confusions, the treatment of rape by the media and the legal and medical professions, and contemporary cultural views of victimhood.


Ramsey, Martha. Where I Stopped: Remembering an Adolescent Rape, Harcourt, 1995.

The first memoir to address the issue of adolescent rape, Where I Stopped is also a chilling portrait of a troubled American family, whose awkward silence and repression after the trauma contributed gradually to an almost cancerous breakdown. With gripping suspense and poignancy, this powerful memoir is “a story all too many women know,” wrote Kathryn Watterson, author of Not by the Sword, “told powerfully, with a poet’s clear and hones eye for detail.”  Survivor Story.


Ramsland, Katherine, and McGrain, Patrick. Inside the Minds of Sexual Predators, Praeger, 2010.

They are among the most frightening of all criminals, yet few have attempted to document the complex mindset of the sexual predator through intimate case details. Inside the Minds of Sexual Predators reexamines this intentional criminal behavior, describing the different types of sexual predators and explaining why they choose to commit their specific type of predatory acts. Each chapter of the book addresses a different category of predator or a specific, complex issue related to predatory behavior. Distinctions are drawn between types of offenders, from the casual offender to the depraved rapist and serial lust killer, and the variables that play a part in an individual’s sexual predation are explored. Like Ramsland’s Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers, this book is essential reading for professionals in law enforcement and psychology, as well as for everyone seeking to go beyond the headlines to understand this difficult and controversial topic.


Ressler, Robert, Burgess, Ann, Douglas, John. Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives, The Free Press, 1992.

Who are the men committing the rising number of serial homicides in the U.S. — and why do they kill? The increase in these violent crimes over the past decade has created an urgent need for more and better information about these men: their crime scene patterns, violent acts, and above all, their motivations for committing these shocking and repetitive murders. This authoritative book represents the data, findings, and implications of a long-term F.B.I.-sponsored study of serial sex killers. Specially trained F.B.I. agents examined thirty-six convicted, incarcerated sexual murderers to build a valuable new bank of information which reveals the world of the serial sexual killer in both quantitative and qualitative detail. Data was obtained from official psychiatric and criminal records, court transcripts, and prison reports, as well as from extensive interviews with the offenders themselves. Featured in this book is detailed information on the F.B.I.’s recently developed Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) and a sample of an actual VICAP Crime Analysis Report Form.


Rush, Florence. The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children, Prentice Hall, 1980.

A study which shows that sexual abuse of children has an extensive history and has been – and still is – condoned by society. Her commentary is coupled with the testimonies of victims. The author puts forth that sex between adults and children has continued throughout history–and still continues today-because of precedents established in the Talmud, Christian dogma, and Freudian theories and because of unconscious elements in the male psyche. The author is on the board of New York Women Against Rape and works with Women Against Pornography.


Russell, Diana E.H. Rape in Marriage, Indiana University Press, 1982.

A contribution to the literature of sexual assault and family violence. One out of seven American women who have ever been married has been raped by a husband or ex-husband. Written by the principal investigator for the National Institute of Mental Health study that discovered this shocking statistic, this book is a monumental, eye-opening work that dispels misinformation and illusions about a previously ignored aspect of family violence..


Russell, Diana E.H. The Politics of Rape: The Victim’s Perspective, Stein & Day, 1984.

In her pioneer book, The Politics of Rape (1975, 1984), Diana E. H. Russell was among the first feminist writers to offer a revolutionary new understanding of rape as a manifestation of sexism. In a series of beautifully executed but wrenching interviews with 22 eloquent rape survivors, we learn about the heart wrenching pain, trauma, and long-term consequences caused by men’s misogynist attitudes and behavior toward women. Thankfully, Russell also provides a much-needed final chapter on solutions.  Although The Politics of Rape was published a long time ago, the stories of rape survivors are never out of date.


Russell, Diana E.H. Sexual Exploitation: Rape, Child Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Harassment, Sage, 1984.

Diana Russell analyses and compares the prevalence and causes of three forms of sexual exploitation — rape, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Although public awareness of sexual and non-sexual abuse of adults and children has grown steadily over the past few years, the three categories have been analyzed and treated as separate issues. Diana Russell uses an original analytical framework to integrate extensive literature on these topics, revealing numerous links between issues that are often considered separate and distinct.


Russell, Diana E.H. Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls & Women, Basic, 1986.

Based on a scientifically large-scale study, this book presents the most convincing evidence to date that we have grossly underestimated both the incidence and the consequences of incest.  In a new introduction to the Revised Edition, Russell explores the backlash that has followed the outpouring of reports by survivors of incest, and the controversy over “false memories.”  The books is divided into five parts: 1) The Study,  2) The Problem,  3) The Victims (who they are and how they coped, trauma through the eyes of the victims, three women’s stories, long term effects), 4) The Perpetrators (father-daughter, stepfather, brother-sister, female perpetrators, grandfather-granddaughter, uncles, brothers-in-law, first cousins and other more distant relatives), and 5) The Families.


Salter, Anna. Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We can Protect Ourselves and Our Children. Basic, 2003.

World-renowned psychologist Anna Salter has been studying sexual offenders and their victims for more than twenty years. Now, for the first time, she uses her expertise to dispel the myths surrounding sexual offenders – how they think, how they deceive their victims, and how they elude the law.” “Sexual crimes are more prevalent than most people would ever imagine: Recent research shows that one in four girls and one in six boys will have sexual contact with an adult. Even more alarming is the fact that fewer than five percent of sex offenders are ever apprehended. One man admitted to victimizing more than 1,000 children before he was incarcerated.” “Why is sexual abuse so common, and how do predators cover their tracks? After countless hours of interviews with sexual offenders – from respected community leaders and clergymen to trusted family friends and relatives – Anna Salter argues that it is our misconceptions about predators that make us so vulnerable to them. Drawing on the stories of abusers, told in their own words, Salter sheds light on the surprising motives behind sexual abuse.


Sanders, Karen. Raped: Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt [Survivor’s account of rape as a teenager. Convicted rapist, incarcerated at Angola, denies the rape], Llumina, 2005.

Twin sisters brutally raped, the trauma marks them forever. Their assailant, caught and convicted, garners media sympathy twenty years later. The sisters’ victimization continues. Although they forgive their remorseless rapist, they must persevere to win justice and reclaim their lives.  Survivor Story.


Sanderson, B. (Editor). It’s Never OK: A Handbook for Professionals on Sexual Exploitation by Counselors and Therapists, Minnesota Dept. of Corrections, 1989.

Handbook available at:

The materials are intended for use by psychotherapists and counselors, their supervisors and employers, and the colleges and universities that train them. Individual sections examine therapeutic issues relating to working with victims and perpetrators, issues related to clinical supervision, the academic and clinical responsibilities of colleges and universities, and the responsibilities of employers. The materials were produced by a task force created by the Minnesota legislature in 1984. Reference lists and appended copies of Minnesota laws, lists of materials and their sources, background information on the task force, sample administrative forms, and related materials are included.


Scherer, Migael. Still Loved by the Sun: A Rape Survivor’s Journal, Simon & Schuster, 1992.

As with some books that have come from the experiences of war and illness, Still Loved by the Sun transcends the brutal facts to reveal underlying emotional truths, giving dignity back to the survivor. A story of personal triumph and recovery, it is also a story of love and the tests of love that a crisis brings. Rape leaves a wake of trauma, fear, and powerlessness – and for a very long time. By sharing her story and her gifts as a writer, Scherer helps us understand what this feels like for survivors and for those who help and comfort them.   Survivor Story.


Scully, Diana. Understanding Sexual Violence: A Study of Convicted Rapists, HarperCollins, U.K., 1990.

This book examines the structural supports for rape in sexually violent cultures and dispels a number of myths about sexual violence – for example, that childhood abuse, alcohol, and drugs are direct causes of rape. Scully argues that the currently held view of rape solely as a crime of violence unrelated to sex is simply wrong: for some men, rape is sex, and indeed, “Sex is Rape.”  She concludes with a discussion of what the rapists themselves had to say about rape avoidance.


Sebold, Alice. Lucky [surviving rape], Scribner, [Reprint edition], 2017.

In a memoir hailed for its  candor, as well as its wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What ultimately propels this chronicle of sexual assault and its aftermath is Sebold’s indomitable spirit, as she fights to secure her rapist’s arrest and conviction and comes to terms with a relationship to the world that has forever changed. With over a million copies in print, Lucky has touched the lives of a generation of readers. Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims and imparts a wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.” Now reissued with a new afterword by the author, her story remains as urgent as it was when it was first published eighteen years ago.  Survivor Story.


Sharp, Debra Puglisi. Shattered: Reclaiming a Life Torn Apart by Violence, Atria, 2003.

Shattered represents one woman’s attempts to make sense of a senseless crime. In April 1998, this wife, nurse, and mother of teenage twins was tending the roses in her garden when a factory worker with a cocaine habit  slipped through an open back door—a door Debra usually kept locked— and waited for her to come in.  Nino, her husband of twenty-five years, got in the way and was shot.  The man then attacked and raped Debra, placed her in the trunk of his car, and drove away. Debra was kept tied-up in her abductor’s house for five excruciating days.  She learned of her beloved husband’s murder from a report on the radio that the man blared to muffle her screams while he was out.  After five days, Debra’s mounting rage at her captor — and the wrenching thought of her children burying their father alone — gave her the courage and strength she desperately needed. She loosened her ties, got to the phone … and dialed 911.  Struggling to heal from her ordeal and the devastating loss of her husband, Debra also had to endure an agonizing court trial, the raw grief of her children, and her own crippling fear. But through her work in hospice care and as an advocate for victims of violence and trauma, she has slowly discovered the measure of her own strength.  Survivor Story.


Spring, Jacqueline. Cry Hard and Swim: The Story of an Incest Survivor, Virago, 1987.

The true story of the childhood and therapy of an incest survivor. Jacqueline Spring was born into a Glaswegian family that appeared conventionally at ease both emotionally and materially. But the picture that emerges is one of pain and bewilderment caused by her father’s sexual advances.  Survivor Story.


Stone, Robin D. No Secrets No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse, Broadway, 2004.

No Secrets, No Lies is a powerful and daringly honest resource guide for families seeking to understand, prevent, and overcome childhood sexual abuse and its devastating impact on adult survivors. An estimated one in four women and one in six men is abused by age eighteen, most often by someone they know. Most of these sexual assaults are never disclosed, much less reported to the police. No Secrets, No Lies demystifies the cultural taboos and social dynamics that keep Black families silent and enable abuse to continue for generations. Among them: Fear of betraying family by turning offenders in to “the system;” Distrust of institutions and authority figures, such as police officers; Reluctance to seek counseling or therapy; A legacy of enslavement and stereotypes about black sexuality. Through compelling personal accounts from everyday people, Robin D. Stone, a sexual abuse survivor herself, illuminates the emotional, psychological and hidden consequences of remaining silent, and provides holistic, practical steps to move toward healing. No Secrets, No Lies candidly speaks to: survivors, telling them they are not at fault, not alone and how they can seek help; parents, guardians and caretakers, explaining how they can keep children safe and help survivors recover; and family, friends and other loved ones, showing ways to lend support.


Thamm, Marianne. I Have Life: Alison’s Journey (rape and attempted murder survivor’s story), Penguin (South Africa) 1998.

When two men stepped out of the darkness, Alison’s nightmare journey began with the two callous killers who were to rape her, stab her so many times doctors could not count the wounds, slit her throat and leave her for dead in a filthy clearing, miles from the city of Port Elizabeth which was her home.  Alison defied death.  And more than that, she denied her attackers the satisfaction of destroying her life.  The courage which allowed her to move beyond severe physical and emotional trauma and to turn a devastating experience into something life-affirming and strong, has been an inspiration to people everywhere.   Survivor Story (author is not the victim/survivor).


Thomas, T. Men Surviving Incest: A Male Survivor Shares the Process of Recovery, Launch Press, 1989.

In this book, Thomas discusses the fear of and conflict of disclosure, and the stigmatization commonly felt by male survivors. He includes issues that are specific to male survivors, helping men who suffered from incest understand that they are not alone, and provide hope for a recovery.  He does this based on a 12 step model of recovery.  69 p.


Van Godwin, Phillis. Diary of a Rape Victim: Breaking the Silence to Break Free,, 2000.

Have you ever wondered what happens to rape victims after the crime, after judgment has been passed?  Read how a young lady at 17 had her life miserably shaken from its foundation.  See first-hand the emotional impact, the physical and emotional scarring and her efforts and struggles to keep this devastating experience from ruining her entire life.  A young lady of 17 was pulled from a car and violently raped.  She shares her experience in diary entries written almost forty years later.  Survior Story.


Warshaw, Robin. I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape, Harper & Row, 2018.

The classic book that broke new ground by thoroughly reporting on the widespread problem of date and acquaintance rape has now been completely updated to include recent studies, issues, current events, and controversies.  As relevant today as when it was first published, this edition features Warshaw’s original report and her 1994 Introduction, as well as an original Preface from Gloria Steinem, a new Introduction by Salamishah Tillet on how the cultural landscape has evolved since the 1980s, an updated Afterword by Mary P. Koss, PH.D., examining the ways she would approach the research she did for Ms. differently today, as well as an updated resources section.


Whitfield, Charles L. Memory and Abuse: Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma, Health Communications, 1995.

Remembering what happened in any traumatic experience is basic and crucial to healing. For over 100 years the memory of abuse survivors has been questioned and challenged by all sorts of people, ranging from perpetrators to family members. More recently, this memory has been challenged by a combination of accused family members, their lawyers and a few academics who claim the existence of a “false memory syndrome.” In this groundbreaking book Charles Whitfield, voted by his peers as being one of the best doctors in America, brings his clinical experience and knowledge about traumatic memory to us. He examines, explores and clarifies this critical issue that threatens to invalidate the experience of survivors of trauma and handcuff the helping professionals who assist them as they heal. This thorough, insightful work provides crucial information for anyone affected by a traumatic experience.


Winkler, Cathy. One Night: Realities of Rape, Altamira, 2002.

One night, anthropologist Cathy Winkler awoke from a deep sleep to find a rapist standing by her bed. For the rest of that night, she lived a woman’s worst nightmare as she was repeatedly raped and beaten by the stranger. The event changed her life into something resembling a Kafka-esque movie: a justice system that bungled the case then blamed the victim, a social service system that provided no comfort, uneasy and awkward friends, exploitive media, and insensitive university colleagues. The pain of those few night hours were dwarfed by the frustrations of her decade-long fight to find the rapist and bring him to justice. Winkler chronicles this decade of struggle here–including her own growing awareness of her power to stare down district attorneys, use the media to her own ends, and, ultimately put the rapist behind bars for life. As a story of triumph over adversity, One night provides a model of how ethnographers turn the lens inward and incisively examine ourselves and our own world. And it offers a convincing argument that scholarship and activism should go hand-in-hand.  Survivor Story.


Yantzi, Mark. Sexual Offending and Restoration, Herald, 1998.

Mark Yantzi provides new methods for dealing with the pervasive problem of sexual abuse.  He shows caring ways to confront and support those who have offended. He also calls for understanding and compassion toward those victimized by sexual wrongdoing.  Yantzi’s unique approach is illustrated through case examples and candid dialogue by a group of victims and those who have offended.  Readers hear authentic voices and share in the process toward healing.  The book honors the words of victims, offenders, their families, and communities.


Yokley, James M. (Editor). The Use of Victim-Offender Communication in the Treatment of Sexual Abuse: Three Intervention Models, Safer Society, 1990.

The interventions described in the monograph are currently conducted within the framework of three outpatient sex offender treatment programs. The first chapter reviews victim-offender communication interventions in outpatient settings, along with the theoretical benefits and published results of these interventions. The chapter also lists some guidelines under which the interventions are conducted. The second chapter describes a treatment program based on a restitution model. This approach emphasizes close coordination with the criminal justice system, adjunct paraprofessional staff, and a unique treatment scrapbook created by the offender. The third chapter discusses a treatment program that focuses on understanding interpersonal violence within a systemic/attributional model. This model has the unique perspective of recognizing the larger social context of sexual abuse. The final chapter describes a treatment component based on a clinical trials model that emphasizes cognitive-behavioral victim-offender communication interventions. This component can be integrated into existing treatment programs and involves the unique approach of using psychological testing to evaluate victim-offender interactions. While each treatment model has its own philosophy, intervention methods share a number of common features: use of victim-offender apology or clarification sessions to foster a clear understanding that the offender is fully responsible for initiating and maintaining the abusive relationship; focus on victim safety that includes careful observation and monitoring; and methods for addressing the offender’s cognitive distortions and developing understanding and empathy for victims.


Ziegenmeyer, Nancy. Taking Back My Life, Summit, 1992.

Nancy Ziegenmeyer recounts the horrible episode in which she was raped and tells how she has turned from a victim to an advocate who has given voice to millions of other silent rape victims. Her conduct was groundbreaking because she spoke openly about her experiences including her interactions with the hospital, the police, prosecutors, the accused, and the criminal justice system.


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