Recommended Reading

The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
By Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

Based on the premise that "everyone wants to become whole," this book offers help and encouragement to women who were sexually abused in childhood. Through moving first-person narratives, it illustrates how to come to terms with the past and work constructively towards the future. Along the way it describes the effects of sexual abuse, maps the stages survivors pass through, and offers practical guidance on dealing with self-defeating behaviors and building self-esteem. Supportive strategies are recommended to families, friends, and health-care professionals.

Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child
By Laura Davis

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.

The Gift of Fear
By Gavin De Becker

A discussion of survival signals that protect us from violence. This book teaches how to identify the warning signals of a potential attacker and recommends strategies for dealing with the problem before it becomes life threatening.

The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-by-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault
By Aphrodite Matsakis

In this new handbook, an expert in the treatment of PTSD helps rape victims cope with the reality of the experience and deal with the aftermath of conflicting and debilitating feelings. Recovery begins by establishing a safety plan that includes what to expect from recovery, and an understanding of how to treat your self during recovery. Learn how to develop a community and supportive network to assist you during the journey and cope with the anxiety and anger that often arise during this process.

The Truth About Rape
By Teresa M. Lauer

Emotional, spiritual, physical, and sexual recovery from rape.

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

Based on first-person accounts, scholarly studies and data from a nationwide survey of college campuses conducted by Ms. magazine, freelance journalist Warshaw draws a devastating portrait of men who rape women they know. The Ms. survey reveals that 25% of the college women polled have been the victims of rape or attempted rape, 84% of the victims were acquainted with the attacker and 57% of the rapes happened on dates. One in 12 of the male respondents admitted to acts that meet the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. Warshaw, herself the victim of an acquaintance rape, handles an inherently sensational subject with compassion and restraint. She describes and condemns the social milieu that condones such acts by encouraging men to see sex as conquest and women to view sexual coercion as part of the "dating game." There is realistic, practical advice on how women can protect themselves against attacks by acquaintances and on how men can prevent this type of rape.