Victim to Victor: How People Survive Rape

A couple weeks ago I uploaded a post about sexual assault. This week, in honor of Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, I thought I’d share some resources in the hopes that survivors can find help and validation through fellow survivor’s stories, and successful tools to use on their own paths to healing–including a resource for male victims of sexual assault.

Please share your own recommendations and/or reviews of the following resources in the comments below.

Understanding Sexual Trauma

What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali.

Abdulali, a rape survivor, uses interviews with fellow survivors around the globe to share strength and wisdom with a little dash of gentle, healing humor.

The Body Keeps the Score: brain, mind and body in the healing of trauma by Bessel van der Kolk

Explores how the body reacts and holds on to trauma long past the event, and how to use the body’s signals to heal.

Check out this podcast interview with van der Kolk in which he talks about using bodywork and other methods to heal trauma.

Survivor Stories

Lucky by Alice Sebold

An autobiographical account of rape and its effects not only on the survivor on those who love her (or him!).

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

A book of illustrated poetry that reflects on abuse, violence, loss and love.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Anderson offers a raw look at sexual assault from a teenage victim’s point of view. While a work of fiction, a cross-section of reviews indicate that it is a pretty realistic look at our current culture’s interpretation and response to sexual assault. A 2004 film adaptation of the book stars Kristen Stewart.

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

A poetry memoir and call to action for survivors that celebrates resiliency in the wake of dysfunction.

Finding OK podcast

Dedicated entirely to nurturing survivors of sexual abuse with healing and empowerment.

Survivor Help

The Courage to Heal: a guide for women survivors of child sexual abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

This best-seller offers first-hand accounts of childhood abuse and healing as well as practical suggestions for survivors of childhood trauma. Twentieth anniversary edition introduces more diversity, new bodywork and meditation tools and updated resource guide. There is a companion workbook associated with the book, too.

The Courage to Heal Workbook for Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Laura Davis

Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter

This blockbuster book busts myths and mindsets regarding trauma men and boys suffer from in navigating their own experiences of sexual abuse. 

Survivor Resources

  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

Published by Missy Kavanaugh-Carryer

Missy Kavanaugh-Carryer is a content writer and author of two children's books and a board book series for young children. She's currently working on her first novel.

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