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This is a  long overdue and amazingly important book, by a psychologist who has extensive clinical experience treating male victims of child sexual abuse, it explodes the myth that sexual abuse of male children is rare, or that the consequences are less serious than for girls.

It is very powerfully written and laced with personal stories of both survivors and families of survivors. It is a slow read as after almost every chapter you feel the overwhelming need to take a break for a day or so to “recover”  from and process what you have read. Perhaps the most hurtful thing for these boys (now men) is that nobody recognized that they were being hurt, or that it mattered, or did anything to stop it. ANd while reading the book you feel that pain and desperation so strongly that you start to feel almost guilty for not being able to reach out through the pages and rescue them.

Overall this is a very well written book on a topic which is far too often overlooked


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This book was a very in-depth look at childhood sexual abuse in women and the different types of coping, reactions, problems that come up later in life, etc. There are well laid-out details on the stages of recovery, what to expect for both the survivor and the family members, stories for the survivors to relate to, and it also identifys things to look out for and avoid which could be counterproductive to healing. There are sections aimed at the partners of abuse victims to help them to understand what’s going on and with advice on how to cope with it all.

Many books are ambivalent on the subject, or give such an impartial response you are not sure whether to think you can trust your memories or not. This gives guidance on how to get support in assessing them, it doesn’t engage in the controversy of whether they are true or not. Ultimately, this is up to the individual to work through their thoughts and to find help/support when they feel ready to do so.

This book is a great aid for working though things, but it is by no means a “fix all” type peice, it aims to help a person to reach the place where they feel able to find help and heal for theirselves rather than trying to force healing onto the reader.

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This emotional memoir begins with the authors realization, in her late teens, that she was depressed. As her friends and family dismissed her feelings as temporary, she discovered that “harming myself really did make me feel better”. The irresistible urge to cut herself led to a life of medication, stays in psychiatric hospitals (she was diagnosed with a form of bipolar disorder) and more self-destructive behavior, including eating disorders, abusive relationships and frequent career hopping.

It’s written candidly, with dry humor, and in such a way that you literally can not put this book down. The book explores the authors life and let’s you inside the mind of a self-injurer, through from when the urges first take hold through to when recovery begins.

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Based on the author’s extensive training and experience in working with abuse survivors, The Survivor’s Guide to Sex offers an affirming, sex-positive approach to recovery from incest and rape. While most books on the topic broach sexuality only to reassure women that it is alright to say “no” to unwanted sex, this one encourages women to learn how to say “yes” to their own desires and on their own terms. Points of discussion include problems common to women survivors. Haines teaches survivors to embrace their own sexual choices and preferences, learn about their own sexual response cycles, and to heal. The Survivor’s Guide to Sex includes resources, bibliography, and an index.

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This book makes many good and well thought out arguments such as: that consent is a performative, not a mental state; that a law that requires showing both force and absence of consent for conviction be replaced by two laws, one defining rape in terms of force, the other in terms of no consent; that, therefore, laws must aim specifically at nonforcible yet nonconsensual sex;  that the notions of force and coercion in the law be broadened, blurring thereby the line between rape and quid pro quo sexual harassment – which can be ‘‘nonconsensual sexual activity’’ and so ‘‘a criminal [not merely a civil] wrong’’.

It also contains a very thorough overveiw of the history of rape law and rape law law reform. However, at times some of the suggestions in the book are extreme in nature.

Overall this book has some very good information and will defanltly make the reader think. But I would be worried if we lived in a world where some of the propoed reforms came into being.

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Stop the Traffik by Steve Chalke is a heartbreaking expose of the growing industry of slavery around the world. Chalke is an expert on human trafficking, and Cherie Blair is the wife of former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Together they have created this consise and informative primer on how human trafficking works in the sex industry as well as the exploitation of workers.

It’s filled with pictures of women and children who have been rescued, as well as statistics about the amount of people who are trapped. Reading the sheer magnitude of the millions of people, as well as the billions of dollars based on this industry, it’s easy to see that the only way to shut it down for good is by the combined effort of people around the world. Along with the heartrending stories of the victims, Chalke includes ways that everyone, can make a difference.

The book is set out in a disjointed fashion at times, but if you look beyond that you will find a powerful and at times disturbing read.

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Scarred is a sad and shocking memoir by a woman who was abused and scarred though she was never beaten. Sophie Andrews has spent much of her adult life working for charity, especially for the Samaritans and aiding young homeless people.

After suffering years of horrendous abuse, Andrews found a lifeline through the Samaritans helpline. There she met Fran who became a life-long friend. Andrews revealed that from the age of ten, her father had used her for sex; from the time her mother left, she had forced to share her father’s bed. “I had learned about sex but I didn’t understand why my dad was doing it to me,” she says. Eventually after years of rape and torture, by her father and other men, Sophie began to hurt herself deliberately. She ended up in a psychiatric hospital and there she trod the first steps on the long road to recovery.

I would advise this book is not for the faint hearted and would recommend this book only if you have an interest in, as many of the scenes depicted are quite horrifying… in saying that I appreciated them for how honest they were. She really is a testament to human spirit and strength.