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Last modified: Tuesday, 08-Nov-2011 16:28:19 EST

University Counseling Center (UCC)

Trauma, Abuse and Rape

Title: I Can't get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors, 2nd edition
Author: Aphrodite Matsakis
Publisher: 1996
Publication Date: Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications
ISBN: 157224058

This is an excellent book for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. It explains trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in an easy to understand fashion. The book also presents techniques to help individuals cope with the side effects of trauma and the symptoms of PTSD. In addition, the healing process is discussed step by step. Unique to this book is that it provides information on different types of trauma (e.g., rape, vehicular accidents, crimes, and natural disasters) and the specific issues that survivors will deal with. Throughout the book there are written exercises, which help readers learn more about what they are experiencing.

Title: Victims No Longer: Men recovering From Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse, Reprint edition
Author: Michael Lew
Publisher: 1990
Publication Date: New York: Harper & Row
ISBN: 0060973005

Victims No Longer is an essential self-help book for men who have suffered childhood sexual abuse. This book helps abuse survivors to identify and validate their childhood experiences as well as helping them understand the effects of their abuse. Themes that receive special emphasis throughout the book include trust, isolation, shame, and intimacy. It explores strategies for recovery and healing, while encouraging abuse survivors to establish a support network for continued personal recovery. This book contains several personal statements from male sexual abuse survivors in which they tell their stories of abuse, offer what they found to be useful during their recovery process, and provide encouraging messages to other survivors.

Title: The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition
Author: Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
Publisher: 1994
Publication Date: New York: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 0060950668

Although the authors of The Courage to Heal are not trained as mental health care providers, this outstanding self-help book is considered by many to be the best book for female sexual abuse survivors. The authors have made several changes and updates in the 3rd edition, which have made this the preferred edition. This book uses first-person narratives to illustrate how survivors can come to terms with their past and work constructively towards their future. It focuses on describing the effects of sexual abuse, exploring the stages of the healing process, and offering practical guidance on changing patterns of self-defeating behaviors and building self-esteem. Supportive strategies are recommended to families, friends, and health-care professionals. There is a resource guide at the end of the book that lists services and self-help programs.

Although the book's inclusive list of probable signs of childhood abuse may lead some women to needlessly question whether they have repressed memories, it is still a great resource for survivors of sexual abuse.

Title: I Never Called it Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape, 2nd edition
Author: Robin Warshaw
Publisher: 1994
Publication Date: New York: HarperPerennial
ISBN: 0060925728

Although I Never Called it Rape offers very little information about the recovery process, it is a useful book for any woman who is struggling to understand or acknowledge that she has been sexually assaulted. Based on first-person accounts, scholarly studies, and data from a nationwide survey of college campuses conducted by Ms. magazine, this book explains the reality and aftereffects of acquaintance rape. It also describes and condemns the social milieu that encourages acquaintance rape, while trying to make women aware of how this type of rape happens. There is realistic, practical advice on how women can help protect themselves from acquaintance rape and on how men can prevent this type of rape.

Reviews completed by the University Counseling Center staff.

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