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9 Books By Sexual Assault Survivors That Empower You To Heal From Trauma

Anyone who needs it can gain the wisdom and strength of how to overcome this trauma.

Sexual assault and rape happen. They are, regrettably, more common than most people think. And there are very few people qualified to offer emotional assistance to victims, and most certainly no victim knows how to deal with it.

In these intensively traumatic events, people definitely need the support and comprehension only someone who has gone through the same experience has. Support that can help them find the strength to overcome it.

While support groups are certainly a choice, victims, understandably, tend to prefer to refrain from social contact and forming new acquaintances during their initial phases of recovery. Thankfully, some sexual assault victims lend their knowledge for dealing with trauma in book form. Written so their stories might help others heal knowing there’s still life after traumatic experiences.

#1 Trumping the Rape Culture and Sexual Assault by Alexandra Allred

Trumping the Rape Culture & Sexual Assault is not a tactical how-to flip or disarm an assailant but a practical guide to situational awareness, using your voice but also understanding the rape & assault culture. We need to debunk the myths, believe we are both STRONG and IMPORTANT enough to stand up for ourselves and each other.

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#2 Maximize Your Super Powers by Dr. Capri Cruz

For two years a young Capri Cruz was sexually abused and imprisoned by her own grandfather. In ‘Maximize Your Super Powers’ learn from a woman who overcame abuse in the foster care system as a child, homelessness, domestic and sexual violence at the hands of her protectors before the age of 40 to later become a renowned life coach, Phd and international speaker. Learn how to tap into the dynamic powers within ourselves to create the miracles other people don’t believe are possible.

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#3 The Shape of A Hundred Hips

The Shape of a Hundred Hips is a memoir that juxtaposes dance and sexual assault recovery that takes the reader into the living room, bedroom, and dance class. It promotes the idea that people can gain insight and take greater control of their lives through intentional movement and artistic connection.

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#4 Find Your Voice: The Life You Crave is a Conversation Away

Life after sexual assault is a confusing array of emotions. From shame to anger to fear and anxiety, a survivor’s inner-voice writes a narrative about what happened, why it happened, and who she is because of it. It is in this space a survivor defines herself as the victim or Shero of her story.

The pages of *Find Your Voice *offer deeply personal stories and a cognitive behavior guide from Sahar Paz, a survivor of sexual abuse who lost and found her voice. Each story is followed by a reflection guide based on cognitive behavior that equips the reader with emotional intelligence tools so they can find the healthy voice within, fueling their spoken voice with courage, joy, and confidence.

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#5 Light Shines in the Darkness: My Healing Journey Through Sexual Abuse by Lucille F. Sider

Clinical psychologist and clergywoman Lucille F. Sider adds her voice to the chorus of women in the #WhyIDidntReport and #MeToo movements. This is Lucille’s story of resilience and hope as a survivor of sexual abuse. She explains the challenges of finding her way out of a fear-based spirituality into one that is full of grace, hope and forgiveness.

The unique richness of her book is that she wrote it to spark healing discussion. As she describes her experiences in these pages, she also steps back and offers helpful analysis as both a psychologist and a clergywoman. At the end of the book, she includes a complete study guide with questions for reflection for individuals, small groups and classes.

“The book is arranged to be a valuable tool in the hands of persons in the helping professions, such as clergy, social workers, psychologists,” writes the Rev. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emerita and Ambassador of The Wesleyan Church. “This writing is so powerful, yet gentle, that people will be able to add their own words to combat the pain. Lucille’s credentials enhance the power of the story.

Truly a book for these days!” In Light Shines in the Darkness, Lucille F. Sider shares her unique story of sexual abuse and severe mental illness, including depression and PTSD. She describes her legal battle in fighting for justice and her ongoing persistence in finding ways to remain stable.

She calls these her mental health and spiritual practices and they include: counseling, medication, meditation, healthy diet, exercise, daily prayer and church attendance. In sharing her story, Lucille now is helping others along their journeys from sexual abuse to stability—to find their own hope and their own light that shines through the darkness.

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#6 Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think

While this book is not specifically for sexual assault survivors, it helps you in the recovery of the PTSD that comes along with the assault. It explains things in a very clear manner and gives you exercises to gain insight into your own thinking habits. I personally used this in conjunction with therapy to help treat my PTSD from sexual assault, as it was suggested by my therapist. When you are ready to move past the negative thought patterns that often occur in the aftermath of sexual assault, this book can help you on that journey.

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#7 After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine

This helped me tremendously and I gave it to my family and friends.

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#8 Grief Day By Day by Jan Warner

It’s important for sexual assault survivors to grieve what happened to them in order for there to be inner healing. They’ve experienced a heavy violation of their identities, so they deserve to have as many resources at hand as they try to reclaim who they are. Grief Day By Day acts as a guide through that process with daily quotes and exercises that are designed to make the reader react inwardly. By normalizing healthy and productive grief, this book opens up doors that allow sexual assault survivors to pace through their own stages of healing, step by step.

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#9 The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-by-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault by Aphrodite T. Matsakis

Survivors of sexual assault are often left with posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety and sometimes substance abuse. This book explores the reality of life after sexual assault and serves as a practical guideline for sexual assault survivors to adopt coping techniques and help them to heal from the trauma. Why Sal? – Sal has over 25 years of experience as an actively licensed psychologist in Florida, New Jersey, Nevada and New York. His long-standing experience treating addiction and mental health issues offers some unique insight for your piece. The Ambrosia name also comes with credibility with five Joint Commission-accredited addiction treatment facilities across the country.

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Contributors to this article
Fran Liu from SmartFinancial

Alexandra Allred from N/A

Dr. Capri Cruz from Maximize Your Super Powers With Dr. Cruz

Patricia Cumbie from PatriciaCumbie

Sahar Paz from Own Your Voice Strategy

Susan Stitt from Front Edge Publishing

Kat Kaye from Kat Kaye Studio

Catherine Fahy Green from Drink PR

Shiwon Oh from Fueled

Sal Raichbach from Ambrosia Treatment Center


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  1. You might want this for your book list: Goodreads and Midwest Book Review both gave it an excellent rating.

    I have recently published a book on incest which is memoir and self-help for survivors and those who care about them. I describe what I did for myself, as survivor, psychotherapist and energy healer to make my life wonderful by looking inside and clearing out the pain. I tell how others can do that too. “Inside Incest, Psychotherapy and Energy Healing Transform this Therapist and a Guide for Survivors,” is the title.
    Madeline A. Garner is my pen name. Linda Blaser is my real name.
    Thank you for consideration.

  2. Another great book I would also recommend reading is ‘I Want to Go Home – Reclaiming Power After Sexual Assault’ by Renee Marie Simpson. It’s a true story of a young woman whose trust and self-worth was taken from her one night by her best friends boyfriend, through an unforgivable and traumatic act of sexual abuse. She chooses to sail back home to Australia from Europe with no sailing experience. The vividness with which this book is written makes you feel you are on the journey with the author as she battles and overcomes each obstacle experienced, both on the boat and in her mind. It is not smooth sailing but incredibly relatable! During the long trip ‘home’ she must face many more challenges and near-death experiences; such as a neglectful captain, a cyclone in the middle of the ocean and almost starving. Through all this anguish, it leaves her no choice but to face the truth of what happened to her – she was raped. But unlike other books about recovering from sexual assault, the author delicately interweaves her experience in a way that focuses on the journey to becoming empowered instead of the trauma which leaves one feeling motivated not overwhelmed or triggered. This book is written with so much clarity, honesty and self-reflection. A gentle first step for anyone starting to come to grips with the damage that past traumas exact upon the self, who want to begin the process of understanding and healing, to begin to look at collecting oneself and feeling whole again. It’s also adventurous, exciting, uplifting and very difficult to put down. An important read to witness how someone else can turn their trauma and fear into power. Her story is honest, raw, and unfortunately very much needed that can help anyone open the door to resilience, adventure, introspection, empowerment, healing and excitement! I couldn’t put this book down.

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