About Reading Resources

Our materials on reading resources are divided into different sections reaching out to the various users of our site. Links are provided at the foot of this page, but we do encourage you to read this overview first.

We also invite you to check out the other sections not specifically addressed to you. “It takes a village,” as the saying goes, and it will be useful for you to see what’s being discussed in the other sections. Recovery from sexual abuse includes rejecting secrets and working together with others who care and who have also been affected by abuse, whether as survivors or as allies.

If you’re looking for good books, the problem is no longer lack of material (as it was in the 1980s), but rather so much material that it’s difficult to tell which books will be most useful. For some idea of what’s “out there,” see the website for Mike Lew and Thom Harrigan’s, Next Step Counseling, which offers an extensive bibliography. Another advocate who is keeping current with the literature is Harvard Medical School psychologist Jim Hopper, on his website.

Our lists aim to direct you to books we think you should know about first. So in all its parts it is representative only. Books for professionals in the field are only occasionally listed, but we do include more general works on childhood sexual abuse in cases where the material relevant to male survivors is sufficiently important. In works covering both genders you may find that more attention is devoted to women, reflecting the fact that this area of study and discussion is older and more developed.

We include some older works that retain their importance. They may, however, be outdated in some respects, their bibliographies will not be current, and lists of resources may include defunct organizations and outdated contact details. Their silence on (or minimal attention to) Internet resources indicates how much things have changed in recent years. In your own book searches, watch out for the trend among some publishers to offer a reprint of an old book as if it reflects current knowledge. A book with a publication date of 2018, for example, may exactly reproduce, with no changes whatsoever, a book that first appeared decades ago.

These days you can often find considerable information about a book you think might help you. Internet websites like those of Amazon and Google offer synopses, reviews, and samples of many of the books they sell, and other sites, such as that of the book’s publisher or Goodreads, may also provide useful details. If you are in therapy, participating in a group, or otherwise talking to other survivors, ask around to see what others recommend.

New copies of books are often expensive, so the best way forward is to shop around online. Great deals are available, especially if you’re willing to consider used books. Ebooks are cheaper, and in some cases they can be accessed at no cost. They also give you more private access and can be obtained immediately. There are also various websites where you can exchange books. Finally, have a look at search engines, such as Worldcat, that can identify nearby libraries that hold copies of books of interest to you.

For most of the books listed below we’ve been able to provide links to Amazon, which in general offers the broadest selection and enforces strict consumer protection policies. But other websites may lead you to better prices. The best place to check on a specific book is currently Bookfinder.