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If you have just been assaulted and are looking for advice and options, please click here.

[ Hotlines | Therapy | Mailing Lists | Message Boards | Online Chat | Books ]

Message Boards

Post a message on the Welcome to Barbados and Escaping Hades message board: Pandora's Aquarium

a message board for all survivors of sexual violence
share your story


If you need someone to talk to right now, call 1-800-656-HOPE. This is RAINN's twenty-four hour hotline. They will connect you to a crisis center in your area. It is completely confidential. There are also many other crisis lines, some of which may be in your area.


Therapy is one of the most important resources for survivors. Sexual abuse is extremely traumatic, and it is oftentimes necessary to seek the help of a professional when healing. You can find a therapist in your local yellow pages, through a counseling center, or through Who's Who in Mental Health on the Web.

Online Chat

Talk with other survivors in a chat rooms at Peel out the Watchword : the Welcome to Barbados chat room.
Note: You need to be a registered member of Pandora's Aquarium and make five posts before joining chat.


Most of these books are available through Click on the book title to go to the description page, where you can read more about and purchase the book.

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

In the years since long-kept silences were broken by the women's movement of the '70s, numerous accounts of rape survival have illuminated the profound impact of rape on all members of society. Poet and essayist Raine's fearless and probing work may be the most eloquent as well as one of the most intelligent accounts to date, informed both by her own experience as a woman who was brutally raped and by current research on the effects of trauma (including studies pointing to a biological basis of post-traumatic stress syndrome). Incorporating the work of traditional and contemporary theorists into a narrative spanning more than a decade of her own recovery, Raine reiterates the idea that rape is about power and control, not sex, and explores the emotional fallout experienced by rape victims, such as loss of identity, self-blame, anger, and isolation. Regardless of whether the reader or a loved one is a rape survivor (and statistics suggest this would be a huge audience), there is much to be learned from this excellent work about the nature of rape and survival.
Copyright© 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape
by Susan Brownmiller.

"The most comprehensive study of rape ever offered to the public...It forces readers to take a fresh look at their own attitudes toward this devastating crime."

NEWSWEEK: As powerful and timely now as when it was first published, AGAINST OUR WILL stands as a unique document of the history of politics, the sociology of rape and the inherent and ingrained inequality of men and women under the law. In lucid, persuasive prose, Brownmiller has created a definitive, devastating work of lasting social importance.

Chosen by THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW as One of the Outstanding Books of the Year

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
by Mary Pipher.

Clinical psychologist Pipher turns her attention to female adolescence in contemporary America. Pipher examines not just the girls themselves but the society they inhabit, which she terms ``girl-poisoning.'' Looking at why a generation of girls who ought to have benefited from the women's movement are losing rather than gaining self-esteem as they become women, she takes on divorce, eating disorders, self-mutilation, sexual pressure, and MTV, among other things.
Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

I Never Called It Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Aquaintance Rape
by Robin Warshaw.

Drawing on survey results and first-person accounts, a journalist explores the issue of date rape, explaining what it is, why it happens, and its devastating impact on victims, in a guide that includes helpful resources and counseling and support programs. The classic book that broke new ground by thoroughly reporting on the widespread problem of date and acquaintance rape has now been completely updated to include the most recent studies, issues, current events, and controversies.

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

In this groundbreaking companion volume to The Courage to Heal, Laura Davis has created an inspiring, innovative, in-depth workbook for all women and men suffering from the effects of childhood sexual abuse.

Recovering from Rape
by Linda A. Ledray

A comprehensive handbook for rape survivors and concerned family members, friends, and lovers presents an updated format covering health issues, incest, legal information, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, treatment for sex offenders, and more.

The Survivor's Guide to Sex : How to Have a Great Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse
by Staci Haines

Sex-positive and daring, The Survivor's Guide to Sex will support any woman's pursuit of pleasure and confidence. In fact, its cheery outlook may startle those who have been addressing these issues in guarded terms with a therapist, or who haven't put their fears and desires into words. Haines ably discusses common negative reactions among survivors, such as withdrawal and dissociation, and suggests ways to move on. Her chapters on "Sexual Response and Anatomy" and "Masturbation and Self-Healing" may come as a revelation to women who have repressed their sexual feelings, and partners, too, will find much of interest.

Journey to Wholeness: Healing from the Trauma of Rape
by Vicki Aranow

A wonderful, sensitive, informative book that can be used equally by professionals and survivors. As a professional, this book gives me a framework in working with survivors. It is also simple and self explicit enough that I can give to my clients as a companion to take with them between sessions to help maintain the continuity of the process, so that they never feel alone. They can use the information and do the exercises in Journey to Wholeness when feeling overwhelmed and depressed, instead of getting under the covers, drawing the shades, closing the doors and isolating. Journey to Wholeness is a brilliant, creative approach to the issues facing rape survivors.

The Courage to Heal
by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis.

The classic and definitive self-help guide for women survivors of sexual abuse, The Courage To Heal is a tool for recovery that works. This is also the book often cited by those who challenge the credibility of incest survivors. Some survivors of childhood abuse recover memories of these traumatic early experiences years after the original events, and it is these recovered memories that are said to be false memories, implanted in the allegedly impressionable minds of survivors. I was curious to see how this revised and expanded third edition would differ from the much maligned first.

Defending Ourselves : A Guide to Prevention, Self-Defense, and Recovery from Rape
by Rosalind Wiseman.

A straightforward approach to handling date rape instructs readers on how to understand the psychological makeup of potential attackers and practice actual defense tactics while offering advice on what to do after a physical assault. Made up of case histories, personal anecdotes, experts' commentary, and solid advice, the book explores what rape is and isn't; how to identify situations in which sexual assault can occur; how to avoid sexual assault; physical self-defense techniques; what to do during and after a rape; how to report assaults and what to expect from police, hospital staffs, and legal systems; how to cope with rape's aftermath; steps toward recovery; and how to get needed help.

Telling : A Memoir of Rape and Recovery
by Patricia Weaver Francisco.

Francisco was a happily married 20-something writer and assistant editor when a rapist entered her apartment while her husband was away and brutally raped her. The act itself only took moments (although he spent several hours mentally torturing her), but her recovery took years. Novelist Francisco chronicles that recovery here in a book that is personal and yet universal enough to offer hope to others who have faced similar trauma.
Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Trauma and Recovery
by Judith Herman MD

Herman (psychiatry, Harvard Medical School) draws on her own research on domestic violence, as well as on a vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors like rape and public traumas such as terrorism. At the heart of the book is a unique approach to recovery that demands that the therapist depart from a stance of moral neutrality, working slowly toward integration rather than catharsis. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Broken Feather : A Journey to Healing
by Suzanne Stutman

In Broken Feather, Suzanne Stutman takes the reader through an enchanted world of poetry and prose in an intensely personal journey from the buried depths of child abuse through the labyrinth of remembrance to the dawn of adult healing. Stutman is an articulate and candid narrator of her own life, and Broken Feather is ultimately a testimony to the power of the human spirit to heal from the long suppressed wounds of child abuse. Broken Feather is highly recommended reading for anyone dealing with the problems of overcoming child abuse legacies within themselves or their loved ones.

Sexual Assault : Will I Ever Feel Okay Again?
by Kay Scott

Kay Scott helps us to feel the pain, fear, shame, self-loathing and doubt, but also the courage, faith, friendship, support, and growth of her pathway through a personal hell. This is a helpful book for all parents, pastors, youth workers, and teachers to read-. All who are victimized by these violations of self bear scars that cannot be truly healed unless they gain insights contained in these pages

The Other Side of Silence : Women Tell About Their Experiences With Date Rape by Christine Carter.

Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toll of Stigma and Shame by Michael Scarce.

Recovering from Rape by Linda A. Ledray.

No Fairy Godmothers No Magic Wands; The Healing Process After Rape by Judith H. Katz.

Free of the Shadows : Recovering from Sexual Violence by Jennifer Fay.

Recovery : How to Survive Sexual Assault for Women, Men, Teenagers, and Their Friends and Families by Helen Benedict.

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